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Patches of water ice appear to be speckled across the surface of a comet, according to a new study using observations from a European space probe.

The Rosetta spacecraft, currently orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, spotted 120 bright, reflective spots on the surface of the comet that were at least a few meters (about 6 feet) in size. While their composition is still being examined, the spots tend to appear in areas that are shaded by the sun, scientists noted. The researchers also note that there have been no significant changes to the spots after a month of observations.

"Water ice is the most plausible explanation for the occurrence and properties of these features," said Antoine Pommerol, a physicist at the University of Bern, in a statement. [Photos: Europe's Rosetta Comet Mission in Pictures]

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