View Full Version : Water and organics in found in space dust

2014-Jan-21, 12:25 PM
According to this article (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24907-water-found-in-stardust-suggests-life-is-universal.html)an anlysis of space dust has found it to contain both organic chemistry and minute pockets of water. This probably has implications for the idea that lifes ingredients were bought to Earth from space, as we recieve (IIRC) 40,000 tons of space dust a year and it's entry into out atmosphere is far gentler than for a meteorite. It might even imply that some prebiotic reactions could take place in interplanetary sapce. But I can't find the paper the article is based on, and I want to read the abstract at least before I let myself be convinced newscientist aren't sensationalising again. Can anyone help?

2014-Jan-21, 08:32 PM
Detection of solar wind-produced water in irradiated rims on silicate minerals (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/01/16/1320115111.abstract)

Supporting information here. (http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2014/01/17/1320115111.DCSupplemental/pnas.201320115SI.pdf)

2014-Jan-21, 08:54 PM

2014-Jan-22, 09:48 AM
It is really really tiny patches of water, in vesicles only nanometers across, but it goes to show the reaction being talked about - solar wind hydrogen reacting with oxygen in silica to produce water - really does happen even on airless and very tiny bodies. So organic materials in silicate rocks could interact with liquid water (to a limited extent) almost anywhere in the the solar system.

2014-Jan-23, 01:00 AM
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the (solar) wind! That offers a more detailed explanation of where all this post-Big Whack water on Earth came from, and where Mercury and Luna got their polar ice.