Carbon and silicate grains in interplanetary dust particles are helping scientists solve a 40-year-old astronomical mystery.
A secondary electron image of a typical chondritic Interplanetary Dust Particle (IDP).
Using a transmission electron microscope, researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have detected a 5.7-electron volt or 2175 Å (angstrom) wavelength feature in interstellar grains that were embedded within interplanetary dust particles (IDPs). They found that this feature is carried by carbon and amorphous silicate grains that are abundant in IDPs and may help explain how some IDPs formed from interstellar materials.
The research appears in the Jan. 14 edition of the research journal Science.
Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
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