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Water Discovered on an Asteroid—A First

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posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 03:01 PM

Water has been spotted on an orbiting asteroid for the first time, according to a new study of a space rock that appears to be coated with frost.

What's more, the frost seems to be mixed with carbon-bearing material, according to results from two independent teams studying the asteroid, which is known as 24 Themis.

"We report the first detection of water ice and of organic molecules on an asteroid, and they are both on the same asteroid," said Humberto Campins of the University of Central Florida, leader of one of the teams.

Both teams used NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii to watch how sunlight reflected off the asteroid at different wavelengths, revealing the watery signature.

A closer look at similar asteroids, perhaps during a proposed NASA mission, could help reveal whether the water we drink—and maybe even the building blocks of life—were delivered to Earth by impacting space rocks. (See "Comet Swarm Delivered Earth's Oceans?")

Asteroid Water Ice Exposed by "Impact Gardening"?

Asteroids are believed to be the leftovers of planet formation, with compositions that have remained almost pristine for 4.6 billion years.

The asteroid 24 Themis orbits about x million miles (480 million kilometers) from the sun. It's one of the largest asteroids in the main asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Continued story at link

Now we just need water on a planet, unfrozen.
I thought this was kind of cool and opens the possibilities for future hopes of finding life on planets, at least more so.

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 03:20 PM
Ladies, and Gentleman, this is a very important discovery. This tells us two things:
1. Water can be found basically anywhere in the universe.
2. That life might be on asteroids, and then brought to planets when they crash into them.
This gives us great insight into the subject of life outside earth in general. This is the greatest discovery concerning life since they found that meteorite in Antarctica from mars with evidence of microbial life.

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 03:24 PM
Certainly a major support element for the Panspermia crowd...though, they still have to argue where it came from on the asteroids in the first place?

Now we just need water on a planet, unfrozen.
I thought this was kind of cool and opens the possibilities for future hopes of finding life on planets, at least more so.

I still think we should concentrate on Europa.. There could be an entire ocean ecosystem underneath all that ice......Or at least life similar to our ocean vent systems...

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 03:28 PM
I would think Comets would be a more likely source of water, since they are mostly composed of ice, right?

Perhaps the micro-organisms came from the asteroids containing water. Thus creating the beginning of an evolutionary chain.

There is enough galaxies to determine other possible evolved life on planets.

Just my thoughts, good find.

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 03:43 PM
scientists already knew this was true, they may not have the final proof but this just confirms it

asteroids provide planets with elements to life ... FACT

so ... yeah, if you look for the science side this is proof that life exists everywhere

in the documentary "THE UNIVERSE" they talk about that ... its a very good series for anyone interested in life outside earth, you can find it online or dvds whatever

[edit on 28-4-2010 by Faiol]

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 04:00 PM
Awesome post, thats very cool indeed.

"By some accounts, Earth should have been too hot in its early days to have retained any of its original water. This has led some scientists to suspect our oceans were delivered by a barrage of asteroids or comets once the planet had cooled."

If Earth was to hot in the beginning I wonder how these asteroids came about all there water.

Also Isn't there a theory our planet smashed with another one and our waters mixed. Maybe thats what the asteroid belt is the remnants of that planet.

Very cool I can see all the bottled water companies going wild. Asteroid water for the elite. sublimatingly Fresh. The rothschilds only use ice from asteroids!

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 04:49 PM
There is no water on this asteroid, just as there is no water on comets.

The water "signature" is not water at all. They are looking at the spectrum of ions flowing off of the object and concluding there is water just as they do with comets.

In fact, this finding confirms the electric theory of comets.

Read all about it here.

There is no difference between asteroids and comets other than their orbit.

Because this asteroid is not moving in an elongated orbit it may discharge only weakly, rather than a comet, which can discharge explosively due to its greater charge differential.

[edit on 28-4-2010 by mnemeth1]


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