August 30, 1999
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Based on an analysis by a group of researchers, including several from NASA's Johnson Space Center, a meteorite that landed last year in a west Texas yard contains the first samples of extraterrestrial water. The fluid is trapped inside halite crystals. Halite is similar to table salt. The water could be as old as 4.5 billion years.
On a clear day in west Texas, on March 22, 1998, a meteorite fell to Earth and was seen up by a group of boys. They picked up the stone and it made its way to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) for analysis. In a JSC clean room two days later, the grey rock was opened with a hammer. Scientists found blue and purple halite inside. Halite is a salt crystal, similar to table salt. The crystals were up to 3 milimeters (less than a tenth of an inch) in diameter. These are the largest halite crystals ever seen by scientists in any extraterrestrial material. The presence of water inside the crystals was confirmed using several forms of scientific analysis.
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National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Extraterrestrial Water Found Trapped In Meteorite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990830072730.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (1999, August 30). Extraterrestrial Water Found Trapped In Meteorite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990830072730.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Extraterrestrial Water Found Trapped In Meteorite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990830072730.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).