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thepete.tumblr.com - Science is Cool: Earth got its oceans delivered.

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Oct 6

Science is Cool: Earth got its oceans delivered.

Holy crap this is cool—from NASA.gov:

Astronomers have found a new cosmic source for the same kind of water that appeared on Earth billions of years ago and created the oceans. The findings may help explain how Earth’s surface ended up covered in water.

New measurements from the Herschel Space Observatory show that comet Hartley 2, which comes from the distant Kuiper Belt, contains water with the same chemical signature as Earth’s oceans. This remote region of the solar system, some 30 to 50 times as far away as the distance between Earth and the sun, is home to icy, rocky bodies including Pluto, other dwarf planets and innumerable comets.

Science is so damn cool.  So now we think we have an understanding of how our oceans were created.  They were delivered by comets.  We’ve always understood that this was possible, but seeing a comet with the exact same chemical composition as our oceans is as close to proof as I think we’ll ever get.

That makes me wonder if the same impact(s) that likely brought us our oceans also ejected the moon into orbit.  It also makes me think about the potential for more surprises to be delivered by Comet Express.  Who knows what else could end up on our doorstep?  If oceans were delivered once, anything is possible.  Hell, there have been theories for years that life, itself, was deposited here via cosmic-object-impact.

Science is awesome.


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