Home / Science / News /  ‘Very similar’ water found on meteorite that fell on UK in 2021. Read here

A meteorite had crashed and landed into a driveway in Gloucestershire town in United Kingdom in February 2021. A latest report has suggested that researchers have found extra-terrestrial water in the meteorite. This could have the answer to where the water in the vast oceans on Earth came from. 

Ashley King, a researcher in the planetary materials group at the Natural History Museum, has informed that around 12% of the sample was made up of water and it is also the least contaminated specimen to be collected to date, according to a report in The Independent

The researcher also said that the extra-terrestrial water found on the meteorite is ‘very, very similar’ to the composition of water on Earth. 

"It's a really good piece of evidence that asteroids and bodies like Winchcombe made a very important contribution to the Earth's oceans," King told British Science Festival, as per The Independent.

A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon.

King infirmed that because the 0.5kg space rock was retrieved quickly - within 12 hours - it was not contaminated by water and materials on Earth.

Now "one of the big questions we have in planetary sciences is where did the water on Earth come from? And one of the obvious places is either through comets that have loads and loads of ice in them, or asteroids. There's always a debate - were comets the main source, were asteroids the main source?" King said, according to Sky News.

However, the researcher explained that data from missions to comets suggest that they are not a good match for the water on Earth. "The composition of the water in Winchcombe is a much better match, so that would imply that asteroids - carbonaceous asteroids - were probably the main source of water to the inner solar system, to the Earth," he stated.

King said that the meteorite had came from an asteroid somewhere near Jupiter. He informed that it formed around 4.6 billion years ago and its journey to Earth took approximately 300,000 years.

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