Samples from the asteroid Itokawa collected by the Japanese space probe suggest that the Earth’s water may have been created by the Sun.
This water may have rained on the fledgling Earth in the form of particles of dust produced by the interaction. Solar windFlow of charged particles emitted from SunNew research suggests, with various objects in the solar system.
“The solar wind is primarily a stream of hydrogen and helium ions that constantly flows from the sun to space,” said Luke Daly, a planetary scientist at the University of Glasgow, UK, and the lead author of the new paper. .. In the statement.. “When these hydrogen ions hit an asteroid or an airless surface like dust particles in outer space, they penetrate tens of nanometers. [one inch has 24.5 million nanometers] Below the surface, it can affect the chemical composition of the rock. “
Over time, this space-weathering effect of hydrogen ions releases enough oxygen atoms from the rock material to produce water, which causes the water to asteroid, Daily has been added.
This mechanism could be a missing link that explains the abundance and chemical composition of the water above Earth It has long confused scientists. The surface of the earth is 70% covered with water.It’s much more than any other planet Solar system.. However, none of the existing theories can fully explain all of it. The predominant view suggests that a carbon-rich asteroid that struck the young Earth about 4.6 billion years ago delivered this water to the planet.
However, detailed chemical analysis of meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites, which are masses of these carbon-rich asteroids, shows that the water trapped in them does not exactly match the chemical fingerprints of Earth’s water. I made it clear.
This discrepancy, what scientists call isotopic composition, has led researchers to believe that there must be at least one additional source of life-giving liquid for our planet. Isotopes are forms of chemical elements that differ only in the number of uncharged neutrons they contain. Carbonaceous chondrites tend to contain deuterium-rich water. This is a type of hydrogen that has one neutron, but most of the hydrogen on Earth is a light form called protium that has no neutrons.
To find the Earth’s water source, the research team used a new technique called atomic probe tomography to analyze the composition of silicon oxide-rich rock-type asteroids. Using this technique, researchers measured the atomic structure of these particles one atom at a time to detect individual water molecules.The samples analyzed in this study came from an asteroid Itokawa, Japanese spacecraft famously visited HayabusaIn 2010, we delivered a small piece of this space rock to Earth.
“”[Our technique] Take a look inside the first 50 nanometers in incredible detail [one inch has 24.5 million nanometers] “Around the surface of Itokawa’s dust particles that orbit the Sun in an 18-month cycle,” said Phil Brand, director of the Center for Space Science and Technology at Curtin University in Australia and co-author of a new study. “We found that this cosmic edge fragment contained enough water to scale up to about 20 liters. [4.4 gallons] Every cubic meter [35 cubic feet] Of rock. “
The particles produced by the interaction of Itokawa’s dust and the solar wind had a lighter form of hydrogen than carbon-rich asteroids, Brand added.
“It strongly suggests that the fine-grained dust blown away by the solar wind and drawn into the Earth, which was formed billions of years ago, may be the cause of the lost reservoirs of planetary water. “The brand said.
However, research is not limited to the earth. The findings also suggest that water may be trapped in rocks on the surface of many cosmic bodies, including the Moon and asteroids, researchers said in a statement. If so, this may be good news for future human exploration in deep space, as it may be easier for scientists to find the supplies they need than feared.
Hope Ishii, a geophysicist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said, “One of the problems with conventional manned space exploration is that astronauts stay alive and mission without going on a journey. Is a way to find enough water to carry out. ” The co-author of the paper also stated in a statement.
“I think it makes sense to think that the same space-weathering process that produced water on Itokawa happened to some extent in many airless worlds,” she added. “It may mean that space explorers may be able to handle the supply of fresh water straight from the dust on the surface of the planet.”
I will explain the research on paper It was published in Nature Astronomy on Monday (November 29th).
The earliest waters on Earth may have come from the solar wind and the rocks of the universe.
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