Cosmic dust

Cosmic dust particles from pulverized asteroids containing water-rich minerals survive atmospheric entry better than dry particles, according to researchers from Imperial College London, UK. During the descent through the Earth's atmosphere, this type of cosmic dust melts forming a magma within which any trapped water is quickly superheated causing the magma to become frothy and so less dense and more buoyant. The survival of water cosmic dust in this way may have been skewing our studies of the solar system as dry dust from water-bereft asteroids. "Cosmic dust provides us with direct evidence of events that may have happened in our solar system billions of years ago," explains IC's Matthew Genge. "Scientists now need to take [our finding] into consideration when they are re-constructing ancient cosmic events or trying to develop a more accurate picture of the geological make-up of our solar system."