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SPACE.com) -- Scientists have long known that a major ingredient in comets is water ice, but they were unsure whether the ice was contained mainly inside or if it could be found on the surface as well.
A new analysis of data from NASA's Deep Impact mission last year provides the first evidence that water ice can indeed exist on a comet's exterior.
In a new study released Thursday in an online edition of the journal Science, researchers report that the surface of Tempel 1, the comet targeted by Deep Impact, has three small pockets of water ice.