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Astrochemistry

Introduction

What are comets made of?

Comets are space snowballs with some dirt sprinkled in. No, really. Comets are typically balls of rock, frozen water, and gases. Sometimes other chemicals are present in much smaller amounts; these include methanol and ethanol, hydrocarbons, and in 2009 NASA’s Stardust mission confirmed that glycine (an amino acid) was present in the comet called Wild 2.



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