Scientists try to find out the origin of life so they investigate the chemistry of carbon and water. In the case of water, they track the various forms, or isotopes, of its constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms over the history of the universe, like a giant treasure hunt. Researchers from the CNRS, Paris-Saclay University, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and the University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour (UPPA), with support from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN).
The researchers have followed the trail of the isotopic composition of water back to the start of the solar system, in the inner regions where Earth and the other terrestrial Planet Earth were formed. They did this by analyzing one of the oldest meteorites of our solar system, using an innovative method developed just for their study.
It was created by a massive influx of interstellar water in the hot internal regions of the solar system, upon the collapse of the interstellar envelope and the formation of the proto Planet disc.The early existence of this gas with Earth-like isotopic composition implies that Earth’s water was there before the accretion of the first constituent blocks of our Planet. These findings are published in Nature Astronomy.