NASA astronomers find ‘Earth-like water’ in comets that could explain ...

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cometA NASA team found 'Earth-like' water in distant comets which may give clues to the planet's make-up (Image: GETTY)

A team of international researchers collected data from Comet Wirtanen which was nicknamed the “Christmas comet” after it passed close to Earth in December 2018, near enough for people to catch a glimpse. Scientists observed the bright green comet and collected data using American space agency NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) - the world’s largest airborne observatory which operates out of a Boeing 747. The groundbreaking findings were published in an eight-page report in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters on May 20. 

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What they found was a type of water similar to what we have on our planet which they say could mean comets played a part in bringing up to 70 percent of the water to Earth. 

Darek Lis, the study’s lead author, said in a statement: “We have identified a vast reservoir of Earth-like water in the outer reaches of the solar system. 

“Water was crucial for the development of life as we know it. 

“We not only want to understand how Earth’s water was delivered, but also if this process could work in other planetary systems.” 

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