‘Meteorites brought water to Earth in first two million years’
Boston, Jan 21 (PTI) Water may have been brought to our planet by meteorites during the first two million years of after the birth of the solar system, a study has found. Since elements such as water and carbon are essential ingredients to life on Earth, researchers are keen to know when they arrived on our planet. “We’re looking at as many meteorite parent bodies as possible right now to figure out where they were in the early solar system and how much water they had,” said Adam Sarafian, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.
Angrite meteorites formed in the inner solar system extremely early, roughly 4.56 billion years ago. At that point, the Earth was likely still just 20 per cent of its current size, while Mars, which formed more quickly, was probably close to its current size. Scientists are not sure how quickly Mercury and Venus were formed.
During this time, the inner solar system was a hot and dry place. Protoplanets and asteroids had molten surfaces and, when in magma, even an element such as carbon, which has a boiling point of 4,800 degrees Celsius is considered to be a volatile. It has therefore been …read more