Is This Where Our Water Came From?

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Comet Wirtanen, which buzzed Earth in December 2018, has been found to harbor "ocean-like" water

Comet Wirtanen, which buzzed Earth in December 2018, has been found to harbor “ocean-like” water(Credit: NASA)

Earth is a famously wet planet, but where all that water came from in the first place remains a mystery. The most commonly-accepted theory is that comets and asteroids delivered it via impacts during the early days of Earth, and now a NASA study has found new evidence to support that idea. Observations of a comet that whizzed by close to Earth a few months ago show that it contains “ocean-like” water – and this may apply to other previously-dismissed comets too.

Some theories suggest that water has been here more or less since the beginning, when early Earth was just a huge ball of churning, warm, wet mud. Other evidence points to it being delivered when a Mars-sized proto-planet crashed into the young Earth and spawned the Moon.

But the general consensus holds that the life-giving liquid arrived on the backs of asteroids and comets. These collisions occurred far more often in the tumultuous early days of the solar system, and while these space rocks may look pretty dry, water has been detected on them somewhat regularly.

That might sound like an open-and-shut case, but it’s more complicated than that. Most comets studied so far have been found to harbor the wrong type of water. The stuff we’re used to here on Earth is, as you know, made up of two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom. But there’s also “heavy” water, which contains a hydrogen atom with an extra neutron.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).