Did an Asteroid Bring Water to Earth? Probably.

posted: 05/07/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
An asteroid near the Earth.

Scientists have long been puzzled by the origin of water on Earth, which is believed to have originally been dry. A new study from University of Warwick, however, suggests that water can be delivered to dry planets from other celestial bodies carrying water.

"Our research has found that, rather than being unique, water-rich asteroids similar to those found in our Solar System appear to be frequent. Accordingly, many planets may have contained a volume of water comparable to that contained in the Earth," said study lead author Dr. Roberto Raddi.

Using the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands, the researchers located a dwarf star whose atmospheric water content was equivalent to one third of the Earth's oceans. They believe that a water-rich exo-asteroid the size of Ceres delivered the water.

The study is published in the latest edition of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Click here for more information from University of Warwick

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