The asteroid Itokawa have confirmed that the water on Earth has a cosmic origin

In 2010, there have been important to the space community event — the asteroid Itokawa was the first of its kind, the soil samples which were brought back to Earth. The resulting materials are still being carefully studied by researchers from around the world, for example, a group of scientists from the University of Arizona was looking for in them particles of water. Finally, they have been found, and scientists have further evidence that vital Earth’s water came through the falling asteroids.

To detect traces of water molecules, the scientists used a rather complicated, but accurate mass spectral analysis. Technology is the determination of the ratio of mass-to-charge ions, which are formed by ionization of soil samples — in other words, this weighting in the sample molecules. This is one of the most accurate ways of finding the contained substances and determine their number.

In soil samples, was found a mineral called pyroxene, in the crystal structure which contains water. This implies that the asteroid Itokawa is rich in water, which supports the theory that he and others like him, the objects may be the main providers of the fluid in the developing world. In fact, more than half of Earth’s water may have a cosmic origin.


It is noteworthy that Itokawa is the only asteroid that contains water. At the end of the 2018 probe OSIRIS-Rex has signaled its presence on the asteroid Bennu, the soil samples which will be delivered to Earth in 2023. Also soil samples were collected from the asteroid Ryuga — do is a Japanese probe “Hayabusa-2”.

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