Where are Interstellar and Interplanetary Dust Particles from?


Interstellar and interplantary dust particles come in a variety of compositions and sizes. The primary source of these cosmic dust grains is the interstellar medium. In the interstellar medium, the particles are cycled through evolutionary processes with the formation of giant molecular clouds, protosuns, planetary systems, comets, and other debris objects. Comets, asteroids, and meteroids bring these cosmic dust particles into the interplanetary medium. For example, the zodiacal light, which is the visibly scattered sunlight by dust, is believed to originate from interplanetary dust particles with diameters in the 5 - 100 micron range. Purpose of this experiment: The purpose of this experiment is to focus on direct laboratory measurements of the infrared scattering properties of common interstellar and interplanetary dust particles in the 1-25 micron spectral region. This includes studying extinction coefficients, polarization characteristics, and the scattering phase function. Also ... more
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