CARLOS MUNOZ-YAGUE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS MUNOZ-YAGUE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cristiano Batalli Cosmovici. Portrait of the Italian comet researcher Cristiano Batalli Cosmovici seen in front of an image of a comet. In 1983 Cosmovici discovered formaldehyde in comet IRAS, the first organic molecule to be found in a comet. Comets are giant chunks of dust and ice with highly eccentric orbits. During 1985-86 when Halley's Comet passed by the Earth he discovered that the comet deposited organic material onto the Earth. Our ocean water is also thought to have come from comets over the past 4 billion years. Cosmovici is at the Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio in Frascati, Italy. Photographed in 1997.
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