Using comet samples, scientists can learn more about the formation of the solar system. Using cometary dust collected by NASA's Stardust mission in 2006, these particles originate from the beginning of the solar system.
These samples could provide more data from this period and give a greater indication of how it came about. 19659003] The current knowledge about the beginning of the solar system is scarce. So far, it is known that at the beginning of the solar system there was only an early protosolar disk of gas and dust, which eventually became the solar system. Comet Dust was collected by Comet 81P / Wild, also known as Wild 2.
Wild 2 came from the Kuiper Belt, which is beyond Neptune's orbit. Scientists do not have many samples of objects from the Kuiper Belt. This is a comparison of the amount of material collected from meteoroid asteroids and from the moon collected by the Apollo missions.
Material from further out in the solar system is more primitive, according to Andrew Westphal, who wrote a paper on the importance of stardust research. He emphasizes that cometary material has been frozen for 4.6 billion years. This allows the scientists to gather more information to get a picture of what the solar system looked like in its early years.
One of the more important aspects of this study is to determine if the water found in Wild 2 was found on comets is different from the water that is found on Earth. Evidence shows that water on comets has a variable ratio of deuterium to hydrogen.
This means that the water that exists on Earth has not been released by comets. It is speculated that they were asteroids responsible for transporting water to Earth. Scientists want to explore more comets coming from the Kuiper Belt to get a better picture of the source of the water.
Researchers could not find molecules with low boiling points, such as water. Such molecules did not survive being trapped in the airgel and aluminum foil collector used to collect the comet dust.
To search for water in space dust, scientists searched for phyllosilicates. These are clays that are able to retain water in them. The scientists found no phyllosilicates.