IN context of the cyclical nature of this universe, it is behooving to us to ask the question about what exactly that "stardust" is made up of. So we had some inkling for us lay people as to what had currently landed for us to answer this question.
The primary objective of the Stardust mission is to capture both cometary samples and interstellar dust. Main challenges to accomplishing this successfully involve slowing down the particles from their high velocity with minimal heating or other effects that would cause their physical alteration. When the Stardust Spacecraft encounters the Comet Wild 2, the impact velocity of the particles will be up to 6 times the speed of a rifle bullet. Although the captured particles will each be smaller than a grain of sand, high-speed capture could alter their shape and chemical composition - or even vaporize them entirely.
So while they had designed the experimental process to catch "stardust," did we in all our understanding see the reasons why this process was to become the experimental challenge it was? They had to be convinced, that using these dollars to make the undertaking part of the conclusions, on a supernova scale, these "elements" could have been comparatively analyized, as to what is left for us to inspect and measure in relation?
Many of the more common elements were made through nuclear fusion in the cores of stars, but many were not as well. Because nuclear fusion reactions that make elements heavier than iron require more energy than they give off, such reactions do not occur under stable conditions that occur in stars. Supernovae, on the other hand, are not stable, so they can make these heavy elements beyond iron.
In addition to making elements, supernovae scatter the elements (made by both the star and supernova) out in to the interstellar medium. These are the elements that make up stars, planets and everything on Earth -- including ourselves.
Part of the expulsion from supernovic explosions is the evidence that we can gather. While the demonstrative fawcetts of analysis give us inklings in this model below, the real story is how such explusions had taken their place in the overall view in formation of this universe.
It is as if we must put on a special kind of glasses, and see all that we are doing in a geomtrical expressive stage, that runs through the topological and homophoric relations that we could say, indeed D-brane analysis will have served it theoretcial purpose, and shed new light on this process.
While I engage it simplistically and speak simplestically on it's developement, there are technical aspect that are very far from my having the native tongue of math, that I could show this. But other people are, which is quite satisfying.