The origin of Earth’s water is still debated by scientists, whether it was here when the planet first formed or whether it had an extraterrestrial source. But new research points to a hitherto unknown origin: the sun at the center of our solar system. According to astronomers, solar radiation may have created water on the surface of dust grains carried by asteroids that collided with our planet billions of years ago.
Water covers more than 70% of our planet’s surface, but the exact source has baffled scientists for decades. A new study published in the journal natural astronomy They indicate that they have found a source that exactly matches the isotopic signature of water on Earth. Research led by scholars fromUniversity of Glasgow, used a process called atomic probe tomography to analyze different samples of asteroids, some carrying water and others orbiting close to the sun.
The effect of spatial change
The Dr. Luke Daly, from’University of Glasgow The lead author of the study said, “The solar winds are streams composed primarily of hydrogen and helium ions that constantly flow from the sun into space.” ” When hydrogen ions hit an airless surface such as an asteroid or a space dust particle, they penetrate a few tens of nanometers below the surface, where they can affect the chemical composition of the rocks. “Did he say. Over time, the effect of spatial change” Hydrogen ions can push enough oxygen atoms out of rocky material to form H2O, water, which is trapped in asteroid minerals. ” he added.
Crucially, the researchers say, this solar wind-derived water that was produced by the early solar system is isotopic light. ” This strongly suggests that fine dust, shaken up by the solar wind and sucked into Earth’s formation billions of years ago, could be the source of the planet’s lacking reservoir of water. “,” he pointed to Dr Dali.
Mr Philip masturbate from’Curtin University He explained that the current theory that water was carried to Earth in the later stages of its formation by water-bearing asteroids has not withstood scrutiny. ” Previous tests of the “fingerprint” of these isotopic asteroids found that they did not match, on average, the water on Earth, which means there was at least one other unknown source., did he say.
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