Thursday, October 6, 2011

Did water from comets fill up oceans in Earth?

PARIS: Much of Earth's oceans may have been created by comets, which whacked into the infant planet billions of years ago, bringing precious loads of ice, a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature suggests.

The evidence comes from a signature of the ratio of heavy hydrogen in water. Ice on a comet called 103P/Hartley 2, analyzed by an infrared instrument aboard Europe's Herschel space telescope has the same deuterium ratio as water on Earth.

Comets are mixtures of ice and dust that have been dubbed "dirty snowballs".


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