Water may have reached Earth from asteroids, according to a Japanese space mission
Wednesday – Muharram 19 1444 AH – August 17, 2022 AD Issue No. [
Japan’s space probe “Hayabusa-2” (NASA)
After analyzing rare samples collected in a six-year Japanese space mission, scientists revealed that quantities of water may have reached Earth by asteroids from the far reaches of the solar system.
According to the French press, researchers are examining materials returned to Earth in 2020 from the asteroid “Ryugu”, in an attempt to shed light on the origins of life and the formation of the universe.
And 5.4 grams of rock and dust were collected by a Japanese space probe called “Hayabusa-2”, which landed on the celestial body and launched a “collisioner” on its surface.
And began publishing studies on these materials. And in June, researchers said they had found organic matter that showed that some of the basic pillars of life on Earth (amino acids) may have formed in space.
In a new study, the results of which were published in the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists said that the Ryugu samples could give clues to the mystery of how the oceans appeared on Earth billions of years ago.
“Type C asteroids that are volatile and rich in organic matter may have been one of the main sources of Earth’s water,” said the study, conducted by scientists from Japan and other countries.
She noted that “the delivery of volatiles (i.e. organic matter and water) to Earth is still a matter of great debate.”
But the organic matter “in the Ryugu particles, identified in this study, may represent an important source of volatiles.”
Scientists assumed that such materials may have an “extrasolar system origin”, but said that “it is unlikely to be the only source of volatiles that reached Earth at the beginning of its formation.”
Hayabusa2 was launched in 2014 on its mission to Ryugu, some 300 million kilometers away, and returned to Earth’s orbit two years ago to return a capsule containing the sample.
In the Nature Astronomy study, researchers again praised the results made available by the Japanese space mission.
“Ryugu particles are undoubtedly among the most uncontaminated solar system materials available for laboratory studies, and ongoing investigations of these precious samples are sure to broaden our understanding of the processes the early solar system experienced,” the study said.
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