Did water once flow through meteorites?


Oct 22, 2019
"The anomalous isotope levels seen within the meteorites should disappear within a million years due to radioactive decay, the scientists noted. This suggests these meteorites possessed liquid water during that time.

All in all, this discovery suggests "these asteroids still contain ice, and that means that they could, at any time, have delivered both water and organics, which combined are critical for life," study lead author Simon Turner, an isotope geochemist at Macquarie University in Australia, told Space.com."

Interesting find here. One million years is very young relative to the meteorite radiometric ages, commonly near 4.56 billion years old. Cosmic ray exposure ages can be much younger though. Fitting the pieces together is challenging too like the Earth forming in a region of the accretion disk that was hot with no ice or water and then delivering all the water here. Reconciling different age measurements can be fun too :)
Jun 1, 2020
I'd be surprised if a liquid water phase wasn't predicted for the larger asteroids especially. Most of the meteorites (80%?) come from one big collision in the belt, so the less dense portions within a larger than average asteroid could have enough pressure to allow a liquid phase that could have some flow through it, I assume. These formations were hotter due to impacts, gravitational collapse, and especially radioactive decay of the faster decaying isotopes.


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