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Building blocks of life found in asteroid remnants

Thursday, December 16, 2010

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Scientists analyzing leftovers from an asteroid that harmlessly plunged through the sky in 2008 say there’s great diversity in the meteorites recovered.

When the small asteroid 2008 TC3 burned up in the atmosphere, it also scattered meteorite fragments in the remote Sudan desert.

It was the first time that astronomers had advance warning of an asteroid coming.

Scientists and students recovered some 600 remnants weighing more than 23 pounds. The fragments contained at least 10 types of meteorites and the chemical building blocks of life.

The findings were published this week in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.