Over time, a large amount of natural debris has been released into the Solar System. Mechanisms for this include disturbances in the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt, the influence of Jupiter’s gravity, collisions between asteroids, meteoroid impacts on moons and planets with thin atmospheres, the slow destruction of comets, and the influx of grains from interstellar space. The objects range in size from asteroids and comets, to smaller fragments and microscopic grains that give rise to recoverable meteorites and micrometeorites, with their sources varying from the inner to the extreme outer parts of the Solar System and beyond.

An estimated...

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