LIVERMORE, Calif., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists said comet dust brought back by NASA's Stardust resembles a meteorite from the asteroid belt rather than an unaltered comet.
The report from scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said it appears dust from Wild 2 was formed very close to the sun, the laboratory said Friday in a release.
Comets are expected to contain large amounts of the most primitive material in the solar system but the research team said that two silicate materials normally found in comets and presolar stardust grains from other stars have not been found in the abundances that might be expected.
"The material is a lot less primitive and more altered than materials we have gathered through high altitude capture in our own stratosphere from a variety of comets," lead researcher Hope Ishii said in a release.
The findings were published in the journal Science.