The mystery of how Earth became the “blue planet” might finally be solved.
Scientists have struggled to answer where the Earth’s water came from. But an international team of researchers specializing in space science found that the sun’s solar wind played a key role in delivering water to Earth, according to the Independent.
- After studying asteroids, researchers discovered they were rich in water, which suggested the possibility that these asteroids carried water to Earth 4.6 billion years ago.
- Per the study, most models in modern science do suggest that water on Earth came from an extraterrestrial source, containing more deuterium, a heavier form of hydrogen.
- If the water is trapped within the asteroid's dust particles, it can stay protected from space weathering.
Per NewScientist, they studied single grains from asteroids like Itokawa, which were retrieved by Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa in 2010, to come to this conclusion. The asteroid had evidence that it had been irradiated by solar wind, which may have helped create water.
The findings bring good news for space exploration, according to NewScientist:
“If we want to put up permanent human habitation facilities on other worlds, you could look at the (dust) as a way of producing water,” according to the report.