Stardust: analyses of cometary and interstellar dust in the laboratory


Tuesday, April 07 2015 - 12:00 pm, PDT
Andrew Westphal
UC Berkeley

Stardust was the first spacecraft ever to bring back to Earth extraterrestrial materials from beyond the Moon. It was two missions in one spacecraft. Stardust returned the first samples from a known primitive solar system body, the Jupiter-family comet Wild 2. Stardust also carried a separate collector that was exposed the interstellar dust stream for 200 days before the encounter with the comet. These tiny rocks — a trillion would fit into a teaspoon — were identified in the returned collector by a small army of more than 30,000 citizen scientists, through a project called Stardust@home. Dr. Westphal will present results of laboratory analyses of samples from both collectors, including laboratory analyses of seven particles that are likely the first individual rocks from the local interstellar medium ever identified.

Eventbrite - Stardust:  analyses of cometary and interstellar dust<br />
in the laboratory

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