Water turned out to be 135 million years older than was considered

Water was 135 million years older than previously thought.A photo from open sources Earth, as you know, is often called Blue planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70% surfaces and are home to a huge amount of living organisms. While water is one of the most necessary for life of components, scientists can’t find the exact answers to two key questions: where and when did she appear on Earth. Some researchers suggest that water has enveloped our the planet is late: after it has formed. However new research conducted by experts at the Woods Hall Institute Oceanography (WHOI), changes the generally accepted position of origin water on Earth and in the inner region of the solar system.

“The answer to one of the main questions is that our oceans have always been on the planet, – says the lead author of the work Adam Sarafian – We did not receive them as a result. any late process, as previously thought. ”

Many researchers believe that the Earth was originally “dry” due to the high-energy processes of planet formation. Water appeared much later from sources such as comets or asteroids, which are largely composed of gas and ice.

A photo from open sources

“However, collisions with giant asteroids and meteorites lead to significant damage, – continues geologist Horst Marshall (Horst Marschall), co-author of the article. –There were many hypotheses about that any water molecules would evaporate or be thrown into space in such a collision. So maybe superficial water in the form as it is today formed much earlier – hundreds million years ago. ”

The authors of the study turned to another potential the source of water is carbonaceous chondrites. These are the most primitive of known meteorites that formed from dust, sand, ice and of gases generated by the Sun about 4.6 billion years ago (long before the formation of the planets). These primitive meteorites contain quite a lot of water, so they were the main candidates for sources of water on Earth.

Note that to determine the source of water for planetary bodies, scientists measure the ratio of two stable hydrogen isotopes: deuterium and hydrogen. For different regions of the solar system, the ratio of these Isotopes vary. The authors of the study knew what it was like. ratio for carbonaceous chondrites, and decided using this information closer to understanding where and when water appeared on earth.

A photo from open sources

The research team used meteorite samples, provided by NASA – fragments of the asteroid (4) West.

Asteroid Vesta was formed in the same region of the Solar systems like Earth, and has a basaltic surface with frozen lava. Basalt meteorites reaching Earth known as eucrites, and they bear the signature of the oldest hydrogen reservoir of the solar system. They appeared approximately 14 million years after the Solar system, which makes them ideal material for determining the source of water in it (in those days when the Earth was on the main stage of formation).

Scientists analyzed five different samples from Vesta with using a facility called Northeast National ion microprobe (NENIMF), which uses ion mass spectrometry. This was the first time that hydrogen isotopes were measured in meteorites-eucrites.

Studies have shown that the asteroid Vesta contains the same isotopic composition of hydrogen in carbonaceous chondrites, as the Earth. This, in combined with data on nitrogen isotopes, indicates that chondrites are the most likely common source of water. That is, water on appeared on our planet 135 million years earlier than was considered.

“Research shows: Earth’s water most likely occurred in same time as stones, “Marshall said.

A photo from open sources

We add that the results of the new study do not exclude that water could “populate” the Earth in greater numbers later. However, most likely, she was already present at a very early stages of planet formation.

The knowledge that water has long appeared in the inner area The solar system also means that other planets could have water and even life before being in those harsh conditions in which are today.

The scientific article was published in the journal Science.

Water Time Life Solar System

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