The presence of water on Earth 135 million years earlier than previously thought

Astronomy Science ~ New research shows that the water that supports life on Earth may have been on this planet much earlier than scientists...

Astronomy Science ~ New research shows that the water that supports life on Earth may have been on this planet much earlier than scientists previously thought.

Although the environmental conditions in the early years of the formation of Earth's water is not allowed to remain on the surface of the planet, scientists have found evidence that the elements of water stored in rocky objects near our planet - and possibly in the earth itself. These new findings indicate that the water in the inner solar system 135 million years earlier than previous evidence.

"Our findings show early evidence of water in the inner solar system," said Adam Sarafian, Ph.D. The Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and lead author of the new study.

Meteorites from asteroids

The evidence appears in the meteorites that once belonged to the asteroid Vesta, one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt located between Jupiter and Mars. Meteorites from Vesta (dark piece of cooled magma that often amounted grapefruit) is found in Antarctica. Previous analysis found no water or water-forming material in this meteorite. But Sarafian and his colleagues focused on the molecular contents of the meteorite and found trace amounts of hydrogen-oxygen molecules.

An illustration of the early solar system that shows the proto-Earth, proto-Mars, Vesta in the asteroid belt, and the proto-Jupiter. The dashed white line is the "snow line" limit for water ice in the solar system.
More than 4.5 billion years ago - or about 15 million years after the solid objects began to form around young sun - water in the outer solar system, part of the solar system are cold, as shown in previous studies.

But in the inner solar system, where Vesta and stay young Earth, the temperature is still too hot and the solar wind would send all the moisture to the outer regions of the solar system.

While the Earth grew and changed over 4 billion years or more, Vesta remains frozen in time, according to Sarafian.

"Vesta give us an idea as to what may be seen when the Earth was first formed," said Sarafian.

Image of asteroid Vesta in the asteroid belt were taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on 5 September 2012
A trail of Chemistry

Vesta also has traces of the same chemical to the Earth. In other words, scientists have previously shown that nitrogen at Vesta may have come from the same source as nitrogen on Earth. Some objects in the solar system, such as the sun or a comet, has a different chemical traces. According to Sarafian, the new study also shows that Vesta and the Earth also share chemical traces of hydrogen.

Earth also share a chemical trail to the month, the same as Vesta. Researchers know that the moon rocks containing water, which provide evidence that the life-giving fluid in the inner solar system emerged 150 million years after the birth of the solar system. Vesta is now changing the way we understand how the water reaches our planet and established that water samples at Vesta 135 million years older than the samples of water on the Moon.

This makes sense because the first 150 million years, the inner solar system is much hotter and very unfriendly in the current appeal. Earth will experience a massive collision of flying debris (that could potentially have an impact as it cut a portion of the earth and formed the moon). Many scientists have suspected that through a huge impact and high temperatures, it would make sense for the hydrogen to turn into steam and blown out into space.

Water Of Objects Ice

Sarafian said that these findings support the view that water comes from ice object near Jupiter. The new giant gas planets formed may throw chunks of rock and ice to the inner solar system. Jupiter is located outside of the area known as the "snow line," or the point beyond which the temperature is cold enough for water to condense and become liquid or solid form, he said.

"There are some models that predict that the ice objects from the outer solar system, around the area of ​​Jupiter, may be thrown into the inner solar system," said Sarafian. "And the research we support it."

Jeremy Boyce, a geochemist at UCLA who was not involved in the new study but has collaborated with the two authors of the study in other studies, said that claims a new study on the water early in the inner solar system is very strong. But he added that it was still unclear how much water is present. The possibility that in order to make present in the Earth's oceans today, more water is sent to Earth at a later date.

The new study is published in detail in the journal Science October 31, 2014.

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AstroNation: The presence of water on Earth 135 million years earlier than previously thought
The presence of water on Earth 135 million years earlier than previously thought
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