Space dust capable of carrying water and organic compounds to planets like Earth
Washington: Researchers have discovered that interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) can deliver water and organics to the Earth and other terrestrial planets.
Interplanetary dust, dust that has come from comets, asteroids, and leftover debris from the birth of the solar system, continually rains down on the Earth and other Solar System bodies. These particles are bombarded by solar wind, predominately hydrogen ions.
This ion bombardment knocks the atoms out of order in the silicate mineral crystal and leaves behind oxygen that is more available to react with hydrogen, for example, to create water molecules.
Co-author Hope Ishii, new Associate Researcher in the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) at UHM SOEST, said that it is a thrilling possibility that this influx of dust has acted as a continuous rainfall of little reaction vessels containing both the water and organics needed for the eventual origin of life on Earth and possibly Mars.
This mechanism of delivering both water and organics simultaneously would also work for exoplanets, worlds that orbit other stars. These raw ingredients of dust and hydrogen ions from their parent star would allow the process to happen in almost any planetary system.
Using a state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope, the scientists have now actually detected water produced by solar-wind irradiation in the space-weathered rims on silicate minerals in interplanetary dust particles.
Futher, on the bases of laboratory-irradiated minerals that have similar amorphous rims, they were able to conclude that the water forms from the interaction of solar wind hydrogen ions (H+) with oxygen in the silicate mineral grains.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Security guard beats woman journalist publicly in Pakistan
- Pakistan violates ceasefire in J&K's Hiranagar; 7 Pak Rangers killed, BSF jawan injured
- ISIS terrorists escape Mosul disguised in women's clothing
- J&K: Suspected Pakistani spy arrested in Samba district
- DNA: Reporting on war against ISIS in Mosul
- MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli? Here's Virender Sehwag's best ever reply
- Hema Malini did not accept land for dance academy: Government to HC
- LIVE Cricket Score, IND vs NZ, 3rd ODI: Chasing 286-run target, India lose Rahane and Rohit early
- Seven Pak rangers, one militant killed in retaliatory firing by BSF on Jammu border
- Samajwadi Party feud LIVE: After his sacking, Ramgopal Yadav writes to Mulayam, says 'you're surrounded by evil forces'