Scientists at the University of Sussex have produced synthetic ‘cosmic dust’ to help space researchers understand information gathered by a mission to Saturn.
CASSINI, an unmanned probe launched by NASA in October 1997, is due to go into orbit around Saturn this summer. One of the aims of the CASSINI mission is to study the planet’s famous rings. It is already recognised Saturn’s rings are made of cosmic dust, but very little is known about the composition of the dust.
Cosmic dust moves at speeds of up to 70,000 mph. When dust from Saturn’s rings hits CASSINI’s onboard detector, it will be obliterated in the collision. CASSINI will record data generated from dust impacts for transmission back to Earth.
Alix Macfarlane | alfa
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