SETI Talks - The Origin of Water on Earth: Alien Meteors, Icy Comets, or Solar Wind?

SETI Talks

Tags: SETI Talks, SETI, Solar System

Time: Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023 -

Location: Online

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Water is necessary for life on Earth, but its origin is still unknown. There are multiple hypotheses about its origin. The most common theory is Earth’s water is alien, crashing down in meteors long ago when Earth was very young. Over the eons, icy asteroids and comets delivered oceans to Earth, depositing the water directly to its surface. Another scenario suggests that most of Earth’s water was already inside the planet and rose to the surface over time. Water’s origin may be more complex, brought to us by the solar wind, for instance.

Two experts in the field, Luke Daly and Ashley King, will discuss their recent research on this topic, moderated by Beth Johnson. Luke Daly is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, who has studied the solar wind contributions to Earth’s oceans. Ashley King is a Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum in London, whose recent study of a rare space rock known as the Winchcombe meteorite suggested that this type of asteroid is the primary source of water on Earth.


Ashley King

Ashley King is a Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum, London, where he investigates the origins of the Solar System and the formation of planets through the laboratory analysis of meteorites and samples returned by space missions. Ashley is a member of the sample analysis teams for the Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx missions and is the current lead of the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll), a collaboration between meteor camera networks that aims to recover freshly fallen meteorites in the UK.

Luke Daly

Luke Daly is a Lecturer in Planetary Geoscience at the University of Glasgow and Treasurer of the UK Fireball Alliance. He looks at the very small to get at the very big by tearing extra-terrestrial rocks apart one atom at a time to try and understand what the Solar System's environment was like before there were planets, how asteroids form and evolve and how habitable worlds are made.

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