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Tech & ScienceHalf of Earth's water may have come from ancient asteroid collisions

16:00  02 may  2019
16:00  02 may  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Blowing up Earth-bound asteroid 'not as easy as Armageddon'

Blowing up Earth-bound asteroid 'not as easy as Armageddon' A study has poured cold water on the film theory that humans could simply blow up an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Asteroids and meteors are a prime candidate for wiping out humanity, just as one such impact 66 million years ago killed the dinosaurs. One of the most popular theories - as famously illustrated in 1998 Bruce Willis film Armageddon - involved blowing up the asteroid before it hits Earth.

Asteroid samples returned to Earth in 2010 provide new evidence of an extraterrestrial origin for half the planet' s water . Itokawa was the first asteroid we nabbed a chunk of rock from allowing us to probe the secrets of the ancient solar system. JAXA/NASA/JPL.

Now, analysis of those grains show water that matches Earth ' s , suggesting asteroids might be a source of Earth ' s water . New analysis of grains from asteroid Itokawa, returned by Hayabusa in 2010, suggest our planet may have gotten a significant portion of its liquid from such bodies.

Half of Earth's water may have come from ancient asteroid collisions © CNET itokawa1 The idea of an asteroid striking Earth is often positioned as a catastrophic event that would decimate all life on Earth. However, many scientists believe that asteroids can also help life flourish, delivering water to the planet billions of years ago.

New research of samples from the peanut-shaped asteroid Itokawa, published in the journal Science Advances on May 1, suggest it harbored water, inferring that similar objects in the ancient, early solar system would have been the same and could have seeded the early Earth with life-sustaining water.

In 2000 the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, sent the Hayabusa probe to the asteroid Itokawa in an attempt to grab samples from the space rock and bring them back to Earth. After an initial failed attempt, the probe was able to gather dust and return to Earth, landing in a remote region of outback Australia in June 2010. It was the first time asteroid samples had been brought back to Earth. Scientists have been studying the returned samples ever since, even showing us exactly what Itokawa looks like under the microscope.

The Mysterious Exploding Asteroid

The Mysterious Exploding Asteroid A NASA spacecraft reached a space rock and found it orbited by tiny moons—a phenomenon that “has never been seen before in any solar-system object.”

Up to half of Earth ' s ocean water may have come from impacts by asteroids . Based on Itokawa's spectrum in Earth -based telescopes, planetary scientists place it in the S class. This links it with the stony meteorites, which are thought to be fragments from S-type asteroids broken off in collisions .

If Earth ' s water had come from Kuiper Belt objects — even if most of them were like comet 103P/Hartley 2 — and if only a But to start with, they might have had much more water than they have now." Future analysis of ice-rich bodies in the asteroid belt could shed light on whether Earth ' s

The research team, from Arizona State University, were gifted five incredibly tiny samples by JAXA, about a fifth the width of a human hair, and decided to hunt for water -- something that no other team was doing with the Itokawa samples.

"Until we proposed it, no one thought to look for water," said Maitrayee Bose, co-author on the paper, in a statement. "I'm happy to report that our hunch paid off."

Bose and lead author Ziliang Jin studied hydrogen isotopes and the water content in Itokawa, revealing the S-type (non-metallic) asteroid had similar levels of isotopes to those you would find in rocks on Earth. Although it is approximately 8 million years old (and its dust and soil is likely much older), the team found evidence that Itokawa's samples were rich in water.

Iron Age settlement and ancient skeletons found as pipes are laid

Iron Age settlement and ancient skeletons found as pipes are laid Twenty-six human skeletons dating back almost 3,000 years ago have been discovered in Oxfordshire. Thames Water's £14.5m project to ease pressure on a chalk stream near Wantage led to the discovery believed to be from the Iron Age and Roman periods. Workers found an ancient settlement containing an array of historic artefacts as they prepared to lay new water pipes which will relieve pressure on Letcombe Brook. The finds included 26 human skeletons with some likely to have been involved in ritual burials.

But where that water came from is a long-standing question that scientists are still unraveling. A new study reports the first evidence that ancient dust saturated with water collected at the heart of an Around 4.6 billion years ago, Earth formed from countless collisions of dust and rocks around the sun.

Earth ' s Water 's Mysterious Origin Deepen. NASA thought that much of Earth ' s Water came from comets. Well after landing on a comet and taking date, scientists now When the Earth formed around 4 billion years ago, it was the result of countless collisions with dust and rocks surrounding the sun.

The team hypothesize that their findings reveal an extraterrestrial origin for up to half of the Earth's water, but caution that there is still more work to be done -- this is but the first example of an asteroid sample-return mission that has seen such a result.

"Sample-return missions are mandatory if we really want to do an in-depth study of planetary objects," Bose notes.

The good news is two similar asteroid missions are currently in progress, with Hayabusa's successor, Hayabusa-2, blowing a hole in asteroid Ryugu in an effort to extract samples and return them to Earth in 2020. NASA are also running an asteroid study of the potentially-hazardous object known as Bennu, launching the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in 2016 to high-five the asteroid and steal a handful of ancient dust. That spacecraft is scheduled to return in 2023.

As such, fresh evidence for the origins of our planet's most precious resource may be just around the corner.

Earth may have been struck by an interstellar meteor way back in 2014

Earth may have been struck by an interstellar meteor way back in 2014 It was late 2017 when the astronomy world was buzzing over what appeared to be the first-ever interstellar visitor observed by mankind. 

Water deep inside Earth and the moon may originate from the same source: ancient meteorites, scientists say. When Earth was born, the ingredients of the planet' s water most likely would have formed beyond the orbit of Earth . As such, all the water on the planet must have come from either

Our planet’ s water may have come from the swirling nebula that birthed the solar system. An ancient eruption, like the recent Holuhraun eruption in Iceland, brought up deep mantle material that contains clues about the origin of Earth ' s water .

Explore asteroid Ryugu with Japan's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft

Mountain of ice on asteroid ‘is like nothing humanity has ever seen before’.
Astronomers could hardly believe their eyes when they saw a 12,000ft mountain of ice rising from the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres in images sent back by NASA’s Dawn probe. The mountain ‘is like nothing that humanity has ever seen before’, NASA said this week. The mountain of ice (Ahuna Mons) is even, smooth, and steep-sided, and now scientists from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) believe they know how it formed. Basically, the mountain is a huge mud volcano, made of hot mud which burst through the surface at a weak point covered in reflective salt - then froze in the bitter cold of space.

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