Tracing the Trail of Water in Space
Scientists at Southwest Research Institute have found water molecules on the surface of an asteroid for the first time, using data from the decommissioned Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a collaborative project of NASA and the German Space Agency at DLR.
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Using the FORCAST instrument, researchers examined four silicate-rich asteroids to identify the mid-infrared spectral fingerprints that are indicative of molecular water on two of them.
Asteroids are leftovers from the planetary formation process, so their …