Mass Spectrometry 101
What do you do if you have a sample from another planet, and you want to find out if it contains a certain molecule...maybe even one that will reveal that the planet can sustain life? When scientists face a situation like this, they employ an amazing tool: the mass spectrometer. It does the hard work of separating out materials, allowing scientists to look very closely at a sample and see what's inside. Learn more about this tool in the video and animation below!
This silent animation depicts a sample moving through the quadrupole mass spectrometer.
This silent animation depicts a sample moving through the quadrupole mass spectrometer. THIS VERSION HAS NO TEXT LABELS.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center