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Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination II: Curating the interstellar dust collector, picokeystones, and sources of impact tracks

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101012

Hoppe,  Peter
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101020

Huth,  Joachim
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101103

Leitner,  Jan
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Frank, D. R., Westphal, A. J., Zolensky, M. E., Gainsforth, Z., Butterworth, A. L., Bastien, R. K., et al. (2014). Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination II: Curating the interstellar dust collector, picokeystones, and sources of impact tracks. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 49(9), 1522-1547. doi:10.1111/maps.12147.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0025-691D-F
Abstract
We discuss the inherent difficulties that arise during "ground truth" characterization of the Stardust interstellar dust collector. The challenge of identifying contemporary interstellar dust impact tracks in aerogel is described within the context of background spacecraft secondaries and possible interplanetary dust particles and beta-meteoroids. In addition, the extraction of microscopic dust embedded in aerogel is technically challenging. Specifically, we provide a detailed description of the sample preparation techniques developed to address the unique goals and restrictions of the Interstellar Preliminary Exam. These sample preparation requirements and the scarcity of candidate interstellar impact tracks exacerbate the difficulties. We also illustrate the role of initial optical imaging with critically important examples, and summarize the overall processing of the collection to date.