Cosmic dust catalog
The Cosmic dust catalog is an internal resource of the SBDN, since we have internally developed original services to access this catalogs.
NASA's Cosmic dust catalog 15 and 18 have been joined to obtain this service. 467 (from catalog 15) plus 957 (from catalog 18) dust grains with their main characteristics, images and X-ray spectra are listed. Not only cosmic dust particles are listed, but also terrestrial contamination (natural), terrestrial contamination (artificial) and aluminium oxide spheres.
Currently, the available services are:
- A browser based data access service to easily browse and search inside the catalog
- An EPN-TAP based service to demonstrate the IVOA Virtual Observatory approach
Description and details of the catalogs
Dust grains have been collected on January-February and June-July 1994, during 51.8 hours of stratospheric (20 km of altitude) exposure, with large area (300 cm2) dust collectors mounted on a NASA ER-2 aircraft.
The grains have been analyzed with a scanning electron microscope, equipped with a Si(Li) detector and PGT 4000T analyzer for X ray energy-dispersive spectrometry. A spectrum in the 0-10 KeV range for each particle has been obtained and its picture (not its data) published.
Cosmic dust catalog volume 15: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/dust/cdcat15/ParticleList.cfm
Cosmic dust catalog volume 15 guide: curator.jsc.nasa.gov/dust/cdcat15/index.cfm
Cosmic dust catalog 18
Dust grains have been collected on November-December 1983, June-July 2008, April-May 2009, MAy 2010 and June 2010, during 153.1 hours of stratospheric (20 km of altitude) exposure, with large area dust collectors mounted on NASA ER-2 and WB-57F aircraft.
The grains have been analyzed with a scanning electron microscope and an analyzer for X ray energy-dispersive spectrometry. A spectrum in the 0-10 KeV range for each particle has been obtained and its picture (not its data) published.
Cosmic dust catalog volume 18 main page: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/dust/cdcat18/index.cfm
Guide on dust grains properties
NASA's guides are sufficient for one who wants to understand data and know how they have been obtained, except for two attributes of the dust grains: transparency and luster
People who are not familiar with mineralogy could be mislead or not sure about the values these attributes can assume, so a little explanation is given
- Transparent: Light passes through in straight lines
- Translucent: Some of the light passes but it is scattered, so one cannot clearly see through
- Opaque: Light is blocked
- Dull (D): material with low reflectance, usually due to raw superficial granulation. Its surface has often a certain degree of porosity
- Metallic (M): material with very high reflectance, opaque, similar to polished metal
- Submetallic (SM): material with lower reflectance than metallic, opaque
- Vitreous (V): material with high reflectance, transparent or translucent, looking like glass
- Subvitreous (SV): material slightly duller than vitreous
- Resinous (R): material with medium reflectance, translucent, looking like resin
- Pearly (P): material with the look of a pearl, generally caused by thin superficial layers interacting with light
- Oily (O): material with the look of an oily surface