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Japan space probe finds water in asteroid for first time

Confirmation may provide clues to origins of Earth's oceans

The Hayabusa2 space probe hovers over an asteroid in this artist's rendering. (Image courtesy of JAXA)

TOKYO -- Water has been found in an asteroid sample collected by Japan's Hayabusa2 space probe, marking the first such discovery and shedding light on how the Earth's oceans may have formed.

The findings were published Thursday in the journal Science by research teams from Tohoku University, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and elsewhere. Researchers analyzed samples from the Ryugu asteroid sent from the Hayabusa2.

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