Presentation Title

Cosmic Dust Collection on Campus Rooftops

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Miriam Hartman

Start Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 3:15 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 45

Session

Poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

physical_mathematical_sciences

Abstract

Our research focuses on identifying and classifying potential micrometeorite candidates from a collection of samples taken on the Pasadena City College campus. The study of micrometeorites is valuable in that it helps us to understand their parent bodies which may reveal information about the history of our solar system. Micrometeorite samples have been conventionally collected in environments where terrestrial contamination is limited, such as areas within Antarctic ice. However, recent research shows that micrometeorites can also be collected in urban environments that experience little disturbance, such as gutters and rooftops. Our sample comprises 4.96 g of magnetic particles collected from the rooftop of one of our campus buildings using a neodymium magnet. We then sorted the samples by size, using a series of sieves; and through visual examination, under a binocular microscope. Our sorting process involved re-visiting samples multiple times as our knowledge of how to identify potential candidates through surface features progressed. We moved on to sorting our potential candidates, by shared factors of shape and texture. We currently have over 200 potential micrometeorites. Most of our candidates are of spherical shape with varying size, color, and texture. Our research will ultimately lead us to analyze our most promising candidates with a scanning electron microscope to better examine surface features and learn about their chemical composition. With this process, we ultimately hope to identify micrometeorites found on our college campus.

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Nov 18th, 2:15 PM Nov 18th, 3:15 PM

Cosmic Dust Collection on Campus Rooftops

BSC-Ursa Minor 45

Our research focuses on identifying and classifying potential micrometeorite candidates from a collection of samples taken on the Pasadena City College campus. The study of micrometeorites is valuable in that it helps us to understand their parent bodies which may reveal information about the history of our solar system. Micrometeorite samples have been conventionally collected in environments where terrestrial contamination is limited, such as areas within Antarctic ice. However, recent research shows that micrometeorites can also be collected in urban environments that experience little disturbance, such as gutters and rooftops. Our sample comprises 4.96 g of magnetic particles collected from the rooftop of one of our campus buildings using a neodymium magnet. We then sorted the samples by size, using a series of sieves; and through visual examination, under a binocular microscope. Our sorting process involved re-visiting samples multiple times as our knowledge of how to identify potential candidates through surface features progressed. We moved on to sorting our potential candidates, by shared factors of shape and texture. We currently have over 200 potential micrometeorites. Most of our candidates are of spherical shape with varying size, color, and texture. Our research will ultimately lead us to analyze our most promising candidates with a scanning electron microscope to better examine surface features and learn about their chemical composition. With this process, we ultimately hope to identify micrometeorites found on our college campus.