Now researchers from the California Institute of Technology offer a third explanation.
One Stady of magma showing that the Earth was very dry when it was very young. This indicates that water came late to our planet.
The researchers concluded that “greater supplies of materials essential to life, such as water, occurred only during the last 15 percent of the process in which Earth was formed.”
Magma reveals the story of Earth’s creation
According to the American study, the Earth was formed from hot, dry material.
Although we cannot move deep into the earth, we can examine magma that finds its way from various depths to the surface and turns into lava.
In the same way that fossils give us information about Earth’s biological past, magma contains chemical cues—also called a “matter fingerprint”—that can give us an indication of when Earth originated.
So the American researchers took magma samples from different depths, and the chemical traces from the Earth’s lower mantle lacked so-called volatile substances, such as water and iodine.
At the same time, the result showed that the Earth’s upper mantle contains three times as many volatiles as the lower mantle.
Join the journey into the Earth’s interior – and better understand the planet’s mantle
Researchers hope the findings will help solve the mystery of how other planets in our solar system, not just Earth, formed.
“We need to be able to study magma worlds underground to understand how rocky planets like Earth form,” says François Tissot, a professor of geochemistry at Caltech.
Mars, Mercury, and Venus are also rocky planets, and may have evolved from dry matter in the same way as Earth.
The researchers also hope that the study will contribute to increasing knowledge about the possibility of life on other rocky planets.
“The search for rocky planets is important because the watery world is probably the best place to look for life in space,” Teso concludes.
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