This is the first case of its kind.  Discovery of water on the surface of asteroids

Scientists, using data collected by an infrared telescope, Discover water on asteroids Iris and massalia. This is the first discovery of its kind that proves that asteroids are responsible for transporting elements in planetary systems.

Asteroids in the solar system vary in composition depending on their orbit. Asteroids closest to the Sun are silicate, devoid of ice, while those in more outer orbits will be richer in ice. By studying asteroids and their formation, scientists are able to better understand the transport of elements in the solar nebula before it forms. The first planets and asteroids.

However, learning patterns can aid understanding Water distribution in our systemwhich scientists will later translate to other planetary systems where there are potential exoplanets for life.

Eris and Massalia are two asteroids located in the main asteroid belt, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter. The iris has a diameter 199 kmThis makes it one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt. It revolves around the sun at a medium distance 2.39 astronomical units. It takes 3.7 years to complete one orbit. The situation is similar with the asteroid Massalia, which is slightly smaller than Eris. Its diameter is About 135 km.

Thanks to data collected by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), equipped with an infrared telescope, the presence of water on asteroids was detected for the first time. Sophia passed Retirement in 2022However, the data they collected is still being analysed.

Interestingly, it was the SOFIA observatory that discovered the presence of water on the Moon in October 2020. Using a special infrared camera, it detects the signature of water molecules. Data from other asteroids slightly smaller than Eris and Massalia were also analyzed, but there was too much perturbation to conclusively determine whether they contain any water molecules. This included asteroids Partenope and Melpomene.

Scientists want to conduct more research related to the presence of specific elements on celestial bodies in the solar system. However, subsequent data will be collected by more powerful equipment. Researchers want to use it for this purpose James Space Telescope Weba. Not only does it have much better optics compared to the retired SOFIA, but it also has a much better signal-to-noise ratio, which will allow you to get clear results.

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