Ancient volcanic rocks may have preserved tiny samples of the planet’s original moisture
A new analysis in Science suggests that at least some of Earth’s current moisture derives from water-soaked dust particles trapped deep inside during the planet’s formation.
The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the universe was fixed shortly after the Big Bang. But various processes can alter that ratio in certain locations. On Earth, hydrogen can be stripped out of the atmosphere by the solar wind, and deuterium can be added through cometary impacts. More.
In the most ancient rocks, researchers found some of the lowest ratios of deuterium to hydrogen ever recorded, suggesting that water was there from the beginning.
From New Scientist:
But if Hallis is correct, then other planets in our solar system – and elsewhere in the galaxy – are likely to have formed with water present from the beginning. “That would make habitable worlds much more likely,” says Marschall.
Possibly. At any rate, it gives a bit more time for the spread of life on Earth.
See also: origin of life, the skinny
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