Science Questions

What can we learn from asteroids?

Sun, 25th May 2008

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Question

Zanzibar Rothschild asked:

What can we find out about our history from an asteroid?

Answer

The asteroid belt is remains of a planet that didn't quite make it. So, we can look at those asteroids if we could get a sample of one we could look at its structure and then basically we can explore what would be in the Earth's centre so the core and the mantle and their composition by looking at these asteroids. They're a kind of vestige of what we're made of and one of the bonuses is sometimes we get meteorites fall on the Earth which is essentially bits of asteroid. We can analyse those in our labs. We've got bits of Mars here on Earth just a few little bits that have come off and been blasted by asteroid impacts and just through luck have landed here and someone's found them.

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