dust,

All dust is drifting so high in my wake,
I yip out my voice and put heel to flank,
For trails flow endless through that prairie range
And I needs must see them all afore I will hang.

The worn saddle gives freedom, life and every good thing,
Yet I wander with fear of what Winter will bring.
Old winds are blowing as hoof turns the earth
And once more I ride that I might prove my worth.

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To most of us, dust is just something we clean off our furniture. But to scientists dust can cause big problems in the lab. Computer chips are put together and tested in what are called clean rooms. These environments use filters to limit the amount of particles of dust in the air. UC San Diego’s Janelle Shane explains how just one of these particles can ruin microscopic components

Grand Spiral Galaxy  - M 100

Known as a grand design spiral galaxy, M100 is a large galaxy of over 100 billion stars with spiral arms that are like our own Milky Way Galaxy. This Hubble Space Telescope image of M100 was made in 2009 and reveals bright blue star clusters and intricate winding dust lanes which are hallmarks of this class of galaxies. Studies of variable stars in M100 have played an important role in determining the size and age of the Universe.

Credit: NASA/APOD

The Eagle Nebula’s Great Pillars

Located in the constellation of Serpens, the Eagle Nebula is a very luminous open cluster of stars surrounded by dust and gas. The three pillars at the center of the image, made famous in an image by the Hubble Space Telescope, are being sculpted by the intense radiation from the hot stars in the cluster.

Credit: National Optical Astronomy Observatory

HIS DARK MATERIALS

“This is what’ll happen,” she said, “and it’s true, perfectly true. When you go out of here, all the particles that make you up will loosen and float apart, just like your daemons did. If you’ve seen people dying, you know what that looks like. But your daemons aren’t just nothing now; they’re part of everything. All the atoms that were them, they’ve gone into the air and the wind and the trees and the earth and all the living things. They’ll never vanish. They’re just part of everything. And that’s exactly what’ll happen to you, I swear to you, I promise on my honor. You’ll drift apart, it’s true, but you’ll be out in the open, part of everything alive again.”    

Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials 

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