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A group of people play on the beach in Ocean Park, Maine, Aug. 7, 2020. A new study offers evidence on how water originated on Earth. VOA

A study published this week offers evidence regarding how water originated on Earth, and the clues come from some of the oldest rocks in the solar system.

Earth’s abundance of water makes it unique in the solar system, but scientists have never been sure how it got here. Some believed the water – or chemical compounds that make up water – was here all along, embedded in the original rock that formed the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago.


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But other scientists studying models of where Earth exists in the solar system think it should have formed as a dry planet, suggesting the water came from somewhere else.

A study, published Thursday in the journal Science, looks at the composition of samples of enstatite chondrite meteorites — a rare, ancient form of meteorite believed to have been formed very early in the life of the solar system.


A piece of an enstatite chondrite meteorite, which contains about 0.5 weight percent of water, is seen in this undated handout obtained Aug. 27, 2020, courtesy of Laurette Piani and Christine Fieni from the Museum of Natural History in Paris. VOA

Scientists had previously dismissed these space rocks as the source of Earth’s water because they were exposed to the heat and radiation of the young sun early in their formation, making them, the scientists thought, too dry to carry water.

Instead, astronomers theorize water came to Earth later in its formation, through carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which came from the outer solar system, where wate was more abundant.

Also Read: 5 Unmissable Performances of Pankaj Tripathi

In the new study, researchers measured the amount of hydrogen, the primary element in water, in 13 samples of enstatite chondrite meteorites. Their analysis revealed these meteorites carry a lot more hydrogen than previously believed. So much hydrogen, that the study’s authors say they believe the ancient meteorites can account for least three times the amount of water in Earth’s present-day oceans.

Therefore, they maintain, Earth’s water may have come from the very space rocks that formed the planet. (VOA)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)