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Cosmic dust

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Porous chondrite interplanetary dust

Cosmic dust (also known as star dust and space dust) is a type of dust. It is very small crystals sent out from stars.[1][2]

It is formed when a star, such as the Sun, sends out atoms.[1][2] Some of the atoms become ions by gaining or losing electrons and becoming negatively and positively charged.[1][2] These oppositely charged ions form an ionic bond, sticking together in tiny crystals,[1][2] a few thousand nanometres across,[1] to form cosmic dust.[1][2]

Cosmic dust is split into further types of dust, based on the dust's location.[3] These types include intergalactic dust, which can be found between galaxies,[1][3] interstellar dust, found between stars,[1][3] circumplanetary dust, which can be found around planets and in planetary rings[1][3] and interplanetary dust, which can be found between planets.[3]

The coming together of large amounts of dust over time leads to the creation of planets, the Earth, for example.[1][2][4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "What is cosmic dust?", How it Works (Imagine Publishing) (22): 58, 2011-06-16
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Cosmic Dust". Penny Press. 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "What is Cosmic Dust?". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  4. "Cosmic dust". Herschel Space Observatory. Retrieved 2011-08-18.