Wa­ter pre­dates Sun

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE -

A SUB­STAN­TIAL amount of wa­ter found in the so­lar sys­tem pre­dates the Sun. The con­di­tions un­der which wa­ter is formed can be as­cer­tained by com­par­ing the ra­tio of dif­fer­ent hy­dro­gen iso­topes in wa­ter. It is al­ready known that in­ter­stel­lar wa­ter-ice has a high ra­tio of deu­terium (an iso­tope of hy­dro­gen) to hy­dro­gen be­cause of the very low tem­per­a­tures at which it forms. Us­ing this data and sim­u­la­tion mod­els a study has es­tab­lished that a large amount of wa­ter in the so­lar sys­tem orig­i­nated from ice that took form in in­ter­steller space. Sim­i­lar ice, hav­ing pre­bi­otic or­ganic mat­ter, could be present around other stars. Sci­ence, Septem­ber 25

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