A piece of the Sun is set to fall to Earth and be captured by Hollywood stunt pilots in a tricky mid-air manoeuvre, NASA announced on Thursday.

A capsule filled with stardust will be dropped into the atmosphere from NASA's Genesis spacecraft on 8 September.

Genesis has collected charged particles from the Sun's outermost layer for about 27 months since its launch in 2001. Scientists believe its quarry will reveal the chemical composition of the cloud from which the Sun and planets condensed 4.5 billion years ago.

"We believe the solar nebula was a fairly homogeneous environment, but out of this all the diverse materials of planets formed," says Don Burnett of the California Institute of Technology, and principal investigator.

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996305


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