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Old As Water

Old As Water

September 29, 2015

MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Adam Sarafian (left) and geologist Horst Marschall test samples of meteorites in the Northeast National Ion Microprobe Facility. Last year, the pair published a paper that concluded water began arriving on Earth at around the same time that the original rocks were forming the solar system’s inner planets, which is much earlier than previously thought. The team, which also included Sune Nielsen and Brian Monteleone of WHOI and Francis McCubbin from the University of New Mexico examined samples provided by NASA to determine that the isotopic signature of Earth’s water matches that of the oldest known hydrogen reservoir in the solar system.(Photo by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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