Don’t peek at the answer until you’ve given this a good try! Then, scroll down a bit and the truth will be revealed to you.
Photo Credit: ESA, NASA
What in the world is it?
An electron microscopic image of a scratch on a piece of glass? a needle in a haystack. Hmmm. Well, this little “scratch” is actually very little. In fact, it’s about a little more than 5 hundredths of an inch long. But what caused the scratch is what’s amazing.
What you see here is the trail of an interplanetary dust particle — a meteoroid — through aerogel exposed to space by the shuttle launched European Recoverable Carrier spacecraft. The meteoroid itself, about a thousandth of an inch in diameter, is visible where it came to rest, just beyond the tip of the track at far right.When NASA scientists studied other particles like this one, they found them to be little bits of comets. If true, these particles represent samples of material from the early stages of the formation of the Solar System.