Special Research Articles

Comet 81P/Wild 2 Under a Microscope

Science  15 Dec 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5806, pp. 1711-1716
DOI: 10.1126/science.1135840

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile portion of the comet is an unequilibrated assortment of materials that have both presolar and solar system origin. The comet contains an abundance of silicate grains that are much larger than predictions of interstellar grain models, and many of these are high-temperature minerals that appear to have formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula. Their presence in a comet proves that the formation of the solar system included mixing on the grandest scales.

View Full Text

Cited By...