Simulator Successfully recreates space dust

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The Real Nerd Herd

Scientists now are able to recreate and study in the laboratory dust grains similar to the grains that form in the outer layers of dying stars.
 Scanning Electron Microscope image of a large aggregate of nanograins Scanning Electron Microscope image of a large aggregate of nanograins produced in the Cosmic Simulation Chamber.
Scanning Electron Microscope image of a large (approximately 1.5 micrometer diameter) aggregate of nanograins produced in the Cosmic Simulation Chamber at NASA’s Ames Research Center, using a 95 percent Ar – 5% C2H2 gas mixture. The nanograins and aggregates are deposited onto ultra-high vacuum aluminum foil.
NASA/Ames/Farid Salama
A team of scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, has successfully reproduced, right here on Earth, the processes that occur in the atmosphere of a red giant star and lead to the formation of planet-forming interstellar dust.

Using a specialized facility, called the Cosmic Simulation Chamber (COSmIC) designed and built at Ames, scientists now are able to recreate…

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