Interplanetary Dust - Its Physical Nature and Entry into the Atmosphere of Terrestrial Planets

  • D. E. Brownlee
Part of the Proceedings of the College Park Colloquia book series (PCPC, volume 5)


Studies of extraterrestrial particles collected in the stratosphere and from the sea floor indicate that the majority of interplanetary dust is a black, fine grained material similar to carbonaceous chondrites but different from known meteorites in mineralogy and structure. If the analyzed samples are typical interplanetary particles then they are probably cometary materials similar to the vast numbers of cometary particles which have continuously entered the Earth’s atmosphere for the lifetime of the solar system. If comets do not contain large strong rocks capable of producing conventional meteorites then dust is the only form in which organic materials from comets can be accreted by the Earth.


Terrestrial Planet Interplanetary Medium Carbonaceous Chondrite Fine Grained Material Planetary Atmosphere 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. E. Brownlee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of WashingtonUSA

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