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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.

Follow the links for more information.

News

Super High-Resolution Meteorite Images

I’ve added a page that will feature some ~billion-pixel images of meteorites I’ve taken with electron and optical microscopes using this or this technique. The first one is a classic: Renazzo, the type sample of the CR chondrites. Renazzo fell in Italy in 1824 with a total mass of 1 kg. Check it out!

Draconids

The Draconid meteor shower peaks tonight as the Earth sweeps through primordial dust spewed from comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. Ernst Zinner was a pioneering researcher in the study of presolar grains, a brilliant scientist and wonderful man who spent most of his career in our lab here at Wash U. Comet 21P is named for Ernst Zinner, …