Volume 88 Issue 18 | p. 34 | Concentrates
Issue Date: May 3, 2010

Frosty Asteroid Leaks Water Into Space

An asteroid between Mars and Jupiter is unexpectedly covered in water ice and organic compounds
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: asteroid, water, ice, astrochemistry

At least one asteroid in the belt between Mars and Jupiter is unexpectedly covered in water ice and organic compounds, a pair of studies report (Nature 2010, 464, 1320 and 1322). Because the water on Earth was likely delivered by asteroids or comets, the finding raises the possibility of being able to study asteroid composition to pinpoint biogenic building blocks. In separate but complementary data collected at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, . . .

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