A First In The Solar System Water Found In Asteroids

Using data from the SOFIA infrared telescope, researchers have discovered water on the asteroids Iris and Massalia.

Our Solar System is a collection of objects ranging from planets and moons to comets and asteroids.

It is thought that there are more than 1 million asteroids orbiting the Sun and that the water on them must have evaporated long ago.

Water Discovered On Asteroids For The First Time

Water has been discovered on the asteroids Iris and Massalia, according to a new study using data from the SOFIA infrared telescope.

This is not the first time SOFIA has made such a discovery. In October 2020, SOFIA detected water on the Moon.

Among the million or so asteroids, Iris, with a diameter of 199 km, is larger than about 99 percent of other asteroids. It orbits the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter at an average distance of 2.39 astronomical units and takes 3.7 years to complete one orbit.

Massalia is comparable in size to Iris at 135 km across and shares a similar orbit to Iris.

The Possibility Of Other Life In Our Solar System

This discovery could provide important insights into the early formation of our solar system. Since water is an essential component of life, this discovery also raises the possibility that life may have existed elsewhere in our solar system.

The paper’s lead author, Dr. Anicia Arredondo of the Southwest Research Institute, confirmed that based on the strength of the spectral lines, the volume and prevalence of water on asteroids is consistent with that found on the Moon.

Here, too, water is locked up, bound to minerals and absorbed by silicates.

James Webb Space Telescope Will Be Used

Further analysis is needed to fully understand the distribution of water in the Solar System, but following the study, the team will now use the James Webb Space Telescope, which has better quality optics and a much better signal-to-noise ratio, to learn more.

What Is An Asteroid?

Asteroids are rocky or metallic bodies orbiting the Sun, but smaller than planets and without an atmosphere. They are also called minor planets.

Although rare, asteroids orbiting close to Earth can pose a risk of collision.

66 Million Years Ago Caused The Extinction Of The Dinosaurs

66 million years ago, the event that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs on Earth is thought to have been caused by an asteroid collision the size of Mount Everest.

Mücahid Ahlatçı

Hi, I'm Mucahid. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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