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English Caption: 

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA’s Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks, which likely originated from beyond our solar system, are more complex in composition and structure than previously imagined.

The analysis, completed at a number of facilities including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) opens a door to studying the origins of the solar system and possibly the origin of life itself.

This image shows the dust particle called Hylabrook, which contained the crystalline mineral olivine (pink), an amorphous material containing magnesium, and iron (green). Credit: Westphal et al. 2014, Science/AAAS

For more information about this research, please see the press release "Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed."