The space agency has found how water is restored on asteroids. Such a phenomenon could also occur on planets, too, even the Moon, researchers believe. They have shared the intriguing discovery that might allow people to survive into space.
The finding was published as a study in the Journal Nature Astronomy this week. Moreover, the discovery indicates that water can be provided on the asteroids’ surface with a sole condition. Both solar wind and impacting meteoroids must join at some low temperatures. Dr. Katarina Miljkovic, a lead scientist from Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre, explained some essential facts from the research. She said that both electrons and thermal shock, two components of the space weathering, were significant because they keep the supplies of water on asteroids. She stated, “This complex process to regenerate surface water molecules could also be a possible mechanism to replenish water supplies on other airless bodies, such as the moon.”
The research team from NASA analyzed a part of Australia’s Murchison meteorite and based their study on it. They take it and develop a series of weather conditions simulations of an asteroid belt. The tests were made inside a machine that recreates the conditions of an asteroid’s area. Next, with the help of the energized electrons, they succeeded in stimulating solar winds. The lasers helped the researchers, too, to mimic small meteorites crashing into the asteroid. All of this process was done while observing the water molecule levels at the exterior. The result indicates how meteorite impacts begin the reaction. Moreover, the solar winds wreck the exterior leaving unlinked oxygen and hydrogen atoms to link, generating water.
Considering other space phenomenons, scientists have also started to analyze closer the “Yarkovsky effect” and the possibility for our planet to get hit by an asteroid. As Helena Bates, Ph.D. Meteorite specialist, said, “The Yarkovsky effect is basically when the Sun heats one side of the rotating body, so the asteroid is rotating as it orbits the Sun.”