Talk:Cosmic dust

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What atoms is it made of?[edit]

As an astronomer beginner with school science training, I expected this article to tell me what star dust is actually made of. Which atoms or molecules? Which isotopes of them? If it can be a huge variety, what is that variety? It isn't particularly clear that it even is made of atoms rather than fundamental particles in some other form.

This made it a really frustrating article! I'm reading it while getting background info while reading a kids book about how stars are made. I'd already learnt more about deuterium, which is a freaky thing from a day to day point of view (heavy water!). So I expect this star dust to be freaky too by default, plus I have no idea what dust on earth is made of.

In short, the opening sentence defining "star dust" as being "all dust in the cosmos" is completely unhelpful if you don't know what "dust" means in an astronomical context! It isn't the same as house dust, right, as that is made of human skin :) Francis Irving (talk)

Cosmic dust is mostly small pieces of rock and ice. That would include things that rock and ice are made of - hydrogen, oxygen, silicon, iron, nickel, etc. There are many more, but just think of all the elements in rock on Earth. Jsaur (talk) 15:35, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Space dust[edit]

A collection methods section is useful (I have text for that too), however I see no references in the space dust article for the images. I can guess, but I think that is the author's responsibility to put references for the sources before anyone tries to merge that article into this one.

If one merges the space dust article, please be careful. That article contains inaccuracies, for example, that there are only three kinds of dust. (In fact, there are as many kinds of cosmic dust as there are locations in space.)


Seems like a good idea. I'll go ahead and do it when I get the chance, unless I hear otherwise. --Guinnog 00:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Merge result[edit]

There was a large number of conceptual errors from the merge result related to type of cosmic dust and their locations, and an unbalanced amount of information reflecting the variety of dust collection efforts (past 40 years and into the future) and the author who made the merge still did not give references for the images. I corrected these and tried to make the new dust detection section more balanced. However, I do not think that the new images from the merge should be in this article without a complete reference to the source of the image and a full description.Amara 21:57, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Anybody ever wonder how these new viruses pop up on earth?

Yes, but I'd bet my first-born child it's not because of cosmic dust. Stebbins 21:19, 26 November 2006 (UTC)


I've been a reader of wikipedia for sometime and thought I would start contributing to show my support. I'm an astronomer in the field of interstellar dust and thought this would be a good place to start. The cosmic dust article is interesting, but seems like it could use a bit of work to make it more balanced and accurate. I would propose that the cosmic dust article would be best as a broad summary of the dust found in space (interplanetary, interstellar, circumstellar, and intergalactic dust cover pretty much all types of cosmic dust) and then there could be separate pages for each type of dust. The current cosmic dust article is dominated by information about interplanetary dust and splitting this topic into four catagories would make it easier to manage. Does this sound like a good idea? I would propose to start by creating an interstellar dust page (which would describe dust found between stars). After this, it would be best to revise the cosmic dust page moving material to subpages (interplanetary dust, circumstellar dust, and intergalactic dust) and then working on the subpages. Does this sound ok? Comments? Objections? Random musings? Karl D. Gordon 15:11, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Dear Karl Gordon: I'm an astronomer in the field of interplanetary dust, and I wrote 95% of this page. About errors: this article has a long history from 10 years ago (, so if there are errors, I think it is because of new discoveries that I have not had time to incorporate. Do you see something in particular that you think is wrong? A few months ago someone's merging introduced many errors that I corrected, and my references have been messed up by frequent robots, so yes, thank you, I could use some help. About your focus, I tried to emphasize that dust is characterized by where it is found (for example, I wrote a Wikipedia comet dust page, but I have not had time to incorporate the Stardust results of the last few years), but I'm happy to have someone help and make it clearer. Please Edit away! Amara 08:12, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll work on a new interstellar dust entry. Once this is done I'll put it in place of the current redirect and then we can see what the best way is to reorganize the cosmic dust page to reflect this (and the possible addition of other dust pages - see my previous comment). This will likely take me few weeks/months as I would like to do a good job. I've also been working on updating the interstellar extinction entry to go along with a new interstellar dust article. Karl D. Gordon 14:35, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

YIPES..There is a new Stardust section that someone added which is very confusing to the reader. Karl, when you get to the interstellar dust, could you edit? this 'Stardust' section and incorporate what fits for interstellar dust. Amara

Dust lanes[edit]

Is it possible to create an article stub just on Dust lanes; I think that the term can be independent enough to merit a stub. I am unsure how to request said page on the Astronomy Portal. —ScouterSig 19:46, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Moon dust[edit]

Do we know how much cosmic dust is falling onto the Moon? There is an article at which quotes a lot of sources and numbers, but since it's a Creationist website (lumping evolution in with cosmology and astronomy, among other other logical errors), I doubt that it could be considered a reliable source. | Loadmaster (talk) 23:40, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Image comments[edit]

Very clear image. What was the substrate for the image?

(I did read the talk page guidelines and I did read the bit about four tildes, but it confused me) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:15, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Request for definative statement of origin: Is Dust actually cold gas?[edit] (talk) 18:27, 1 December 2012 (UTC) I am not scientific ergo have sought a definative declaration that this gas (strike out) dust is actually cold gas. the article states as much as to the origin by stars but will not declare. For us public it would be helpful to interpret news briefs that identify dust which uninformed us think comes from crushed asteroids or comets or meteorites. Clarification is necessary.