In a major finding that hints towards existence of life on exoplanets, researchers have found that a significant portion of water found on Earth predated the formation of the Sun.
According to the study, significant fraction of water found on Earth, and across our solar system, predates the formation of the Sun and by showing that water is 'inherited' from the environment when a star is born, the international team of scientists believe other exoplanetary systems also had access to an abundance of water during their own formation.
Professor Tim Harries, from the University of Exeter's Physics and Astronomy department said that this is an important step forward in our quest to find out if life exists on other planets. We know that water is vital for the evolution of life on Earth, but it was possible that the Earth's water originated in the specific conditions of the early solar system, and that those circumstances might occur infrequently elsewhere.
He said that by identifying the ancient heritage of Earth's water, we can see that the way in which our solar system was formed will not be unique, and that exoplanets will form in environments with abundant water. Consequently, it raises the possibility that some exoplanets could house the right conditions, and water resources, for life to evolve.
The researchers said that the implication of these findings is that some of the solar system's water must have been inherited from the Sun's birth environment, and thus predate the Sun itself. If our solar system's formation was typical, this implies that water is a common ingredient during the formation of all planetary systems.