Pluto’s small satellites have very low escape velocities, which means that dust kicked up by impacts has a relatively easy time of escaping rather than settling back down to the little moon’s surface. Today’s paper looks at the fates of that dust.
By sending a chamber of dust on a suborbital ballistic rocket, the authors of this paper hope to find out how planetesimals form.
Spectroscopy with Herschel can probe the dust in the heart of protoplanetary disks through the 69 micron feature of forsterite. Examining these features in detail reveals that the dust grains are small, iron poor, and confined to narrow rings.
Dust is really ubiquitous in the Universe: it is everywhere from our Solar System to stars and the interstellar medium. However, the observations of dust in galaxies fall short of the prediction of how much dust there is in the Universe. In this work, the authors try to alleviate this problem by estimating the amount of dust present in clouds of gas that inhabit galaxy halos while they look for clues regarding the origin of these clouds.
Paper Title: Comet-Like Mineralogy of Olivine Crystals in an Extrasolar Proto-Kuiper Belt (arxiv: 1211.2626) Authors: B. L. de Vries et al First Author’s Affiliation: K. U. Leuven, Flanders, Belgium Journal: Nature Overview This paper describes observations of the mineral olivine in the famous debris disk surrounding the star Beta Pictoris. Olivine is very important as […]
Could the strange transit-light signature seen in the light curve of a Kepler target be caused by a transiting dust cloud?
The current and next generation of large scale spectroscopic surveys could provide new clues in the hunt for the carriers producing mysterious interstellar absorption features.
The zodiacal light may look beautiful, but it can get in the way of important observations. This paper suggests improvements to models of the dust cloud using observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
The low-mass primitive halo star, SDSS J102915+172927, puzzled astronomers because of it’s extremely low metal content. This article aims to answer under what physical conditions can a star like this form.