NASA Simulator successfully Recreated Space Dust

May 13, 2014 16:16 IST

Scientists of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California have reproduced the processes that occur in the atmosphere of the red giant star and lead to the formation of planet-forming interstellar dust. The complete work was performed on Earth itself and the information of reproduction of the process was notified by NASA in its release of 7 May 2014.

The processes that occur in the atmosphere of the red giant star were reproduced by using a specialized facility called the Cosmic Simulation Chamber (COSmIC). The facility COSmIC has been designed and built at Ames and it allows scientists to recreate and study dust grains similar to the grains that form in the outer layers of dying stars in the laboratory.

With this facility the Scientists have planned to use the dust to gather clues to better understand the composition and the evolution of the universe.

Scientists in their study found the materials which make up the building blocks of the universe are much more complicated than it was originally anticipated.

Steps of the experimental work 
The team of scientists the process of work started with small hydrocarbon molecules which were expanded in the cold jet spray in COSmIC and then exposed them to high energy in an electric discharge. Further, they detected and characterized the large molecules that were formed in the gas phase from these precursor molecules with highly sensitive detectors. Then these precursor molecules were collected the individual solid grains formed from these complex molecules and imaged using Ames' Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).

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