A meteorite has allowed trace the isotopic composition of water back to the beginning of the solar system, in the interior regions where they formed the Earth and the other terrestrial planets.
French researchers analyzed one of the oldest meteorites in our solar system, using an innovative method developed just for their study.
Your data shows that two gas reservoirs existed during the first 200,000 years of our solar system, even before the formation of the first planetary embryos.
One of these deposits consisted of the solar gas in which all matter in our solar system originated. With the meteorite, scientists were able to measure its record directly for the first time.. The second gas reservoir was enriched in water vapor and already had the isotopic signature of terrestrial water.
It was created by a massive influx of interstellar water into the hot inner regions of the solar system, following the collapse of the interstellar envelope and the formation of the protoplanetary disk. The early existence of this gas with an isotopic composition similar to that of Earth implies that Earth's water was there before the accumulation of our planet's first building blocks.
These findings, led by the CNRS (French national scientific research center) are published in Nature Astronomy.