Rosetta results crucial to understand early solar system

Lisa Kaltenegger, professor of astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University and director of Cornell’s Institute for Pale Blue Dots, says while Rosetta’s results show Earth’s water probably did not come from comets, its research is still crucial to understanding the early solar system.

Kaltenegger recently published a paper showing where – and when – infant Earths are most likely to be found.

Kaltenegger says:

“This first exciting result from Rosetta show us how diverse comets are – and opens questions on how you’d get water on other Earth-like planets delivered.

“We knew the type of water in asteroids and comets varies by a lot, so the Rosetta scientists’ finding, while important, is not conclusive: it simply means that the water on earth wasn’t delivered by comets like the one Rosetta is looking at.

“But our research indicates that habitable worlds like earth had water delivered somehow, so missions like Rosetta are crucial to understanding what happened in our early solar system.”

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