Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Water found - in outer space

27 January 2014, 15:03

Cape Town - The building blocks for life may be more common in space than previously thought as scientists have discovered water hidden within stardust.

According to a report on the NewScientist website, scientists discovered that the interstellar dust hid small pockets of water.

During chemical reactions in the lab, the radiation resulted in the formation of water, but the process had never been observed naturally occurring.

In space, the dust particles are zapped by the star's wind - highly charged particles - and the resultant reaction causes water to form.

Given that all planets are exposed to the interstellar dust, it could suggest that the building blocks for life could be present on many planets.

As for the formation of oceans on Earth though, it is unlikely that the water-laden dust could be responsible, said researcher Hope Ishii of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Life catalyst

It is thought that the oceans on Earth were formed by multiple icy comet impacts.

However, the fact that the dust also contains carbon means that, combined with water, it could be a catalyst for life on Earth and other planets where ideal conditions exist.

The idea that the buildings blocks for life came from space is not new, but there has not been a great deal of evidence to support the theory of panspermia.

But the fact that life began quickly after the formation of the Earth has long puzzled scientists, and some have turned to space as a means of explaining where the building blocks of life originated.

"My personal opinion is that since space is so rich in these organic compounds, it must have played a role," said Dr Stephen J Mojzsis of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

"I don't think it's unreasonable to invoke the space medium as a source area for the raw materials to get life started because after all, space is close," he added.
This YouTube video animation attempts to explain how panspermia might work.

- News24


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...