News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Most-Common Meteorites Find a Home Among the Asteroids

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Science  09 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5472, pp. 1714-1715
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5472.1714

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Meteoriticists have long been puzzled by the fact that the most common meteorites, so-called ordinary chondrites, don't appear to have come from the most common asteroids, the S-types. Last week, however, a group of researchers attending the spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union here announced that the 31-kilometer-long S-type asteroid Eros now being orbited by the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft is made of the same stuff as ordinary chondrites. That conclusion comes from NEAR Shoemaker's first-ever analysis of the elemental composition of an asteroid.