Earth’s global ocean water may have originated from both asteroidal material and gas left over from the formation of the Sun, according to a new research that gives insights about the development of other planets and their potential to support life.
Researchers noted that since comets contain a lot of ices, it could have supplied some water. Asteroids, which are not as water-rich yet still plentiful, could be a source as well.
The study notes that since comets contain a lot of ices, it could have supplied some water. Asteroids, which are not as water-rich yet still plentiful, could be a source as well.
The early ocean known as Arabia was formed 4 billion years ago on Mars, while the Deuteronilus ocean was formed 3.6 billion years ago. Both coexisted with the massive volcanic province Tharsis, located on the unseen side of the planet, which may have helped support the existence of liquid water; the water is now gone, perhaps frozen underground and partially lost to space, while the ancient seabed is known as the northern plains.
The study challenges widely-accepted ideas about hydrogen in Earth’s water by suggesting the element partially came from clouds of dust and gas remaining after the Sun’s formation, called the solar nebula.
The new finding fits neatly into current theories of how the Sun and the planets formed. It also has implications for habitable planets beyond the solar system. Astronomers have discovered more than 3,800 planets orbiting other stars, and many appear to be rocky bodies not greatly different from our own.