Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Space Science

Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun 173

astroengine writes Next time you're swimming in the ocean, consider this: part of the water is older than the sun. So concludes a team of scientists who ran computer models comparing the ratios of hydrogen isotopes over time. Taking into account new insights that the solar nebula had less ionizing radiation than previously thought, the models show that at least some of the water found in the ocean, as well as in comets, meteorites and on the moon, predate the sun's birth.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

Comments Filter:
  • Of course it does. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kuroji ( 990107 ) <kuroji@gmail.com> on Thursday September 25, 2014 @01:25PM (#47995861)

    For anything in the solar system to be YOUNGER than the sun, it would have to be MADE by the sun, or as a byproduct of the sun achieving fusion. Our planet is younger than the sun itself, but the elements that comprise it are much, much older.

    • I agree, not being an astrophysicists, but it just makes common sense.
    • This article explains it more clearly, the author at Discovery is confused.
      http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com.au]

      For sure the hydrogen and oxygen are much older than the sun, but are the water molecules older than the sun? The formation of the sun may have caused the creation of a lot of new water molecules out of the ancient elements. Or did the water molecules form in interstellar space before the sun's birth?

      • And that's water molecules not on earth, where our lovely biological organisms like to fuck with molecules.

      • Well I just made some water this morning, and I'm pretty sure it's not older than the sun. As a matter of fact there are some relatively young Rolling Rocks that predate it.
    • Water Molecules (Score:5, Informative)

      by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Thursday September 25, 2014 @01:51PM (#47996183) Journal
      I believe that they are only considering the water molecules: the hydrogen atoms which make up water will be as old as the Big Bang. However since there are ice-based comets out there I hardly find it surprising that there was water in the solar system before the sun formed. Aren't the comets supposed to be the left over debris from the formation of the sun and planets? So this result seems to be just confirmation what we already knew.
    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

      For anything in the solar system to be YOUNGER than the sun, it would have to be MADE by the sun, or as a byproduct of the sun achieving fusion. Our planet is younger than the sun itself, but the elements that comprise it are much, much older.

      That only applies to atoms, not molecules. I can point to oodles of molecules that in a "most recent step" sense were made by the sun (e.g., through UV radiation or 'solar bleaching') and oodles of molecules that in that same sense were not (e.g., plastics).

      TFA is ref

    • For anything in the solar system to be YOUNGER than the sun, it would have to be MADE by the sun, or as a byproduct of the sun achieving fusion. Our planet is younger than the sun itself, but the elements that comprise it are much, much older.

      Or arrived in the solar system after the sun formed. There is that possibility.

    • From TFA, which quotes the original author:

      “The finding ... makes it quite hard for these regions in the disk to synthesize any new molecules. This was an 'aha' moment for us -- without any new water creation the only place these ices could have come from was the chemically rich interstellar gas out of which the solar system formed originally,” Cleeves wrote in an email to Discovery News.

      “It's remarkable that these ices survived the entire process of stellar birth,” she added.

      (Bold mine)

    • OF COURSE IT DOES.

      And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. ... 3Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

      Captcha: exalted.

    • The main component of wood is cellulose, a polysaccharide consisting of building blocks of six carbon atoms, ten hydrogens and five oxygen atoms.

      Take one of those C6H10O5 building blocks an burn it completely with 6 O2 molecules, and you get 6 CO2 molecules and 5 brand-spanking new water molecules.

      Of course real wood fires release other byproducts as well, carbon monoxide and soot, which are particles of mostly amorphous carbon. But water is definitely a byproduct of burning, just as it is a byproduct of r

  • Old water (Score:5, Funny)

    by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Thursday September 25, 2014 @01:34PM (#47995985)

    If our solar systems water is older than the sun why does my bottle of Fiji expire in a year? :)

  • of almost all matter that exists anywhere?

    • Wouldn't it pretty much have to be?

      It's not like we've been making new matter here on Earth in any quantities. :-P

      If there was a big cloud that eventually formed our sun and planets, then all of the matter came before the sun existed before the sun. And stuff coming from outside (or the very far bits) of our solar system was also there before.

      Unless new matter is just springing into existence. And I can't fathom how that would happen.

      If "we are made of starstuff", it's because all of these elements have b

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        Wouldn't it pretty much have to be?

        Nope.

        The oil they dig up from the ground is clearly younger than the sun, even if the hydrogen and carbon atoms in it are older. Right?

        Likewise, the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water are clearly older than the sun, but its hardly a forgone conclusion that they've been bonded together as water the entire time. Quite the opposite even.

        Odds are most of the water around us hasn't been water the entire time. A lot of the oxygen in the water around us may have spent some time a

  • Stars create water when they blow up, super nova etc. Our sun does NOT create water (yet). Perhaps in 4 billion years when our sun exhausts hydrogen and helium...it might.

    Our solar system is for the most part comprised of mater created 4.5 billion years ago or earlier. Perhaps a supernova some 6-10 billion years go left hydrogen, helium, all the periodic elements we see today. Rocks, asteroids, meteors, all remnants of whatever happened before 4.5 billion years ago as our solar system formed.

    My guess, i

    • Well of course. It takes Supernovae to make things like Oxygen and gold and to disperse Iron and other elements, so ALL this stuff had to exist or be made long before it coalesced into the Solar nebula and eventually formed planets and a star.

      The iron in your blood was made inside an exploding star a very long time ago. Look at your hand and think about that: what you take for granted has already been through some of the most violent explosions in the known universe. But today, you mostly use it for ..

  • Next time you're swimming in the ocean, consider this:

    Fish fuck in it.

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      Next time you're swimming in the ocean, consider this:

      Fish fuck in it.

      They also poop & pee in it. Mainly those big ass mammals in there.

      That is the real reason oceans are salty, whale piss.

    • Your understanding of fish reproduction leaves much to be desired.

      • Your understanding of fish reproduction leaves much to be desired.

        Or, and I'll go with my interpretation here, you're understanding of humor [goodreads.com] leaves much to be desired.

        "I don't drink water. Fish fuck in it."

        WC Fields

  • Or the Hydrogen and oxygen making it up?

    I'd venture a guess that, what with water molecules continually dissasotiating into H+ and OH- ions and then recombining, most of our water is quite young.

  • Hmm, I guess those Aliens up there have to drink something.

    But seriously, we have found water on the moon?

  • Why buy a solar system, when the sun is not around to heat the water !!! This makes no sence.
  • Pretty much any element heavier than helium in our solar system pre-dates the sun. All of the oxygen in our solar system was produced by other stars.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

Working...