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For the first time ever.. Discovery of water particles on asteroids


For the first time ever..

Discovery of water particles on asteroids

Scientists have found water molecules on an asteroid for the first time

an important achievement that can help uncover how Earth forms as it does today.

The asteroid composition study helped astronomers uncover how materials

including water, were distributed across the solar system and how such

distribution has evolved over the ages.

As water is :

an essential component of all life on Earth :

scientists hope that this new understanding will help find places to

look for potential life, both in and outside the solar system.

Astronomer Annecia Arredondo, who was involved in the discovery

said in a statement:

 "Asteroids are remnants of planetary formation

so their composition varies depending on where they form in the solar nebula."

In the new study

scientists discovered "unequivocal"

features of molecular water on Iris and Masalia.

  • Scientists used data from the retired stratospheric observatory for infrared
  • astronomy "Sofia", a joint project by NASA
  • and the German Space Agency to make the discovery.

While previous observations had revealed some form of

hydrogen on the Moon and on asteroids

  1. they had not been able to
  2. distinguish between water
  3. and its chemical proximity.

Scientists have previously found approximately the equivalent of a 12-ounce

(355 ml) water bottle trapped in a cubic metre of lunar soil that 

was chemically related to minerals.

In the new study, scientists found that the asteroid's 

water level was consistent with its abundance on the sunlit moon.

Dr. Arredondo added:

  • "Similarly, on asteroids, water can also be associated
  • with minerals and can be absorbed by silicates and held
  • or dissolved in silicate glass."

Following the latest findings, scientists are recruiting NASA's

  • first infrared space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope
  • to investigate further targets because of
  • its accurate optics and high noise reference ratio.

It is particularly important to distribute water to asteroids

  • because distribution can highlight how water is delivered to Earth
  • with implications for how water is delivered to potentially
  • habitable planets outside our solar system," the Panel said.