(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists, after analyzing rare samples collected as a result of a six-year Japanese mission, came to the conclusion that water could have been brought to Earth by asteroids from the outer edges of the solar system.
To shed light on the origin of life and the formation of the universe, scientists are examining material brought to Earth in 2020 from the asteroid Ryugu. 5.4 grams of rocks and dust were collected by the Japanese space probe Hayabusa-2, which landed on the celestial body and fired a “impactor” at its surface.
Research results are just beginning to be published. In June, a team of experts found organic material that suggests that amino acids could have formed in space.
In a new paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists say Ryugu samples could reveal the secret of how oceans appeared on Earth billions of years ago.
“Volatile organic-rich class C asteroids may have been one of the main sources of water on Earth,” the study says. “The delivery of volatiles (i.e., organics and water) to Earth is still a matter of debate.”
Hayabusa 2 was launched in 2014 with a mission to the asteroid Ryugu, which is located at a distance of about 300 million kilometers from Earth. The probe returned to Earth orbit 2 years ago to deliver the sample capsule.
“Samples from Ryugu are undoubtedly among the most uncontaminated materials from the solar system available for laboratory research.
Ongoing studies of these precious specimens will certainly expand our understanding of the early formation processes of the solar system,” the study says.
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