Analysis of Ryugu samples would indicate that asteroids brought water to Earth

Remember: three years ago, the Hayabusa 2 of the JAXA managed to recover samples from the asteroid Ryugu (900 meters in diameter) located 300 million kilometers from our planet. The harvesting mission was a total success, probably the most important of the Japanese space agency. On December 6, 2020, a capsule full of samples returned to Earth and researchers then rushed to analyze its content. A group of Japanese scientists recently reported their first conclusions in the journal Nature, and the latter are explosive: the analysis of the Ryugu samples indeed seems to validate the theory according to which asteroids could have been the main source of water on the Earth, billions of years ago.

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The asteroid Ryugu seen by the Hayabusa 2 probe

While recalling that the thesis of water-providing asteroids “is still the subject of an important debate” in the scientific community, researchers claim to have found traces of organic and/or carbonaceous substances in the Ryugu samples. It is these substances that would be largely responsible for the arrival of water on our planet.

Despite the elements reported, the published study does not yet provide definitive proof of the origin of water on Earth; JAXA thus intends to collect samples of several types of asteroids (S, C and D), the only real means of validating the advanced theory. Suffice to say that it will take a few more years to know whether or not the arrival of water on our planet, and by extension the life on its surface, is the result of a big boost from the asteroids.

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