Dusty!

Ever heard of space dust?  It’s not hard to imagine that there is a lot of it out there floating among the stars.  Often referred to as “meteoric dust”, it’s even smaller than the typical dust particles you think of on earth (which primarily consist of dead human skin).  Meteoric particles are roughly the size of smoke molecules and scientist recently discovered that the Earth gathers quite a bit of this dust every day.

By quite a bit I mean around 60 tons per day (though accurate estimates are difficult to calculate).  Like some kind of celestial dust bunny, the Earth gathers this beneficial material, and as it falls towards the planet it helps to build up clouds in the atmosphere as well as fertilize plankton in the Antarctic region.

The source of this dust is primarily a result of asteroid collisions as well as evaporating material when one of these objects gets too close to a star.  While the amount of dust collecting on Earth seems like a lot, in comparison to the mass of the planet, it’s merely a fraction of a percent.

Space dust.  Cool.

 

References

http://www.popsci.com/60-tons-cosmic-dust-fall-earth-every-day

 

http://www.universetoday.com/94392/getting-a-handle-on-how-much-cosmic-dust-hits-earth/

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