The discovery further supports the theory that life on Earth came from space. (Photo: AP)
Scientists came to the conclusion about the presence of water based on the analysis of 5.4 grams of rocks and dust collected from the asteroid Ryugu by the Japanese space probe Hayabusa-2.
It is “carbonated water containing salt and organic substances”, the leader of the international team of scientists Tomoki Nakamura from the University of Tohoku, Japan, explained to journalists before today’s publication of the research in the journal Science. He added that the drop has great significance.
The discovery speaks in favor of the theory that asteroids such as Ryugu or its larger parent asteroid, upon collisions with Earth, provided the latter with water with salt and organic substances, Nakamura said. According to scientists, this process could be directly related to the formation of oceans or the appearance of organic substances on Earth, such as amino acids, according to AFP.
The Hayabusa-2 probe was launched on a mission to the asteroid Ryugu in 2014, and returned to Earth’s orbit two years ago to deposit a sample capsule. Nakamura’s team consists of around 150 scientists, including 30 from the USA, France, Great Britain, Italy and China.