Water May Have Come to Earth From Space

Water May Have Come to Earth From Space
Water May Have Come to Earth From Space - London's Natural History Museum (NHM)

The Winchcombe meteorite supports the idea that water may have come to Earth from space. The Winchcombe meteorite ripped from an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. The water from a meteorite that crashed in the Gloucestershire village of Winchcombe last year showed an almost perfect match with water on Earth.

This supports the theory that water and other important chemical elements were brought to the planet early in its existence, billions of years ago, by rocks from outer space.

The meteorite is thought to be the most important meteorite ever found in Britain. According to the scientists who published their first in-depth analysis, this meteor revealed extraordinary findings. More than 500g of blackened debris was collected from residents' gardens, driveways and nearby fields after a large fireball lit up the night sky.

The decomposed remains were meticulously cataloged at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London before being sent to researchers in Europe for study. Meanwhile, meteorite fragments in the UK are more expensive than gold, and the classification of the Winchcombe meteorite has become official.

The meteorite was made up of 11% water by weight, and its composition, made up of different types of hydrogen atoms, was quite similar to that of Earth's water.

According to some scientists, the young Earth got so hot that most of its volatiles, including water, must have been pushed out. The fact that the Earth has so much water today - oceans cover 70% of its surface - indicates that it was added later.

Their chemistry isn't a good match, though some argue it may have been caused by bombardment by frozen comets.

But carbonaceous chondrites, including meteorites like those at Winchcombe, are indisputably so.

Also, being found less than 12 hours after impact indicates that it has absorbed very little water or any other foreign matter from the ground.

One of the first authors, Dr. According to Ashley King, “all other meteorites have been negatively impacted in some way by the terrestrial environment.”

“But Winchcombe stands out because of how quickly it was captured. “In other words, when we measure it, we know that the composition we're looking at dates back to the formation of the Solar System 4,6 billion years ago.

We couldn't have had a more perfect sample than sending a spaceship to collect rock samples from an asteroid.

A similarly clear picture emerged when the carbon and nitrogen-containing organic components and amino acids of the meteorite were analyzed.

This is the kind of chemistry that may have provided the building blocks for the emergence of biology on early Earth. The origin of the meteorite has likewise been confirmed by current research.

Thanks to the fireball's camera footage, the researchers were able to pinpoint a fairly precise route.

When calculated backwards, this indicates that the meteorite came from the outer asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Further investigation reveals that the meteorite probably broke off from the top few meters of a parent asteroid during a collision.

The amount of certain atoms, such as neon, formed in meteorite material as a result of continuous exposure to high-speed space particles or cosmic rays indicates that it only takes 200.000 to 300.000 years for them to reach Earth.

Dr. Helena Bates said, "0,2-0,3 million years sounds like a long time, but from a geological point of view it's actually an extremely short time."

Carbonaceous chondrites must reach Earth quickly, otherwise, as they are so fragile and fragile, they cannot survive and break apart easily.

The scientists' first study, published this week in the journal Science Advances, is just a summary of Winchcombe's properties. The journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science will soon publish a new issue with a dozen additional articles on specific topics.

First author, Dr. According to Luke Daly, “researchers will continue to work on this specimen for years to come, uncovering more mysteries regarding the beginning of our Solar System.”

Source: BBC

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