5,200 tons of extraterrestrial dust fall to Earth every year

About 5,200 tons of interplanetary dust passes through our atmosphere each year and collides with Earth, according to CNRS.

It This dust is from comets or asteroids Which, upon entering the atmosphere, gives rise to shooting stars.


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This dust reaches the ground in the form Micrometeorite. This is a phenomenon that has always been present, but has yet to be identified. Most of the time, small particles, ranging from a few tenths to fractions of a millimeter, pass through the atmosphere and make it to the surface of the Earth.

It is harvested mainly in Antarctica

For Collect and analyze these tiny meteorites, Numerous expeditions have been made over the past twenty years near the French-Italian research station Concordia (Dome C), just over a thousand kilometers off the coast of Terre Adélie. In the heart of Antarctica. It is a collection site preferred by scientists due to the actual absence of earth dust.

By bringing the results of these clusters to the entire planet, he estimates the total annual influx of fine meteorites 5200 tons per year. This is much more than large objects, such as meteors, whose flow is estimated to be around ten tons per year.


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These results are the result of a long international program led by scientists from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the University of Paris-Saclay and the National Museum of Natural History with the support of the French Polar Institute. The full study will be published in Earth & Planetary Science Letters on April 15.

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