"A huge reservoir of earth-like water" was found inside the "Christmas Comet" as it flew past Earth last year, explaining the origins of our planet's oceans, NASA says.
- The measurements were carried out by SOFIA Observatory at high altitude
- It turned out that some comets had the same ratio of "normal" and "heavy" water as Earth.
- Conjecture that comets supplied the first waters to the Earth billions of years ago.
- Some of this water then formed the seas and oceans that exist today.
The Christmas Comet, which flew past Earth last December, contained "a huge reservoir of water similar to Earth," similar to what we see today in our oceans.
NASA scientists claim that this supports the theory that distant space rocks provided the first water to Earth that formed oceans and seas.
Water on Earth comes in two forms, as regular water and as a "heavier" version called HDO.
Hydrogen with an additional particle, a neutron, is known as an isotope and is called deuterium. The ratio of normal water to deuterium varies.
The relationship on the Christmas comet is the same as on Earth, indicating that they have the same origin.
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Comets that collide with Earth in the early days of our solar system may have delivered the very first water to our planet that has formed its oceans and oceans
The NASA's NASA Flying Stratosphere Observatory, known as SOFIA, for infrared astronomy is worldwide largest telescope and has measured the comet.
It collected data from Comet 46P / Wirtanen, which approached the Earth's surface in December, and was referred to as the Christmas Comet.
"We have identified a huge reservoir of earth-like water in the outer reaches of the solar system," said Darek Lis, lead author of the study, in a statement.
WHAT IS DEUTERIUM?
Deuterium is an isotope of water, ie it has the same amount of protons but an extra neutron compared to normal water.
It does exist, of course, but often the ratio of water to deuterium can provide information.
Deuterium has a natural abundance of about one atom in 6,420 hydrogen in the Earth's oceans.
The observations have led scientists to believe that comets could have supplied water to Earth first, because there are two types of water molecules on the comet, as in the Earth's oceans.
Both forms of water exist on earth, but in different proportions. The fact that this ratio is similar in both ocean and comet may suggest that the Earth's comets supplied some water.
Earlier, this ratio was difficult to measure until more powerful machines like SOFIA.
"Measuring this relationship is difficult," NASA said in a statement.
The oceans of the earth contain both normal water and a naturally occurring "heavy" water, in which the hydrogen atom in each water molecule is an additional particle called neutron  This heavier version of water occurs naturally alongside normal water in the Earth's oceans, but in a much smaller proportion. The picture shows the Christmas Comet seen from Earth ” class=”blkBorder img-share” />
This heavier version of water is naturally present in the Earth's oceans besides normal water, but in a much smaller proportion. The picture shows the Christmas Comet seen from Earth
This heavier version of water naturally occurs in the oceans of the earth in a much smaller proportion than normal water. The picture shows the Christmas Comet of SOFIA
WHAT IS THE CHRISTMAS COMPETITION?
The Christmas Comet or 46P / Wirtanen, the brightest comet of 2018, moved 12 miles across the sky km) from Earth on December 16.
The bright comet was captured from different angles with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The spaceship's instrument absorbed the glow of the comet, a stream like a gas cloud ejected by the comet, it passes through the solar system.
Astronomers were able to investigate it in passing, combining the capabilities of NASA's telescope and X-Rap Observatory.
The team at that time investigated what the comet consists of and how the gases inside can change when exposed to sunlight and radiation.
The Christmas comet does not actually have the color blue, but was used in the post-processing on high-resolution grayscale shots.
The inner part of the coma of a comet is usually invisible from Earth.
"Soil and space telescopes can only study this level of detail in comets when they are near Earth, and missions to visit comets like Rosetta are rare."
Using data from SOFIA, scientists studied a number of comets and found that other comets had similar water ratios to those found on Earth, no matter where they came from.
"This could mean that all comets could have a ratio of heavy to normal water resembling Earth's oceans and that they would have delivered much of the water to Earth," NASA scientists said.
Dominique Bockelée- Morvan, a scientist at the Paris Observatory and the French National Center for Scientific Research and second author of the study, said: "This is the first time that we have reduced the ratio of heavy to regular water of all comets to a single factor can relate. "
Planets are made of matter orbiting a star that looks like a disk around a star.
Small pieces of this debris can stick together over time and become larger solar system, existing large structures such as the Kuiper belt or the Oort cloud.
Scientists have been studying this relationship since the 1980s in only about a dozen comets.