Frozen water on asteroids may be more common than previously thought, according to new research that will help to support the idea they might have carried the key ingredient for life to the Earth.

Water ice and organic molecules that help to form the basis of life have been discovered on a second asteroid, called 65 Cybele, by astronomers.

The finding was reported at a meeting of planetary scientists in Pasadena, where scientists said the presence of ice lends support to theories that life on Earth was seeded from out of space after being carried here on asteroids.