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Cosmic dust in- and outside of the solar system

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Interstellar dust from the local interstellar cloud moves through the heliosphere due to the relative motion of the solar system with respect to its immediate interstellar surroundings. Once in the solar system, its properties can be measured in situ by cosmic dust detectors on spacecraft, or they can be captured and brought back to the Earth for further laboratory analysis.

Inside the solar system, dust from comets, dust ejected from (atmosphereless) planetary surfaces or dust coming from subsurface oceans (e.g. Enceladus) and from volcanoes (e.g. Io), are carriers of valuable information about the history of the solar system and about the interiors of these moons today.

In this talk, we introduce the small but surprisingly rich field of in situ cosmic dust science: the science cases, measurement techniques, calibrations, and simulations. We show how in situ dust science and heliospheric sciences go hand in hand, and we finish with a discussion on current and near-future missions and mission concepts for dust research.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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