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April 06, 2011

Liquid water found in comet?

For the first time, scientists may have found liquid water in a comet; this discovery, if valid, nullifies the previous conception that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the majority of the object. This discovery was made by Eve Berger, and her colleagues, by analyzing dust grains that were brought back to Earth from a comet known as Wild-2. The Stardust mission, launching in 1999, scooped up tiny particles released from the comet's surface in 2004, and then landed in 2006 in Utah. The team found minerals that had to have formed in the presence of water, implying that at some point the comet "must have harbored pockets of water."

I find this discovery quite remarkable. Although comets could never serve as a habitable planet for humans to live on one day, it is still hopeful that we are making new, impressive discoveries about the presence of liquid water in outer space. The more we can learn about our solar system and space itself, the closer we are to discovering an alternate planet for humans to inhabit.

For more details and information on this discovery, see this article:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110405175018.htm

Posted by ccastel at April 6, 2011 09:13 PM

Comments

If liquid water can be transported by comets, this would seem to increase our chances of finding life in the universe beyond Earth. Comets could bring water to other planets, and if the planet's conditions allowed the water to stay in liquid form, this could be an externally created opportunity for life to form.

Posted by: ktwadell at April 7, 2011 01:13 AM

It's pretty cool to think that comets could have liquid water, since it shows other places where liquid water could be present. The only thing that is a question/ could be a slight disappointment in my eyes is that would the water stay liquid long enough to harbor life? I have a feeling it couldn't, which is saddening.

Posted by: emmatula at April 9, 2011 01:11 PM

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