Scientists identify water molecules on asteroids for the first time

Using data from the retired Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)—a joint project of NASA and the German Space Agency at DLR—Southwest Research Institute scientists have discovered, for the first time, water molecules on the surface of an asteroid. Scientists looked at four silicate-rich asteroids using the FORCAST instrument to isolate the mid-infrared spectral signatures indicative of molecular water on two of them.