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This activity introduces the importance of meteorites to the understanding of the origin of the Solar System. Learners will use a key to determine if samples are meteorites. Finding meteorites can be difficult because most meteorites look like Earth rocks to the casual or untrained eye. Even to the trained eye, recognizing meteorites can be difficult. Since scientists believe that some meteorites are pieces of the asteroid Vesta, they may be very old remnants of the solar system in its earliest stages. This activity provides information and insight that allows participants to share scientists' expectations, based on meteoritic samples, of what we will find when the NASA's Dawn Mission visits Vesta and Ceres.
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