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Science. 2006 Dec 15;314(5806):1711-6.

Comet 81P/Wild 2 under a microscope.

Brownlee D1, Tsou P, Aléon J, Alexander CM, Araki T, Bajt S, Baratta GA, Bastien R, Bland P, Bleuet P, Borg J, Bradley JP, Brearley A, Brenker F, Brennan S, Bridges JC, Browning ND, Brucato JR, Bullock E, Burchell MJ, Busemann H, Butterworth A, Chaussidon M, Cheuvront A, Chi M, Cintala MJ, Clark BC, Clemett SJ, Cody G, Colangeli L, Cooper G, Cordier P, Daghlian C, Dai Z, D'Hendecourt L, Djouadi Z, Dominguez G, Duxbury T, Dworkin JP, Ebel DS, Economou TE, Fakra S, Fairey SA, Fallon S, Ferrini G, Ferroir T, Fleckenstein H, Floss C, Flynn G, Franchi IA, Fries M, Gainsforth Z, Gallien JP, Genge M, Gilles MK, Gillet P, Gilmour J, Glavin DP, Gounelle M, Grady MM, Graham GA, Grant PG, Green SF, Grossemy F, Grossman L, Grossman JN, Guan Y, Hagiya K, Harvey R, Heck P, Herzog GF, Hoppe P, Hörz F, Huth J, Hutcheon ID, Ignatyev K, Ishii H, Ito M, Jacob D, Jacobsen C, Jacobsen S, Jones S, Joswiak D, Jurewicz A, Kearsley AT, Keller LP, Khodja H, Kilcoyne AL, Kissel J, Krot A, Langenhorst F, Lanzirotti A, Le L, Leshin LA, Leitner J, Lemelle L, Leroux H, Liu MC, Luening K, Lyon I, Macpherson G, Marcus MA, Marhas K, Marty B, Matrajt G, McKeegan K, Meibom A, Mennella V, Messenger K, Messenger S, Mikouchi T, Mostefaoui S, Nakamura T, Nakano T, Newville M, Nittler LR, Ohnishi I, Ohsumi K, Okudaira K, Papanastassiou DA, Palma R, Palumbo ME, Pepin RO, Perkins D, Perronnet M, Pianetta P, Rao W, Rietmeijer FJ, Robert F, Rost D, Rotundi A, Ryan R, Sandford SA, Schwandt CS, See TH, Schlutter D, Sheffield-Parker J, Simionovici A, Simon S, Sitnitsky I, Snead CJ, Spencer MK, Stadermann FJ, Steele A, Stephan T, Stroud R, Susini J, Sutton SR, Suzuki Y, Taheri M, Taylor S, Teslich N, Tomeoka K, Tomioka N, Toppani A, Trigo-Rodríguez JM, Troadec D, Tsuchiyama A, Tuzzolino AJ, Tyliszczak T, Uesugi K, Velbel M, Vellenga J, Vicenzi E, Vincze L, Warren J, Weber I, Weisberg M, Westphal AJ, Wirick S, Wooden D, Wopenka B, Wozniakiewicz P, Wright I, Yabuta H, Yano H, Young ED, Zare RN, Zega T, Ziegler K, Zimmerman L, Zinner E, Zolensky M.

Author information

  • 1Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. brownlee@astro.washington.edu

Abstract

The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile portion of the comet is an unequilibrated assortment of materials that have both presolar and solar system origin. The comet contains an abundance of silicate grains that are much larger than predictions of interstellar grain models, and many of these are high-temperature minerals that appear to have formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula. Their presence in a comet proves that the formation of the solar system included mixing on the grandest scales.

PMID:
17170289
[PubMed]
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