A September 2014 study concludes that much of the water on Earth predates the solar system itself. Say what? Here’s the L.A. Times’ Science section article with more:
Some of the water molecules in your drinking glass were created more than 4.5 billion years ago, according to new research. That makes them older than the Earth, older than the solar system — even older than the sun itself.
In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers say the distinct chemical signature of the water on Earth and throughout the solar system could occur only if some of that water formed before the swirling disk of dust and gas gave birth to the planets, moons, comets and asteroids.
This primordial water makes up 30% to 50% of the water on Earth, the researchers estimate.
“It’s pretty amazing that a significant fraction of water on Earth predates the sun and the solar system,” said study leader Ilse Cleeves, an astronomer at the University of Michigan.