Do oceans come from the space?

Do oceans come from the space?

ESA Herschel infrared space observatory found water in a comet star with almost the same composition of the ocean on the Earth. The discovery makes us think that once upon a time oceans might have been a gigantic iceberg, floating through space. The origin of water is very much debated. Our planet was formed at such high temperatures that all original water must have evaporated. Nevertheless, today two thirds of the surface are covered by water, and this must have come from space, after the Earth grew cold.

Comet stars seem to constitute an explanation: they are huge iceberg travelling through the space with orbits which find planets on their way, thus making collisions possible.

Every single Comet which has been studied so far has shown the level of a specific substance therein, deuterium, about twice the amount present in the oceans. If comets of this kind were to collude with the Earth, they could not contribute for more than a specific percentage to the earthly water.

But now Herschell studied the comet Hartley 2 using HIFI, the most sensitive instrument used so far for the fingerprinting of water in the space, which indicated that at least this is a Comet with oceanic water.

“The ratio deuterium/hydrogene in the Comet Hartley is almost exactly the same of water in the Oceans of the Earth”, said Paul Hartogh, from the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, who lead the international team of astronomer in this work.

The key to understand why Hartley2 is different is its place of birth: far beyond Pluto, in a very cold region of the solar system known as “Kuiper strand”.

Other comets previously studied by astronomers are thought to have been formed near Jupiter and Saturn, before being expelled outside the gravity of those huge planets. Thus the new observations suggest that maybe the oceans on the Earth come from Comets and specifically from one family born in the  external solar system.