Scientists with a new theory about the origin of water on Earth

Scientists with a new theory about the origin of water on Earth
Scientists with a new theory about the origin of water on Earth.

Water covers 70 percent of the Earth's surface and is key to life, but its appearance has been the subject of long-standing scientific debate. Scientists from France are now proposing a new theory of its origin, AFP reported, citing a publication in the journal Science.

It has long been thought that water was brought by meteorites that originally "bombarded" our dry planet. However, the authors of the current study from the University of Lorraine propose a new theory, according to which the Earth has always been "wet".

For the purposes of the study, scientists have analyzed meteorites known as enstatite chondrites, whose chemical composition is similar to that of our planet. They formed inside the solar system from the same disk of gas and dust as the Earth. It turns out that the meteorites in question contain a huge amount of hydrogen.

"Our discovery shows that the building blocks on Earth may have contained hydrogen from the beginning. However, initially the temperature was too high to condense water and accumulate in other solids in the form of ice," explains the study's leader. , cosmochemist Lorette Piani.

Enstatite chondrites are rare. Only about two percent of meteorites found on Earth are of this type. However, their resemblance to our planet makes them especially valuable for research. These meteorites also have the same isotopes of oxygen, titanium and calcium as our planet, and new research shows that their isotopes of hydrogen and nitrogen are also similar to those on Earth.

"We found that the isotopic composition of hydrogen in enstatite chondrites is similar to that of water stored in the earth's mantle," says Piani.

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