Washington: Asteroids from the inner solar system may be the source of the majority of Earth’s water, a new study has claimed, contradicting the belief that most of our planet’s water originated in the outer solar system.
The prevailing theories suggest that water was delivered on Earth from outer solar system by comets that coalesced beyond Jupiter’s orbit, then migrated inward.
“Our results provide important new constraints for the origin of volatiles in the inner solar system, including the Earth,” said lead researcher Conel Alexander of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
“And they have important implications for the current models of the formation and orbital evolution of the planets and smaller objects in our solar system,” Alexander was quoted as saying by SPACE.com.
For their study, published in the journal Science, the researchers analysed samples from 86 carbonaceous chondrites. The primitive meteorites are thought to be key sources of the early Earth’s volatile elements like hydrogen and nitrogen.
The team measured the abundance of different hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon isotopes in the chondrite samples. Isotopes are versions of an element that have different numbers of neutrons in their atomic nuclei. For example, the isotope deuterium — also known as heavy hydrogen — contains one neutron, while normal hydrogen has none.
The amount of deuterium in celestial bodies water ice sheds light on where the objects formed in the solar system’s early days. In general, bodies that took shape farther from the sun have relatively higher concentrations of deuterium, the researchers said.
The 86 chondrite samples’ deuterium content — which the team gleaned from clays, the remnants of water ice — suggest the meteorites’ parent bodies formed relatively close to Sun, perhaps in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Comets, by contrast, have much higher deuterium ratios. As a result, scientists think most of them were born in the solar system’s frigid outer reaches.
The isotopic composition of the bulk Earth appears to be more consistent with chondrites than with comets, they said.
There are many different types of chondrites and no single group is a perfect match. So our planet probably accreted its water and other volatiles from a variety of chondrite parent asteroids, they added.
Source: Zee News
Whatever the original source of Earth’s water, it is a precious resource, without which, life on this planet would not be possible. Water scarcity is a growing concern, especially in drier countries like South Africa (South Africa’s annual average rainfall is well below the mean global average). Save water and money by investing in rain water tanks; see the various tanks and tank stands available from JoJo Tanks by clicking on the links below.
JoJo Tanks South Africa offer a wide range of plastic water tanks and chemical tanks to suit every household, business or agricultural need, including silo tanks and silo tank stands. See JoJo Tanks VERTICAL TANKS, HORIZONTAL TANKS (transporter tanks), STEEL TANK STANDS and OTHER JOJO PRODUCTS. Also see JoJo Tanks’ NEW 6000 LITRE UNDERGROUND TANKS. Also see our FAQ and WATER TANK PRICES.
JoJo’s superior polyethylene plastic water tanks and steel water tank stands make JoJo Tanks the leaders in plastic water tank technology and the quality, affordability and guarantee on these water tanks make JoJo products the best choice in South Africa. JoJo’s water tanks and chemical tanks come standard with a number of features that are often lacking on cheaper/inferior plastic tanks made by other companies in South Africa.
We are authorised JoJo Tanks dealers in South Africa and dispatch orders directly from JoJo Tank depots to save on transport costs. Full range of JoJo Tanks products and JoJo water tanks for sale. CONTACT US for a quote on the right JoJo water tank or other JoJo product for you. Special discounts are available on multiple orders of chemical tanks and water tanks and to our commercial and government customers.
We despatch orders directly from JoJo Tanks depots around South Africa – saving time and money.
SPECIAL ON MULTIPLE ORDERS OF 10000 LITRE JOJO WATER TANKS…CONTACT US FOR A FREE QUOTE!
(15000 litre and 20000 litre JoJo vertical water tanks also available on order)