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The Christmas comet which flew past Earth in December last year contained 'a vast reservoir of Earth-like water' similar to that which is in our oceans today.
NASA scientists claim this backs up the theory that distant space rocks delivered the first water to Earth which went on to form oceans and seas.
Water - Earth - Exists - Forms - Water
Water on earth exists in two forms, as regular water and a 'heavier' version called HDO.
Hydrogen with an extra particle, a neutron, is known an isotope and called deuterium and the ratio of normal water to deuterium varies.
Ratio - Christmas - Comet - Earth - Share
The ratio on the Christmas Comet is the same as on Earth, indicating they share the same origin.
NASA's flying Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, known as SOFIA, is the world's largest telescope and took measurements of the comet.
Data - Comet - Approach - Earth - Surface
It collected data from comet 46P/Wirtanen which made a close approach to the Earth's surface in December, and was dubbed the Christmas comet.
'We have identified a vast reservoir of Earth-like water in the outer reaches of the solar system,' said Darek Lis, lead author of the study, in a statement.
Observations - Scientists - Comets - Water - Earth
The observations have made scientists think that comets could have first delivered water to earth because the ratio of two types of water molecules on the comet matches that in the Earth's oceans.
Both forms of water exists on earth, but in different ratios, so the fact that this ratio is similar in both the ocean...
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