Flyby missions to comets and return sample analysis

Donald E. Brownlee, Benton C. Clark, Michael F. A'Hearn, Jessica M. Sunshine, Tomoki Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


mages from flyby missions show comets to be geomorphically diverse bodies that spew jets of gas, dust, and rocks into space. Comet surfaces differ from other small bodies because of their ejection of mass into space. Comet solids >2 μm are similar to primitive meteorite ingredients and include the highest temperature materials made in the early solar system. The presence of these materials in ice-rich comets is strong evidence for large-scale migration of solid grains in the early solar system. Cometary silicates appear to have formed in numerous hot solar system regions. Preserved interstellar grains are rare, unless they have eluded identification by having solar isotopic compositions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr


  • Asteroid
  • Comet
  • Cosmic dust
  • Interstellar
  • Isotope
  • Meteorite
  • Spacecraft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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