The Earth grows fatter every day, snowed under by a continuous microscopic flurry of space specks. Now scientists think space dust may hold the clues to which stars parented our solar system

By Hannah Holmes
Sep 1, 2001 5:00 AMNov 12, 2019 5:20 AM


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Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., from The Secret Life of Dust: From the Cosmos to the Kitchen Counter, the Big Consequences of Little Things. © 2001 by Hannah Holmes.

The permission that was granted to Discover to post this article online has now expired. Please see the print version of the article, or see the book listed above. The publisher's Web page for the book is 0,,0471377430,00.html.

To learn more about NASA's Stardust mission, which is slated to encounter comet Wild 2 in January 2004, visit

NASA maintains an excellent astromaterials site filled with photos and information on space dust, meteorites, and moon rocks.

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