Asteroid sample nails meteorite source | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Asteroid sample nails meteorite source

Dust shows where most space rocks come from

1:57pm, August 25, 2011

Scientists have scraped the heavens and seen the solar system in a speck of dust.

Well, more than 1,500 specks, most less than 50 millionths of a meter in diameter. Plucked from the surface of the asteroid Itokawa by Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft, the tiny grains carry a record of the solar system’s early days. Now, scientists have decoded the particles and read in them a tale of the asteroid’s history, a story that spans billions of years, from the asteroid’s birth to its future demise.

Teams of scientists in Japan and elsewhere report their findings in six papers published in the Aug. 26 Science.

“I think they have done a stupendous job of characterizing and cla

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content