View Full Version : Interstellar Particles Reproduced in the Lab

2006-Feb-15, 05:42 PM
SUMMARY: A team of French scientists have successfully recreated the structure of primitive interstellar particles in their laboratory. This material is a silicate glass that contains embedded metal and suphides, and astronomers believe it's created in protostellar nebulae. The team heated up particles of olivine under high vacuum and temperatures ranging between 500 to 700ºC, and the resulting material closely matched this interstellar dust. This helps scientists understand some of the processes that occur in stellar nebulae.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/gems_reproduced.html)
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2006-Feb-16, 02:55 PM
It will be interesting to compare these gems with the spectrum of Deep Impact, and the grains recovered by Stardust. If they are similar, there is a good argument that comets are cosmic mops sweeping up cosmic dust. (Since olivine was detected in the Deep Impact spectra, this is already a good argument.)

Notice that in the silicate, the spectral bands of iron completely disappear. So which discovery best explains the 'missing metals'? - this one, or the article about the cloud containing metal found in front of a quasar?

2006-Feb-19, 03:02 PM
Olivine is a mineral that is stable within a temperature range in which cometary bodies like Tempel 1 exists. Such, Deep Impact was able to detect olivine from the spectra of the debris cloud from the crash on Tempel 1, but no insterstellar dust particles with a GEMS structure.

We should be aware that the best vacuum we are able to create is a billion times denser than the vacuum in space. It is difficult to say whether the results from the lab can be completely transferred to what really happens or happened in space.

The process desribed in the article may explain why carbon monoxide can be found in interstellar dust clouds.

There may be more than one process possible by which iron compounds may be reduced to iron metal, we have just got the means to detect the first ones yet.