Space mission reveals origin of water on Earth – – Recent research has shown that water may have been brought to Earth by asteroids from the outer edge of the Solar System. The findings come after scientists analyzed rare samples collected on a six-year Japanese space mission.

In an effort to explain the origin of life and the creation of the universe, researchers are examining material brought back to Earth from the asteroid Ryugu in 2020.

The rock and dust weighing 5.4 grams were collected by a Japanese spacecraft called Hayabusa-2, which landed on a celestial body and fired an “impactor” at its surface.

Results of the Rock and Dust study began to be published, and in June, a group of researchers said they had found organic material that suggests amino acids, some of the building blocks of life on Earth, would have formed in space.

In a new paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists say samples from Ryugu may provide clues to how oceans formed on Earth billions of years ago.

“The unstable, organic-rich C-type asteroid could be one of the main sources of water on Earth,” the study, involving scientists from Japan and other countries, published Monday said.

“The delivery of volatiles (i.e., organic and water) to Earth is still a matter of significant debate,” said the study, quoted from Al Arabiya, Tuesday (16/8).

But the organic matter found “may be an important source of volatiles, among the ryugu particles identified in this study.”

Scientists speculate that the material may have “origins from outside the Solar System”, but say it “is unlikely to be the only source of volatiles sent to Earth in the early days”.

Hayabusa-2 launched in 2014 on its mission to Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers away, and returned to Earth orbit two years ago to drop off a sample-containing capsule. [pan]


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