Cometary materials



Analyzing material returned from Comet 81P/Wild 2.

Shown above is a bright-field transmission electron microscope image of an ultrathin slice of the silicate material returned by the NASA Stardust Mission. A pyroxene grain (Px) occurs adjacent to amorphous material (Am) in one of the samples. The aerogel capture medium (Agel) occurs at the top of the image. A vesicular silica-rich glass (Vs) containing sulfides appears on the right side. The electron diffraction pattern (inset) comes from the pyroxene grain. Measurements such as these helped us understand the what Comet 81P is composed of and provided insight into how material was transported throughout the early solar system. For more information, see Leroux et al. (2008) in Tom Zega's publications. For moore information on Comet 81P/Wild 2, see Zolensky et al. (2006; 2008) and Brownlee et al. (2006) in the publication list.