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July 2018

Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

Scientific Achievement

A team of Foundry staff and users determined that samples of interplanetary particles from Earth's upper atmosphere contain dust from the initial formation of the solar system.

Significance and Impact

This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

Research Details

H. A. Ishii, J.P. Bradley, H.A. Bechtel, D. E. Brownlee, K.C. Bustillo, J. Ciston, J.N. Cuzzi, C. Floss, D.J. Joswiak. PNAS (2018). 115 (26) 6608-6613. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1720167115