The water on Earth’s surface might have been present at the time of its formation itself and might have come from the materials in the inner solar system.
Researchers from the Universite de Lorraine in France said that a type of meteorite named enstatite chondrite contains sufficient hydrogen to deliver at least three times the amount of water contained in the oceans. They said that enstatite chondrites were completely composed of materials from the inner solar system. This was the same material that the Earth was originally formed.
They published the study in the “Science” journal.
“Our discovery shows that the Earth’s building blocks might have significantly contributed to the Earth’s water,” said Laurette Piani, lead author of the study. The researcher noted that the presence of hydrogen bearing material was found in the inner solar system at the time of the rocky planet formation despite the temperature being high.
They said that the meteorites provided a clue that water didn’t have to come from far away.
Enstatite chondrites are rare and make up only about two per cent of known meteorites in collections. However, their isotopic similarity to Earth make them particularly compelling, the researchers said.
They said that enstatite chondrites have similar components- oxygen, calcium and titanium isotopes as Earth. Another finding is that the nitrogen and hydrogen isotopes were similar to Earth’s.