News FocusPlanetary Science

A NEAR Miss Seeking the Origin of Meteorites

Science  14 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5550, pp. 2276
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5550.2276

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Summary

In a test of the power of planetary science's bread-and-butter remote-sensing technology, NASA sent the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft to orbit the asteroid Eros and resolve the matter of whether so-called S-type asteroids are the source of the most common meteorites, the ordinary chondrites. Now, in one of six mission papers in the December issue of Meteoritics & Planetary Science, meteoriticists pull all the remote-sensing data together and conclude that Eros most likely is an ordinary chondrite--but that's not the only possibility, they say.

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