Cosmic Dust Found in Iconic UK Cliffs Reveals Solar System History

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Scientists are studying dust to learn more about the history of our solar system.

A new study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters describes fossilized cosmic dust found within the U.K.’s iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

The chalky limestone reportedly contains dozens of well-preserved dust particles from space called micrometeorites.

Scientists say the number of micrometeorites that fall to Earth depends on what’s happening in the solar system. For example, large collisions between asteroids would create a lot of dust and increase the amount that reaches our planet.

By studying micrometeorites, scientist can try to piece together events that happened in the solar system long ago.

This new report suggests the dust found in the White Cliffs of Dover is much older than what has been found in the past. It might provide clues about what was happening up to 98 million years ago — a time scientists know little about.