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Space & Astronomy

Liquid water discovered inside a meteorite

By T.K. Randall
May 16, 2021 · Comment icon 8 comments

Does the water in this meteorite point to the origins of Earth's water ? Image Credit: NASA / Eric James
For the first time, scientists have found liquid water inside a meteorite from the earliest days of the solar system.
While it had long been suspected that water could be preserved within meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites, this is the first time that actual liquid has been found inside one.

The discovery was made in fragments of the Sutter's Mill meteorite - a 4.6 billion-year-old chunk of space rock that fell to Earth and landed in the United States in 2012.

Senior study author Akira Tsuchiyama from Ritsumeikan University in Japan, and colleagues, used microscopy techniques to identify liquid rich in carbon dioxide inside a tiny calcite crystal.

"This achievement shows that our team could detect a tiny fluid trapped in a mineral 4.6 billion years ago," said Tsuchiyama.
The discovery is particularly important because, due to the age of the meteorite, it can provide clues as to the conditions that existed during the earliest days of our solar system.

The scientists believe that this particular space rock formed somewhere out beyond Jupiter's orbit.

The water inside could also point to the original source of the Earth's oceans.

It may, in fact, be the "grandparent material" of all the water found on Earth.

Source: | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jolko 3 years ago
Does this incereases panspermia possibility of life
Comment icon #2 Posted by mesuma 3 years ago
The silence in here is deafening.
Comment icon #3 Posted by the13bats 3 years ago
Meteor shi...
Comment icon #4 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
?  Perhaps that is because it was posted when all the really smart people in Australia were still asleep...    It's cool news, but not at all unexpected, and yes it does increase the chances of panspermia.  A bit.  But given we still only know of one example of life, we are not yet equipped to make silly guesses about probability. Why did you post that observation, may I ask?  Frustration out of wanting to know more?  Then ask.  Or are you suggesting that people are hoping this will go unnoticed?  Or that they are posting but the MIB are deleting everything?   Frankly, it seems odd ... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by mesuma 3 years ago
  I'd be real stupid to post on a public forum and expect no one to see it now wouldn't I? Why would MIBs delete posts?  Surely that would be the moderators job.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by CigaretteSmokingMan 3 years ago
MIBs huh
Comment icon #7 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
Whoosh.  Straight to the 'keeper.
Comment icon #8 Posted by lightly 3 years ago
I don't understand why finding water inside a meteorite would be surprising.   ICE is quite common on/in other planets and in meteorites .     The heat created by traveling through our atmosphere might change ice to water ?  And ,being INSIDE, the meteorite would not evaporate . ?

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