Stardust Falls to Earth

The BBC reports that the US Stardust probe has returned to earth after its 3billion mile round trip to the comet Wild 2. It returns with a payload of dust trapped in an aerogel. The pristine dust from the very early solar system should tell scientists a great deal about the evolution of our planetary neighbourhood. Watch this space.

Oh, one thing (that should really be reserved for my Sig Fig blog) BBC reporter Helen Briggs refers to the probe’s speed – 46,660kph (29,000mph) and it’s altitude when its parachute was deployed – 32km (or 105,000 feet)

I’ll leave regular SigFig readers to draw their own conclusions about how I would normally comment on such units!