March 24, 2023
Scientists' exciting discovery about the origin of Earth's water

Scientists’ exciting discovery about the origin of Earth’s water

There was apparently water on Earth when it was still in its infancy, but scientists have always wondered where this water came from. Extensive research has been conducted over the past few years, eventually examining some of the oldest known meteorites and hypothesizing that water reached Earth through these celestial bodies. This hypothesis was for a time the most probable answer to the origin of the Earth’s water until French scientists came to another conclusion in a unique study.

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Scientists have long believed that water came to Earth from space, and this process occurred at the same time as the formation of our planet. Before the Earth formed, a large mass of gas and dust circulated around the young sun, called the “pre-planetary disk.” The particles inside the disk gradually formed larger and larger masses that eventually became “asteroids” and later planets like Earth. In other words, during this process, countless celestial bodies collided with the planet Earth, which, according to some scientists, also carried water.

The researchers came to this conclusion by examining the composition of hydrogen isotopes in five ancient planetary meteorites called Vesta. Vesta was an asteroid about 4.6 billion years ago, exactly where the Earth came from. The researchers examined the isotopic compatibility of normal hydrogen with heavy hydrogen or deuterium (heavy water) in these five meteorites, in the early meteorites (Chondrites) that belonged to the early phase of the galaxy, and in ordinary water on Earth. They concluded that there were similarities between the three. The planet, as well as meteorites, appear to have taken their water from ancient meteorites.
Although this was an interesting hypothesis for the origin of Earth’s water, these scientists could not yet conclusively prove that Earth’s water came from the planet Vesta, but they still insisted that a cosmic object similar to Vesta in terms of age and composition may have caused this event. Be. Shortly afterwards, the idea faded further, and new sampling of the Rosetta spacecraft from a comet confirmed that up to 10 percent of Earth’s water could have originated from a comet.

Researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the University of Paris-Sacchi, the French Commission on Alternative Energy and Atomic Energy (CEA) and the University of Pau UPPA, with the support of the French National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), now follow the isotopic composition of water to the beginning of the solar system. , In the interior areas where the Earth and other terrestrial planets have formed. They did this by analyzing one of the oldest meteorites in our solar system, using an innovative method created just to study them. Using this meteorite, scientists were able to measure its data directly for the first time.
Their data show that two gas reservoirs existed during the first 200,000 years of our solar system, even before the first planetary embryos were formed. One of these reservoirs contained solar gas, from which all of our solar system’s material originated. The second gas tank was enriched with water vapor, which had previously revealed isotopic signs of groundwater, created by the massive influx of interstellar water into the hot inner regions of the solar system, after the collapse of the interstellar cover and the formation of a protoplanetary disk.

The early existence of this gas with an Earth-like isotopic composition indicates that Earth water existed there before the accumulation of the first blocks that make up our planet. This means that the water that later formed the water of our planet existed even before the formation of the Earth in the same area and in the same process of planet formation; Therefore, the water that reached the earth through meteorites or comets should not be so significant and it seems that the earth has carried water from the very beginning of its formation. The findings are published in the prestigious journal Nature Astronomy.


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