A Japanese spacecraft has collected dust particles from an asteroid 300 million kilometres away from the planet. A drop of water was the unexpected component, researchers revealed on Friday. The new discovery supports earlier research that claimed life on Earth might have originated from space.
Before the study’s publication in the journal Science on Friday, lead researcher Tomoki Nakamura of Tohoku University told reporters, ‘This drop of water has immense meaning.’
Many scientists think that water came from space, yet we were the first to find water on the asteroid Ryugu, which is close to Earth.
The findings are a part of the latest research to be published from the analysis of 5.4 grams of rocks and dust gathered by the Hayabusa-2 probe from the asteroid Ryugu.
In the Ryugu sample, the investigators allegedly discovered a drop of fluid that was ‘carbonated water containing salt and organic debris,’ according to the study, Nakamura claimed.
Having been sent to Ryugu in 2014, Hayabusa-2 returned to Earth’s orbit two years ago carrying a capsule containing the sample. It has already provided numerous insights, including organic material that suggested that some of the amino acids, which are the basis of life on Earth, may have evolved in space.
The most recent information, according to scientists, supports the idea that asteroids like Ryugu or its larger parent asteroid may have ‘supplied water, which contains salt and organic materials’ in collisions with Earth, according to Nakamura.