The Importance of Cosmic Dust
Cosmic dust is by definition to be considered all the dust in the cosmos. What makes this matter so special or rather so different from the rest of the material of our universe? Cosmic dust can be considered intergalactic dust, interstellar dust, or even “Star Dust”.
What is really interesting however, is that in October of 2011, scientists discovered that cosmic dust contains complex organic matter. This discovery alone has the potential to unravel our socio economic norms as we know them. This means that all life that we know of may have originated from the very same materials that is contained in the very stars themselves. What if the stars were alive in a very different state? Possibly an absurd question but never forget that there are many secrets to the universe we have not discovered yet.
Cosmic dust for a long period of time was considered a real nuisance for astronomers trying to observe the universe. The cosmic dust was constantly blocking the views of telescopes thereby hiding all the objects of interest behind them. Think of it as a smudge on your glasses that was very visible but wouldn’t go away. This all began to change when scientists began to employ infrared astronomy. When scientists began to observe that some stars explode violently at their end of the life cycle (Nova, and Super Nova’s respectively), scientists viewpoints began to dramatically change. They began to realize that much of this material known as Star Dust, was present on Earth and abundant throughout other planets in our solar system itself. This led scientists to conclude that many of the materials including much of our metals and especially those higher on the periodic table were once formed from the stars themselves.
Scientists began to observe Cosmic Dust in a much different light following these events. When they began specifically looking at larger clouds of cosmic dust they begun to discover a whole array of new possibilities. One significance being the very birth of stars themselves. The fuel the stars were using to create fusion was from the cosmic dust itself. The discoveries began pouring in from there on. They noticed that these clouds occasionally formed “miniature stars”, and all of this was generated from this cosmic dust. Many times the multiple stars would form from a single large cloud of cosmic dust and when this happened the stars would then begin to eat one another in a game of cosmic bullying. Even stranger events were observed. In other cases you would have binary stars rotating each other violently. Producing radiation on scales that even today we could never fully measure.
Stars, super nova’s, and even black holes; the point of origin is always a giant cloud of cosmic dust. The very fabric the universe is built from. Some speculate that this dust is left over residue from the big bang. We may never know in our lifetimes. One thing is for sure though, that space is a topic that will constantly amaze all of us with its wonders and horrors.
Stay tuned on my blog for more information and future updates.
You can find out more information about cosmic dust from this recent article.
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