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Paper: Cometary Dust: Ancient Interstellar Dust in the Solar System?
Volume: 309, Astrophysics of Dust
Page: 285
Authors: Hanner, M.S.
Abstract: In situ sampling, remote spectroscopy, and analysis of interplanetary dust particles show that cometary dust is an unequilibrated, heterogeneous mixture of crystalline and glassy silicates, organic refractory material, iron sulfide, and other minor components. The relatively low temperatures in regions of cometesimal formation in the solar nebula imply that intact interstellar (IS) grains could have been incorporated into comet nuclei. But what characteristics distinguish ancient IS dust from solar nebula condensates in cometary dust? With the return of cometary and IS dust samples from NASA's Stardust mission less than 3 years away and improved laboratory techniques for analyzing interplanetary dust particles at the submicron level, this question is very relevant. In this paper, current knowledge of cometary dust is summarized and the possible IS origin of the various dust components is discussed.
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