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Water Ice found on surface of comet

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posted on Feb, 5 2006 @ 04:06 AM
NASA has long known that one ingredient in comets is water ice, but they were able to recently confirm that that ice can be found on the surface of comets. Until recently scientists weren't sure if it was just on the interior, or if it could be found on the surface as well.

Comet Temple 1, which was the comet targetted by the Deep Impact mission is reported to have three pockets of water ice on the surface, roughly measuring 300,000 square feet. It's theorized that the ice is from the center of the comet and was explosed over time, and that jets of vapor being ejected from the comet can blast the ice outward.

Temple 1 was also discovered to have "an abundance of organic material in the interior". -- Scientists have long known that a major ingredient in comets is water ice, but they were unsure whether the ice was contained mainly inside or if it could be found on the surface as well.

A new analysis of data from NASA's Deep Impact mission last year provides the first evidence that water ice can indeed exist on a comet's exterior.

In a new study released Thursday in an online edition of the journal Science, researchers report that the surface of Tempel 1, the comet targeted by Deep Impact, has three small pockets of water ice.

posted on Feb, 5 2006 @ 05:11 AM
interesting, how would water get there

and could there be life forms frozen in the water too?

just a though

posted on Feb, 5 2006 @ 05:16 AM
That's what caught my attention. You have water ice AND a substantial amount of organic material, both inside the comet. It makes me wonder if comets are "planet seeders" of some sort.

posted on Feb, 5 2006 @ 11:40 AM
The ice is probably on top because of our solar system's origins. Remember that all heavy elements in the universe are the by-product of some long ago supernova.

The discovery of water on the surface of the comet lends to the theory that Water was one of the main chemicals created during the supernova that later formed us. It's a big discovery from an origins perspective.

Note that this does not mean that comets were not the bringers of life (I don't believe that myself, but the evidence is substantial enough for it to be have been a possibility), but it doesn't add anything new to evidence for it either. Proto-life, or pre-life in the form of proteins and complex amino acids, could have just as happily "survived" (even though we can't classify it as life yet) in the core of a comet - and in fact would likely have been even more comfortable in the core than on a possibly violent surface.

Also, don't forget, that a lot of space dust contains ingredients to form simple proteins or complex amino acids - and so that's how they get into comets in the first place. They form along with the comet, and then are protected within it.

But anyone that thinks earth was purposefully seeded via comet, I think that's a little kookoo. If this planet was seeded by intelligent life (once again, I do not believe so), they probably would have just come on down and planted it themselves - instead of doing something so random and unreliable as a comet.

posted on Feb, 5 2006 @ 11:45 AM
"organic matter"? like soil?

what what damn you NASA dont hold back tell us more

posted on Feb, 5 2006 @ 12:05 PM
Organic Matter means amino acids, simple proteins, or the building blocks off. A little mix of oxygen, carbon, and a few other trace elements can be considered "organic matter". In fact, organic matter is nearly anything that is the result of a chemical reaction that utilizes carbon. No, Organic Matter does not mean life, or even close to life. It's the "building blocks of life".

Carl Sagan would probably say something here about a comet exploding in the atmosphere of the early earth, and raining down organic matter "like mana from heaven".

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 01:26 PM

Originally posted by Yarium

Not everything that utilizes carbon is considered organic. For instance carbonic acid is considered an inorganic acid. Organic compounds are dfined by C-H and C-C bonds.

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