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USC Research Provides Evidence of Ground Ice on Asteroids

14 Sep 2017, 07:22 UTC
USC Research Provides Evidence of Ground Ice on Asteroids
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Large, smooth areas on exoplanet Vesta correlated with higher concentrations of hydrogen. (Credit: Elizabeth Palmer, Essam Heggy)
LOS ANGELES (USC PR) — Research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has revealed new evidence for the occurrence of ground ice on the protoplanet Vesta.
The work, under the sponsorship of NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics program, is part of ongoing efforts at USC Viterbi to improve water detectability techniques in terrestrial and planetary subsurfaces using radar and microwave imaging techniques.
The study, conducted at USC Viterbi in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering by research scientist Essam Heggy and graduate student Elizabeth Palmer from Western Michigan University, took over three years to complete and was featured in the journal Nature Communications on its Sept. 12 release.
Heggy is a member of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering’s Mixil Lab, which is led by professor Mahta Moghaddam and specializes in radar and microwave imaging.
Vesta is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and, due to its large size, is believed to be a differentiated body with a core and a mantle just like our own planet.
Collisions between asteroids in the belt enable them to leave ...

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