Earth’s surface is constantly sprinkled with space dust. Extraterrestrial material has rained down on our planet throughout its multi-billion-year history—and the celestial shower continues each passing day. Sizable chunks of rock and metal are the most dramatic examples, appearing as brilliant shooting stars during their fiery passage through the upper atmosphere and occasionally reaching the ground to become meteorites. But most of the space stuff that falls to Earth is quite small, submillimeter in size.
In the past, researchers have sought to gauge the amount of such micrometeorites that reach Earth over time, but parsing cosmic dust is difficult on a planet that constantly whirls dust of its own making.
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