Scientists have discovered that the meteorite that fell in a residential area in the city of Witchcombe, England, contains extraterrestrial water. This is the first time in history that scientists have found water from another planet.
The meteorite, which fell in England in February, is the first known costochondritis found United kingdom, in addition to being the first to recover in the entire country in 30 years. It is believed to have formed about 4.6 billion years ago, and that it took about 300,000 years to reach Earth.
This discovery will allow to conduct new research that can provide valuable information about the appearance of water on Earth, since the origin of the liquid on our planet still raises controversy among scientists and one of the hypotheses is that water arrived here by comets and asteroids.
The piece of space rock was collected 12 hours after it fell – making the sample pure, preventing contamination – and containing 12% water in its composition.
“It’s very good evidence that asteroids have made a very important contribution to Earth’s oceans,” said Ashley King, a researcher in the Planetary Collection of Materials at the Natural History Museum.
In an interview with Sky News, King also stated that “one of the big questions we have in planetary science is where the water on Earth came from” and believes “one of the obvious places is through comets that have loads and loads of ice” or asteroids.
The Winchcombe sample may not provide definitive answers, but it does help understand how much water may have been carried by meteorites that collided with Earth in the past.
Other recent discoveries indicate that in addition to water, it is possible that fragments from space also brought adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine and uracil, the nucleic bases that make up the DNA and RNA of living organisms on our planet.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Problem solver. Twitter buff. Wannabe music advocate.”