NASA’s Stardust spacecraft launched in 1999 on a Discovery class mission to collect dust samples from the coma of the comet Wild-2 and samples of interstellar dust passing through our solar system, and return them to Earth for analysis. When the sample return capsule landed in Utah in 2006, it became the first successful mission to bring back samples from beyond the Earth-Moon system.

Studies of the returned samples showed that the comet, which is thought to have formed in the outer parts of our solar system, contained materials that formed throughout the forming planetary system, including materials that were made very near the Sun. In this lecture, Scott Sandford from NASA Ames Research Center, will discuss this surprising result, which indicates that the protoplanetary nebula from which our planetary system formed must have been an extremely turbulent environment that mixed materials throughout the nebula.

This program will be presented in-person in the Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in DC and will be streamed live on YouTube. 

ASL Interpretation will be provided and live captioning on YouTube. If you require another access service to fully participate or have any questions about accessibility, please contact [email protected]. To ensure the best experience, please try to contact us at your soonest convenience.

Lecture attendees are invited to arrive early at 7 pm to explore the second-floor galleries of the Museum, including the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery (where the Stardust return capsule is on display) and Destination Moon, prior to the lecture.

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April 24, 2024 @ 8:00 pm
April 24, 2024 @ 9:00 pm


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