Where did the water on Earth come from? Missing link found!
The new research contradicts the theory that water on Earth arrived from deep space and asteroid strikes were responsible.
According to recent study, Earth's water could have come into existence as a result of chemical interactions between hydrogen-rich atmospheres and magma oceans during planet formation. This study suggests that Earth developed its own water, contradicting the theory that frozen comets or asteroids brought water to a dry young Earth.
The new research from Carnegie Science's Anat Shahar and UCLA's Edward Young and Hilke Schlichting demonstrate based on exoplanet research that early in Earth’s existence, interactions between the magma ocean and a molecular hydrogen proto-atmosphere could have given rise to huge quantities of water.
"Exoplanet discoveries have given us a much greater appreciation of how common it is for just-formed planets to be surrounded by atmospheres that are rich in molecular hydrogen, H2, during their first several million years of growth," Shahar explained in a statement. "Eventually these hydrogen envelopes dissipate, but they leave their fingerprints on the young planet's composition."
The findings contradict the theory that water arrived from deep space. One popular theory claimed that asteroid strikes are responsible for the majority of the planet's water.
A study published recently in the journal Nature Astronomy suggested that volatile and organic-rich C-type asteroids may have been one of the primary sources of Earth's water.
According to the researchers, based on the study of common exoplanets discovered orbiting distant stars, the rocky material that collided to form the growing planet was completely dry, but the interactions between the molecular hydrogen atmosphere and the magma ocean would generate plenty of water.