A recent article published in Science Express by Conel Alexander and co-workers has shed light on the source of some of Earth’s volatile elements, including hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon.
The article claims that water and various volatile organic compounds came to earth from a primitive form of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrite. The researchers were able to measure the ratio of hydrogen to its heavier isotope deuterium in the chondrites. From this ratio, the researchers determined that the chondrites were formed in the asteroid belt, contradicting previous theories that claimed water came to Earth from comets formed in the outer reaches of the solar system.
The origin of water and volatile compounds serves as a stepping stone to understanding the origins of what made life on Earth possible; Alexander et al. are challenging widely-accepted theories on the creation of the Solar System in their quest to understand how water came to be on Earth.
Source: Science Daily