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Our home planet encounters dust from comets and asteroids. Pixabay

Every year, over 5,000 tonnes of extraterrestrial dust fall to Earth each year, scientists have determined. Our home planet encounters dust from comets and asteroids. These interplanetary dust particles pass through our atmosphere and give rise to shooting stars. Some of them reach the ground in the form of micrometeorites.

Micrometeorites have always fallen on our planet. These interplanetary dust particles from comets or asteroids are particles of a few tenths to hundredths of a millimeter that have passed through the atmosphere and reached the Earth’s surface.


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An international program conducted for nearly 20 years by scientists from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Universite Paris-Saclay, and the National museum of natural history with the support of the French polar institute, has determined how much of these micrometeorites reach the ground.


These interplanetary dust particles from comets or asteroids are particles. Pixabay

To collect and analyze these micrometeorites, six expeditions led by CNRS researcher Jean Duprat have taken place over the last two decades near the Franco-Italian Concordia station (Dome C), which is located 1,100 kilometers off the coast of Adelie Land, in the heart of Antarctica. Dome C is an ideal collection spot due to the low accumulation rate of snow and the near absence of terrestrial dust.

ALSO READ: Where Did Earth Get Its Carbon From?

These expeditions have collected enough extraterrestrial particles (ranging from 30 to 200 micrometers in size), to measure their annual flux, which corresponds to the mass accreted on Earth per square meter per year. If these results are applied to the whole planet, the total annual flux of micrometeorites represents 5,200 tonnes per year, according to the study which will be available in the journal Earth & Planetary Science Letters from April 15.

This is the main source of extraterrestrial dust on our planet, far ahead of larger objects such as meteorites, for which the flux is less than ten tonnes per year. A comparison of the flux of micrometeorites with theoretical predictions confirms that most micrometeorites probably come from comets (80 percent) and the rest from asteroids. The results could help scientists better understand the role played by interplanetary dust particles in supplying water and carbonaceous molecules on the young Earth. (IANS/SP)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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