Amazing discovery: S-type asteroids may deliver water to habitable planets. Here's everything you need to know


Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 02 August 2023, at 02:53 am PDT

A team of researchers supported by NASA made a U-turn in science, discovering, contrary to what was known, that S-type asteroids can bring water to potentially habitable planets. 

Scientists believe that meteorites were an extremely important and indispensable source of water for the early Earth. Also, research shows that carbonaceous chondrite meteorites contain evidence that liquid water has intercalated at some point with the material from which they are formed, according to NASA. 

Detailed studies show that the parent bodies from which they originate, C-type asteroids, had hydrothermal systems. 

However, past studies show also that meteorites from S-type asteroids were quite dry. Nevertheless, the team of scientists who led this study discovered traces of nanometer-sized crystals of sodium chloride (NaCl). 

Associating these discoveries with the asteroid where the samples were taken, Itokawa, it is believed that it could support a hydrothermal system, radically contradicting the information we knew before about the possibility that S-type asteroids could carry water.

The study has been published in Nature Astronomy.

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