Finding life on other planets or celestial bodies may be a little bit far off but recently, a NASA probe has detected evidence that water was on a distant asteroid. One might think asteroids are just hunks of rock floating in space so this new discovery would come as a surprise to many.
In a conference today, scientists announced that OSIRIS-REx has found evidence of hydrated minerals on the surface of Bennu using its on-board spectrometers — tools used to determine the exact chemical composition of a specific spot. That means “evidence of liquid water” in Bennu’s past, according to Amy Simon, the scientist overseeing OSIRIS-REx’s spectral analysis.
“To get hydrated minerals in the first place, to get clays, you have to have water interacting with regular minerals,” says Simon. “This is a great surprise.”
(Image credit: Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA)