Mass Spectrometry 101

  • Released Thursday, July 22, 2010

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!


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, July 22, 2010.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:54 PM EDT.


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