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Science

Japan asteroid probe hints at how organic matter could reach Earth

Materials from space may have contributed to the building blocks of life

TOKYO -- A sample of material taken from an asteroid by Japan's Hayabusa2 probe offers a clue to how organic matter found in meteorites on Earth could have survived without burning up in the atmosphere.

The material from the carbonaceous chondritic asteroid named Ryugu contains unidentified organic compounds mixed with coarse-grained silicate minerals and water, according to an analysis by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and other institutions.

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