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E. Gruen, H. Krueger, R. Srama (MPI-Kernphysik), S. Auer (A&M Associates), L. Colangeli (AOC), M. Horanyi, P. Withnell (LASP), J. Kissel (MPI-Ex), M. Landgraf (ESOC), H. Svedhem (ESTEC)
Dust particles in space carry information about their birth at a remote site in space and time not accessible to direct investigation. When we know where dust particles come from, we can derive from their state and composition important knowledge about the processes by which they were formed and by which they may have been altered on their way to us. This information can be gained by a combination of trajectory analysis together with physical and chemical analysis of the dust particles. Potential targets of a dust telescope are interstellar dust phenomena (e.g. local interstellar medium or dusty star systems like beta-pictoris), interplanetary phenomena (e.g. meteor stream dust, cometary, or asteroidal dust or dust from the moon), or even space debris (e.g. fine grains from solid rocket burns). A state-of-the-art dust telescope consists of an array of parallel mounted dust analyzers and consists of several instruments sharing a common impact plane of 1 square meter in size and has an aperture of approximately 50 deg. opening angle. Potential components are a high resolution impact mass spectrometer, a dust analyzer for the determination of physical and chemical dust properties, and large-area impact detectors with trajectory analysis. Accurate trajectory analysis is accomplished by measurement of the dust electric charge.
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