Scientists Found Ancient Asteroids Containing Water

A new form of asteroid has been discovered in our solar system that may carry water.

By TeeJay Small | Published


A previously unknown class of asteroids has been discovered lurking between Mars and Jupiter, which contain heaps of water, which scientists could use to unlock various secrets of the universe. According to a report by the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, which serves as Germany’s center for aviation and space flight, the asteroids originated from far outside the asteroid belt, even perhaps breaching the edges of our known solar system. The water they carry could be used to create fuel for extremely long human voyages through the cosmos or studied to unlock extraterrestrial information previously unknown to modern science.

Astronomers have examined the dark asteroids in question, leading them to the understanding that these space rocks are unlike any we have encountered before. For starters, the existence of water within the asteroids means that they may be as old or older than our entire solar system. The rocks seem to mimic a similar genetic makeup of the dwarf planet Ceres, which is found within the asteroid belt between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter.

Ceres is largely considered to be the only dwarf planet within our known solar system that contains vast amounts of water. Using NASA‘s Infrared Telescope Facility, astronomers investigating the science and origin behind these asteroids were able to determine the composition of the rocks, highlighting their Ceres-like makeup. The asteroids are quite porous, allowing water to flow through many cavities as they are carried through the endless void of space, and indicates their formation in a cold, distant region of the solar system.

asteroids, earth

The porous nature of the rocks likely means that their formation was as far from our sun as possible, as the rocky structures were not heated enough to compact after creation. Scientists from Austin, Texas to Berlin, Germany have been hot on the case to learn more. While the scientific community has been hard at work determining the origins of these waterlogged asteroids and their applications for the future, there are still dozens of potential ramifications on how the asteroids could impact us here on Earth.

Perhaps the most fascinating theory regarding the asteroids is the scientific assertion that earth’s water originally came from asteroids of this very nature. For now, there isn’t enough evidence to be certain, but many scientists believe the first water to reach earth came from the reaches of space, and carried life-starting microbes on it. Could this mean that other lifeforms inhabit the galaxy, similar to humans, which evolved from the same bacteria?

For now, it’s impossible to know, but more great strides are being made every day in finding out. If these Ceres-like asteroids have been dragged from the furthest reaches of our solar system into the orbit of Mars, it could easily mean that the asteroids could reach Earth, under the right circumstances. Given the state of our neighboring stars millions of years ago, it’s not hard to imagine the Earth frequently being bombarded by water-carrying asteroids such as these.