Where did Earth’s water come from? This ancient asteroid family may help us find out

Where did Earths water come from This ancient asteroid family may help us find out
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A family of primitive asteroids is providing astronomers with a window into the past as they seek to unravel the history of these small space rocks believed to have once brought water to Earth


Life in the solar system can be dangerous, with lots of impacts having taken place over the course of history — for instance, consider the giant impact that formed our moon or the many impacts that spurred the cratered surface of Mercury. On occasion, large asteroids in the main asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter, were also struck. When that happened, those asteroids would shatter into smaller pieces. Events like these can spawn several dozen smaller space rocks; naturally, many resulting bits hailing from the same original object have some things in common like moving around on similar orbits. Astronomers call such groups of asteroids “families.”

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