Wow! NASA's picture of the day is just amazing!!
Dusty grains - including tiny specks of the minerals found in the gemstones peridot, sapphires and rubies - can be seen blowing in the winds of a quasar, or active black hole, in this artist's concept. Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence that such quasar winds might have forged these dusty particles in the very early universe. Dust is crucial for efficient star formation as it allows the giant clouds where stars are born to cool quickly and collapse into new stars. Dust has been seen as far back as when the universe was less than a tenth of its current age, but how did it get there?
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