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Orsay, France

Postberg F.,University of Stuttgart | Postberg F.,University of Heidelberg | Hillier J.K.,University of Heidelberg | Armes S.P.,University of Sheffield | And 76 more authors.
Meteoritics and Planetary Science | Year: 2014

The NASA Stardust mission used silica aerogel slabs to slowly decelerate and capture impinging cosmic dust particles for return to Earth. During this process, impact tracks are generated along the trajectory of the particle into the aerogel. It is believed that the morphology and dimensions of these tracks, together with the state of captured grains at track termini, may be linked to the size, velocity, and density of the impacting cosmic dust grain. Here, we present the results of laboratory hypervelocity impact experiments, during which cosmic dust analog particles (diameters of between 0.2 and 0.4 μm), composed of olivine, orthopyroxene, or an organic polymer, were accelerated onto Stardust flightspare low-density (approximately 0.01 g cm-3) silica aerogel. The impact velocities (3-21 km s-1) were chosen to simulate the range of velocities expected during Stardust's interstellar dust (ISD) collection phases. Track lengths and widths, together with the success of particle capture, are analyzed as functions of impact velocity and particle composition, density, and size. Captured terminal particles from low-density organic projectiles become undetectable at lower velocities than those from similarly sized, denser mineral particles, which are still detectable (although substantially altered by the impact process) at 15 km s-1. The survival of these terminal particles, together with the track dimensions obtained during low impact speed capture of small grains in the laboratory, indicates that two of the three best Stardust candidate extraterrestrial grains were actually captured at speeds much lower than predicted. Track length and diameters are, in general, more sensitive to impact velocities than previously expected, which makes tracks of particles with diameters of 0.4 lm and below hard to identify at low capture speeds (<10 km s-1). Therefore, although captured intact, the majority of the interstellar dust grains returned to Earth by Stardust remain to be found. © The Meteoritical Society, 2014. Source

Gainsforth Z.,University of California at Berkeley | Brenker F.E.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Simionovici A.S.,CNRS Institute of Earth Sciences | Schmitz S.,Goethe University Frankfurt | And 64 more authors.
Meteoritics and Planetary Science | Year: 2014

Using synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction measurements, we identified crystalline material in two particles of extraterrestrial origin extracted from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector. The first particle, I1047,1,34 (Hylabrook), consisted of a mosaiced olivine grain approximately 1 mm in size with internal strain fields up to 0.3%. The unit cell dimensions were a = 4.85 ± 0.08 Å, b = 10.34 ± 0.16 Å, c = 6.08 ± 0.13 Å (2σ). The second particle, I1043,1,30 (Orion), contained an olivine grain ≈ 2 μm in length and >500 nm in width. It was polycrystalline with both mosaiced domains varying over ≈ 20° and additional unoriented domains, and contained internal strain fields < 1%. The unit cell dimensions of the olivine were a = 4.76 ± 0.05 Å, b = 10.23 ± 0.10 Å, c = 5.99 ± 0.06 Å (2σ), which limited the olivine to a forsteritic composition [Fo65 (2σ). Orion also contained abundant spinel nanocrystals of unknown composition, but unit cell dimension a = 8.06 ± 0.08 Å (2σ). Two additional crystalline phases were present and remained unidentified. An amorphous component appeared to be present in both these particles based on STXM and XRF results reported elsewhere. © The Meteoritical Society, 2014. Source

De Bernardis P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Barbosa D.,Telecommunications Institute of Portugal | Giraud-Heraud Y.,APC Paris | Gervasi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 6 more authors.
EAS Publications Series | Year: 2010

We summarize the results of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) working group of the ARENA project. The focus has been on precision measurements of CMB polarization (looking for the echoes of cosmological inflation) and high angular resolution CMB measurements (looking for Sunyaev Zeldovich effect in distant clusters of Galaxies, to probe the evolution of the Universe, Dark Matter and Dark Energy). For both projects the Dome C site represents the best choice worldwide. © 2010 EAS, EDP Sciences. Source

Piat M.,University Paris Diderot | Battistelli E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Bau A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bennett D.,National University of Ireland | And 62 more authors.
Journal of Low Temperature Physics | Year: 2012

The primordial B-mode polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background is the imprints of the gravitational wave background generated by inflation. Observing the B-mode is up to now the most direct way to constrain the physics of the primordial Universe, especially inflation. To detect these B-modes, high sensitivity is required as well as an exquisite control of systematics effects. To comply with these requirements, we propose a new instrument called QUBIC (Q and U Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology) based on bolometric interferometry. The control of systematics is obtained with a close-packed interferometer while bolometers cooled to very low temperature allow for high sensitivity. We present the architecture of this new instrument, the status of the project and the self-calibration technique which allows accurate measurement of the instrumental systematic effects. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012. Source

Stroud R.M.,Washington Technology | Allen C.,NASA | Ansari A.,Robert itzker Center For Meteoritics And Polar Studies | Anderson D.,Space science Laboratory | And 65 more authors.
Meteoritics and Planetary Science | Year: 2014

The Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination team analyzed thirteen Al foils from the NASA Stardust interstellar collector tray in order to locate candidate interstellar dust (ISD) grain impacts. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images reveal that the foils possess abundant impact crater and crater-like features. Elemental analyses of the crater features, with Auger electron spectroscopy, SEM-based energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, and scanning transmission electron microscope-based EDX spectroscopy, demonstrate that the majority are either the result of impacting debris fragments from the spacecraft solar panels, or intrinsic defects in the foil. The elemental analyses also reveal that four craters contain residues of a definite extraterrestrial origin, either as interplanetary dust particles or ISD particles. These four craters are designated level 2 interstellar candidates, based on the crater shapes indicative of hypervelocity impacts and the residue compositions inconsistent with spacecraft debris. © The Meteoritical Society, 2014. Source

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