Crashed probe yields Sun secrets
Scientists have measured the composition of oxygen at the birth of the Solar System.
The discovery is a vital piece of data for reconstructing the evolution of our cosmic neighbourhood.
Nasa's Genesis spacecraft spent more than two years collecting oxygen from the outermost layers of the Sun.
These layers reflect the composition of the gas and dust cloud, known as the solar nebula, from which the Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago.
The results were presented here at the 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
Researchers had feared their data would be lost when Genesis' sample-return capsule crashed in the Utah desert in 2004. But scientists have been working hard to recover the precious information held in the capsule's collector arrays.