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Our group seeks to understand the origin of the Solar System in the broader context of the local Galaxy through analyses of extraterrestrial materials (rocks and dust from asteroids and comets, circumstellar and interstellar grains, and samples of the solar wind).

We are a part of the Physics Department and the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and collaborate closely with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

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News

Color maps

Data visualization is cool and I’ve been thinking about better ways to visualize backscattered electron images of meteorite thin sections. Scanning electron microscopes can acquire these images with sixteen bits of intensity information (pixels have values between 0 and 65,535), but for display we’re pretty much stuck with eight bits (0-255). So we’re throwing away …

Cosmic Symplectite

Lionel is measuring cosmic symplectite (COS) in our NanoSIMS. This is very exciting for us as COS is one of the most interesting mineral assemblages ever discovered. It’s tiny and rare but holds clues about comets, the outer Solar System, and the transport of water in planetary systems.