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Science. 2014 Aug 15;345(6198):786-91. doi: 10.1126/science.1252496.

Interstellar dust. Evidence for interstellar origin of seven dust particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft.

Author information

1
Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA. westphal@ssl.berkeley.edu.
2
Materials Science and Technology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, USA.
3
Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA.
4
Geoscience Institute, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
5
Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.
6
State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY, USA.
7
Jacobs Technology/ESCG, NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, TX, USA.
8
Institut für Geowissenschaften, University of Heidelberg, Germany.
9
Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Grenoble, Grenoble, France.
10
Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme (IRS), University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany. IGEP, TU Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany. Max Planck Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany. International Space Sciences Institute, Bern, Switzerland.
11
Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC, USA.
12
Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science, NASA JSC, Houston, TX, USA.
13
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL, USA.
14
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, Hamburg, Germany.
15
Space Research Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
16
Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
17
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK.
18
University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.
19
University of New Mexico.
20
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), Grenoble, France.
21
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
22
Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.
23
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany.
24
International Space Sciences Institute, Bern, Switzerland.
25
Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, Mainz, Germany.
26
615 William Street, Apt 405, Midland, Ontario, Canada.
27
Natural History Museum, London, UK.
28
Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, USA.
29
Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, Lyon, France.
30
University Lille 1, France.
31
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, USA.
32
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA.
33
IRS, University Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.
34
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA.
35
Wexbury, Farthing Green Lane, Stoke Poges, South Buckinghamshire, UK.

Abstract

Seven particles captured by the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector and returned to Earth for laboratory analysis have features consistent with an origin in the contemporary interstellar dust stream. More than 50 spacecraft debris particles were also identified. The interstellar dust candidates are readily distinguished from debris impacts on the basis of elemental composition and/or impact trajectory. The seven candidate interstellar particles are diverse in elemental composition, crystal structure, and size. The presence of crystalline grains and multiple iron-bearing phases, including sulfide, in some particles indicates that individual interstellar particles diverge from any one representative model of interstellar dust inferred from astronomical observations and theory.

PMID:
25124433
DOI:
10.1126/science.1252496
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