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First Observations of Asteroid Bennu Reveal Water Was Once Present

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Data obtained from the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft’s two spectrometers, the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) and the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emissions Spectrometer (OTES), reveal the presence of molecules that contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together, known as “hydroxyls,” on the asteroid Bennu. Team members of the mission, which is led by the University of Arizona, suspect that these hydroxyl groups exist globally across the asteroid in water-bearing clay minerals, indicating that at some point, the rocky material interacted with water. While Bennu itself...Read full article

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