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Scientists said Thursday that seven grains of stardust that are believed to come from outside our solar system are revealing new hints about what the universe is made of. The grains were painstakingly isolated from a collector on NASA’s Stardust spacecraft, a probe that launched in 1999, to take a sample of a comet’s dust and bring back to Earth a tiny taste of the interstellar world. NASA said on its website that the Stardust probe “traveled halfway to Jupiter to collect the particle samples from the comet Wild 2. The spacecraft returned to Earth’s vicinity to drop off a sample return capsule, eagerly awaited by comet scientists.”

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