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Old 12-18-2016, 07:17 PM   #1
Potemkin
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Default Collecting ancient space dust

Sometime in the past, I posted that as a grade school science experiment you could place a magnet in the down wash of a gutter and collect small iron meteorites. I have about 1/2 oz now.

Here is a guy who is not only doing it he is doing it big time. But he isn't getting dust from the formation of the solar system.

He went through 660lbs as an amateur !

A collaborating scientist said

Quote:
"Imagine somebody who has been sending you pictures every other week of something, and every time you look at them, you're like 'no, no, no, that's not it' and then after 5 years they send you a picture and it actually is the thing that you're looking for... that was the moment I went 'oh, my God! I should pay more attention to this guy!'" Genge added.
I am going to have to put my sample under a microscope. I am going to have to empty my rain barrel. I must have 2 inches of roof debris in there.

University press release here http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandev...-2016-16-46-10


MSM article here

Ancient Space Dust Washes Up in Rooftop Gutters

Through dogged determination, Jon Larsen has become driven to find space particles, which date back to when our sun was a baby, in the urban sediment that collects in the guttering of building rooftops. And, after he convinced a British planetary scientist to study his findings, years of work have finally paid off.
In 2011, Larsen reached out to Matthew Genge, of Imperial College London, with his plan to find dust particles in this seemingly unlikely place. Though distinguishing space particles from the zoo of man-made dust particles in a city environment was considered too difficult, the hurdle didn't deter Larsen.

"It was an amateur scientist, a chap called Jon Larsen who's actually quite a well-known jazz musician in Norway, who got interested in this and started collecting all the debris that ends up in the gutter," Genge told Seeker. After going through the debris found in the roof guttering from buildings in Oslo, Paris and Berlin, Larsen would send photos of interesting particles he'd find to Genge and, despite his pessimism that Larsen would ever uncover this unlikely quarry, he eventually struck gold.

RELATED: Robots That Have Collected Interstellar Dust

Now, with Genge's assistance, the pair have identified hundreds of particles that fell from space and have origins dating back to the birth of the solar system. Larsen documents his micrometeorite discoveries as part of Project Stardust.

"Imagine somebody who has been sending you pictures every other week of something, and every time you look at them, you're like 'no, no, no, that's not it' and then after 5 years they send you a picture and it actually is the thing that you're looking for... that was the moment I went 'oh, my God! I should pay more attention to this guy!'" Genge added.

"He's put in so much work. He went through 300 kilograms [660 lb] of sediment from gutters. That's pretty incredible."

As described in research published in the journal Geology, the duo identified 500 particles of dust that originate from asteroids and comets. But finding these cosmic artifacts in the dirt was just the beginning; their research has revealed some profound science about the space dust that is falling onto our heads right at this moment and could add another layer to our understanding about the building blocks of planets.

More http://www.seeker.com/space-particle...135447991.html
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:36 PM   #2
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I have to keep reminding myself - until fairly recently, some of our most paradigm changing scientific finds have been made by amateur, (untrained) scientists who dared to have different theories, found new ways to experiment.

Great article - thanx.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:56 AM   #3
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Ooops... should have kept clear of this thread. I harvest 4 cubic metres of rain water. Excess water over flows from top of the tanks, lotsa sludge collects at the bottom. Think I'll collect some of that when I do the next spring clean.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:45 AM   #4
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Here in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida just completed a "State-of-the Art" meteorite collection site. The facility is located on campus and is a dome shaped system covering several acres. It is painted steel. I think it became operational this last weekend as there was some sort of ceremony.

It is called the O'Connell Center.




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Old 12-19-2016, 01:25 PM   #5
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I did this same experiment in High School as part of a class in Earth Science. Collecting meteorite dust..,

Fun.

Old things suddenly become new again.
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