Carbonaceous Chondrites May Explain Water Formation on Earth

Since humanity has started its quest for space science, a question always clung around about getting a reason for water availability. Water, which is one of the most precious elements and natural resources on our planet, has not yet provided a consolidated reason behind its presence. Hence, the quest has floated to come up with an answer to such an existence every time. But, now, with the recent reports from Gizmodo, the scientific community may be able to give a reason for the presence of water on Earth. Let’s know more details on this latest development to derive basic reasoning about water’s availability on Earth.

What is the news?

According to the reports from Gizmodo, scientists have obtained evidence related to the consolidated study of the existence of water. The scientists took the samples from carbonaceous chondrites to get more information. From these meteorites, the scientists found that these meteorites held water till a few hundred years ago. It is from these meteorites water got fed into the Earth. They have also tried to check the nuclear radiation to detect uranium and thorium. The former being high mobile while the latter being relatively static helped to get precise information on water flow from the properties of these elements.

What are carbonaceous chondrites?

It is one of the primary entities in the group of chondrites. Carbonaceous chondrites are also known by the name C – chondrites. A chondrite is a stone, precisely a meteorite rock, that has not changed or got mutated due to environmental influence, including weathering, erosion, and geological processes. They are the essential components of primitive asteroids that were present in the early Solar System period. These C chondrites form merely 4.6% of the meteorite falls. In total, there are seven categories of carbonaceous chondrites:

  1. Allende
  2. Murchison
  3. Orgueil
  4. Ivuna
  5. Murray
  6. Tagish Lake
  7. Sutter’s Mill

All of them got their name due to the distinctive composition and region where the scientists found them.

What is the general theory behind water’s presence?

There is a general theory that when planets were forming in a protoplanetary disk style, a vast volume of interaction took place between ice, dust, and other coarse grains. This interaction led to the formation of more giant clumps. Hence, they got planetesimals because of their structure, becoming giant and rocky planets. The protoplanetary disk was much hotter in the initial stages of the formation of the solar system. So, this situation led to the evaporation of water molecules instead. Even the early stages of water formation were not ideal in that hotter environment. Hence, it is quite a perplexing situation to understand the conditions. Another fact is that after the ice age ended, the ice got melted, which led to water formation.

Presence of water in other Extraterrestrial sites

Space technology has helped researchers and scientists to understand that Earth is not the only place where water is available. When it comes to the Moon, many space organizations got data that ensures the presence of water on Earth’s lunar neighbor. Apart from this, NASA and JAXA have confirmed the existence of water as thawing ice present on asteroids like Bennu and Ryugu, respectively.

Benefits of the Study

The study will reveal many facets of water formation. The carbonaceous chondrites can be available on other extraterrestrial objects. Hence, using a robust optical camera and image processing facility can detect and identify the geological composition. The study will also help in understanding the evolution of the universe and our Solar System. Another decisive factor in proceeding further with this study will be to go for future space expeditions.


The report by Gizmodo on carbonaceous chondrites will help to give more constructive and concrete reasons behind the presence of water on Earth. Though the report is pretty elementary, it will help get a precise understanding of the universe’s evolution. The entire scientific community, especially those related to geology and space science, will like to proceed with this study to get more information. There may come an instance when there will be a consolidated reason to tell the reason behind water formation and existence. Also, the collected samples from the asteroids like Bennu and Ryugu can help the study move ahead.

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