Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extraterrestrial Water Found Trapped In Meteorite

Date:
August 30, 1999
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
Based on an analysis by a group of researchers, including several from NASA's Johnson Space Center, a meteorite that landed last year in a west Texas yard contains the first samples of extraterrestrial water. The fluid is trapped inside halite crystals. Halite is similar to table salt. The water could be as old as 4.5 billion years.

On a clear day in west Texas, on March 22, 1998, a meteorite fell to Earth and was seen up by a group of boys. They picked up the stone and it made its way to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) for analysis. In a JSC clean room two days later, the grey rock was opened with a hammer. Scientists found blue and purple halite inside. Halite is a salt crystal, similar to table salt. The crystals were up to 3 milimeters (less than a tenth of an inch) in diameter. These are the largest halite crystals ever seen by scientists in any extraterrestrial material. The presence of water inside the crystals was confirmed using several forms of scientific analysis.

The crystals have turned blue and purple by radiation, and are estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. That means that the trapped water could predate the sun and planets in our Solar System.

According to the authors, the study of this meteorite has resulted in a finding that a brine solution was present when the Solar System was formed. The brine could have been flowing within the asteroid itself when it was in space or it could have been deposited on the asteroid by a passing object, such as a comet.

The full story appears as an article entited Asteroidal Water Within Fluid Inclusion-Bearing Halite in an H5 Chondrite, Monahans (1998) in the Journal, Science's edition of August 27, 1999. The authors are Michael E. Zolensky (JSC), Robert J. Bodnar (Department of Geological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA), Everett K. Gibson Jr. (JSC), Laurence E. Nyquist (JSC), Young Reese (Lockheed Martin Space Operations Company, Houston, TX), Chi-Yu Shih (Lockheed Martin Space Operations Company, Houston, TX), and Henry Wiesmann (Lockheed Martin Space Operations Company, Houston, TX)

To learn more about NASA's work in extraterrestrial materals, visit http://http://www-curator.jsc.nasa.gov/ -- the Home Page for the Curator for Astromaterials Samples at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. That organization's mission is to protect, preserve, and distribute for study samples from the Moon, Mars, and interplanetary space in support of solar system exploration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Extraterrestrial Water Found Trapped In Meteorite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990830072730.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (1999, August 30). Extraterrestrial Water Found Trapped In Meteorite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990830072730.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Extraterrestrial Water Found Trapped In Meteorite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990830072730.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins