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VI Laboratory Studies

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The nature of cosmic dust: laboratory data and space observations L. Colangeli3, J.R. Brucato\ V. Mennella2 and P. Palumbob aOsservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, I. bUniversita "Parthenope", Via A. De Gasperi 5, 80133 Napoli, I.

Astronomical observations and in situ measurements represent the tools to derive the properties of materials present in different space environments, from the interstellar medium (ISM) to the Solar System. By studying physics and chemistry of cosmic compounds it is possible to trace their evolution as a function of the environment in which they are observed and, thus, to deduce the characteristics of the ambient space. In this scenario, laboratory experiments represent a valid method to investigate how materials form in different space environments and to test how they evolve due to their interaction with the most efficient agents active in space (thermal, ion, UV processing, interaction with gas). The collection of results reported in this work demonstrates how relevant is the role played by laboratory data to interpret some of the most fascinating puzzles proposed by space exploration.

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