Scientists Find Missing Link For Water On Earth, Say It’s Older Than Sun

Scientists said the study suggests that other planetary systems should have received large amounts of water too.

Scientists looking into the origin of life on Earth have claimed that the water present on the planet is very, very old. In fact, a new study has said that it’s older than the Sun. The research is based on the discovery of water vapour around V883 Orionis, a young star, 1,305 light years away from Earth. Scientists said that the water surrounding the star has the same chemical markers as water on Earth. They added this supports the idea that water on Earth is even older than our Sun.

“We can now trace the origins of water in our Solar System to before the formation of the Sun,” said John J Tobin, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the US, and lead author of the study published in Nature.

The space scientists used Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to measure chemical signatures of the water and its path from the star-forming cloud to planets, according to a release by European Southern Observatory (ESO).


“The composition of the water in the disc is very similar to that of comets in our own Solar System. This is confirmation of the idea that the water in planetary systems formed billions of years ago, before the Sun, in interstellar space, and has been inherited by both comets and Earth, relatively unchanged,” Mr Tobin added.

Water is usually formed by two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen. The scientist said that his team found deuterium – an isotope of hydrogen.

Researchers have so far said that comets delivered water to Earth. They have found water from clouds to stars and then from comets to planets, but the link between the young stars and comets was missing.

“Before now, we could link the Earth to comets, and protostars to the interstellar medium, but we couldn’t link protostars to comets. V883 Orionis has changed that, and proven the water molecules in that system and in our Solar System have a similar ratio of deuterium and hydrogen,” said Mr Tobin.

V883 is so young that it is still growing, and is surrounded by a huge disk. It is here that the water with a signature similar to that found on Earth is present.