Stardust space capsule is home now. It came back capturing samples of interstellar dusts.
ok, I not an astronomer and not interested in interstellar dusts.
But there is one thing I fancy in that Stardust spacecraft.
It is aerogel. Aerogel is a strange material used in Stardust to capture very small interstellar and cometary particles.
It is semi-elastic but if the elastic limit is exceeded, it will shatter like glass.
It is ligher than air.
It looks like a hologram when you hold it.
Though with a ghostly appearance like an hologram, aerogel is very solid. It feels like hard styrofoam to the touch.
It is a good thermal insulator.
photo illustrating the excellent insulating properties of aerogel. The matches on top of the aerogel are protected from the flame underneath.
A 2.5 kg brick is supported on top of a piece of aerogel weighing only 2 grams
Interested???? Read more in the following links and see the photos in high resolution. It cool.
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