Discover tiny particles of interstellar dust that were returned to Earth by a spacecraft after it had encountered a comet in outer space. These micron-sized particles of interstellar dust came from distant stars and are the very first of their kind to be collected in space and returned to Earth. The particles were captured using aerogel, an unusually lightweight solid material that’s good at capturing small particles at high speeds. Stardust@home needs volunteers from all over the world to scour images captured by a microscope of the aerogel (and the surrounding aluminum foil) to find these tiny elusive particles that are embedded within it.

(image by Gregg Ruppel)