Well we all are aware of the terms like comets, meteors, metorites, asteroids. Every year dust falls from collision of asteroids and comets, which are the visitors of Solar System. These Meteors are the fragments of rocks which arrive on the Earth and form shooting stars. But do you know some of these interplanetary dust particles reach the earth ground in the form of Micrometeorites.
Many of you must have become inquisitive know about what is ‘Micrometeorites’, so don’t be puzzled these Micrometeorites are also interplanetary dust particles that come from asteroids and comets, but they are very minute, these dust particles are less than tenths of hundredths of millimetres which have gone through atmosphere and came to earth’s surface.
Now imagine such tiny dust particles are even difficult in visibility and it is almost impossible to collect them. But this is made possible by Scientists from“ French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the University Paris-Saclay and the National Museum of Natural History with the support of French Polar Institute.” It took 20 years to conduct the researches and studies but finally reached the conclusion and detected that 5200 micrometeorites which are smaller than 700 micrometers shower on the earth.
How Micrometeorites were collected?
It’s a great accomplishment as Scientists were involved in gathering dust particles for more than two decades in Antarctica. As Earth’s atmosphere is filled with so much dust, sand and rocks due to fires, constructions, mining, volcanoes so it was difficult to recognize such interplanetary dust particles. So, the team moved towards Antarctica and six expeditions were executed by CNRS researcher Jean Durpat near Franco-Italian Concordia (Dome-C). Dome C is considered suitable place for collection of dust because of less hordes of snow and absence of common dust. Such voyage have accumulated sufficient extraterrestrial samples which is around 30- 200 micrometers in size to measure their yearly flux which is consistent to mass falls on Earth per square metre per year.
And if such conclusions are applied on whole earth, the total annual falls of micrometeorites constitutes 5200 tons per year. Thus this journey to Antarctica led to useful results. And such research proved that these micrometeorites probably come more from comets- 80% while the rest is released from asteroids.
Why the collection of dust is required?
These small and tiny dust particles are equipped with important information about our solar system. They contain large information about the activities of asteroids and comets. Whenever need arises these dust particles fulfil the requirement of water ,minerals and carbonaceous molecules of the earth.
Hence the expansive study conducted by combination of French Organizations which includes CNRS, University of Paris along with National Museum of Natural History and French Polar Institute over the last 20 years is highly beneficial for us as it provided us with essential findings. This whole study will be soon published in journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.