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Introducing Foils

27 Oct 2015, 17:30 UTC
Introducing Foils
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Now more than ever the Stardust team needs your help! That is because out of the seven probable interstellar dust particles that we reported on in Science last year, four were unexpectedly found in craters in the aluminum foils on the collector. These particles were also much much smaller than the particles captured in aerogel, and like particles may be completely invisible in aerogel. Yet there is a huge advantage with the interstellar dust candidates in the aluminum foils vs. those in aerogel. For the particles in aluminum foil, we can measure their oxygen isotopic composition, something we have not yet figured out how to do for particles captured in aerogel. And an oxygen isotopic composition very different from values in the solar system is a smoking gun for interstellar origin!
Thus, we very much need to find more candidates in the foils. New images from the Stardust collector’s aluminum foil linings have recently been uploaded to a replica of the Stardust@home Virtual Microscope or VM. The new VM is basically the same as the one used for aerogel searching, yet there are three major differences. First, the images from the aluminum foil that you will be searching are not ...

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