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Illinois Wesleyan University is getting grants totaling more than $500,000 for the study of asteroids and molecules.

More than $250,000 is in the form of a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation for the study of Trojan asteroids. Those asteroids are a group of more than 5,000 objects sharing Jupiter's orbit around the sun.

Illinois Wesleyan's chemistry department will use the second grant to buy a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer.

Natural Sciences Professor Ram Mohan says that's a tool used to determine the structure of unknown molecules. The new instrument will replace a 17-year-old spectrometer that's less advanced and often needs repair.

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