back to article OSIRIS-REx space probe catches a whiff of water on asteroid Bennu

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has discovered water on the asteroid Bennu less than a week after its arrival at the hunk of space rock. The journey to Bennu began over two years ago when OSIRIS-Rex left Earth, it has been chugging along since travelling 1.2 billion miles (2 billion kilometers) to get within 12 miles away from …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Still a mystery?

    I read something a short while back about how the earth's water could be explained by geological breakdown of rocks far beneath the earth's surface.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Still a mystery?

      What are you talking about? Water is clearly God's piss.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Still a mystery?

        So when its raining, we're getting pissed on from a great height?

    2. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Still a mystery?

      "I read something a short while back about how the earth's water could be explained by geological breakdown of rocks far beneath the earth's surface"

      When the final story's told, the origin of the Earth's water will probably be from a mixture of internal geological sources supplemented by incoming water from comets, etc.

    3. eldakka Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Still a mystery?

      Nah, FSM choose Earth as one of it's spa worlds, so put water here so that when it wants to rest and re-hydrate it's divine noodely appendages it had somewhere to do so in this part of the universe.

      1. teknopaul Bronze badge

        Re: Still a mystery?

        TAGSAM is an uninspired name. The "Noodly apendage" would have been better if we can find an appropriate backronym

  2. MaltaMaggot

    Awe..

    the next time one of my littles says 'awesome' I will make them;

    a) read the definition of awesome in a dictionary

    b) read this

    c) read this again, until it sinks in

    travel 1.2bn miles to reach out and touch something that could in parts be older than the solar system... ?

    profoundly impressive.

    1. Chairo
      Happy

      Re: Awe..

      fascinating?

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Awe..

      "something that could in parts be older than the solar system"

      If you go up to the asteroid display in the Natural History Museum in London they have a tiny bit of dust from the interstellar medium, which likely pre-dates the rest of our solar system. You can see it with your own eyes (but not touch it obviously).

  3. Symon Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Just be careful...

    ...not to nudge that third of a mile diameter rock too much in the wrong direction. It currently has a cumulative 1-in-2,700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2199, and Bruce Willis is already getting on a bit...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/101955_Bennu

  4. Spherical Cow

    There's no mystery

    There's no mystery about the origin of water on Earth. The water has flowed across the surface of the planet from Britain where it rains all the bloody time.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: There's no mystery

      Are you saying that life on Earth owes its existence to Manchester?

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: There's no mystery

        Yes, the water definitely maybe came from a Manchester Oasis. --->

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: There's no mystery

        "Are you saying that life on Earth owes its existence to Manchester?"

        No, the Lake District where Manchester gets its water from.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: There's no mystery

      It's clearly explained in the Bible - it was God what done it. He caused it to rain an awful lot and opened the fountains of the deep.

      If you're the kind of person who tries to rationalise the Bible you'll say that the rain was the cometary impacts and the fountains of the deep was all the water from below reaching the surface.

      If you're the kind of person who is a bit more aware of the mindset of people who lived between five and three thousand years ago you'll say "quick thinking by priest in response to awkward question, probably from a five year old."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's no mystery

        @Voyna: are you suggesting a group of people from 3000 plus years ago have been analysed by sociologists so you can say what their mindset was ? Or is that an assumption too? BTW, more than 3 Pacific Oceans worth of water is hypothesised to exist in just one part of the mantle. There may be more undiscovered. So far there seems to be significant water within Earth and for that matter, lunar rocks than the Theia or other Hadean hypotheses permit.

    3. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: There's no mystery

      @ Spherical Cow

      True, even Julius Caesar commented on the never ending rain. Be nice to get a load here to settle the dust. Believe me, soggy beats drought any time. When the eucalyptus start dying and wild birds come down from the mountains and turns up at the door demanding to be fed the Oz climate gets distressing.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Andromeda Strain

    Someone had to say it.

    1. Peter X
      Pint

      Re: Andromeda Strain

      Time to start drinking - it's the only antidote!

  6. Scroticus Canis
    Holmes

    "something that could in parts be older than the solar system"

    The whole solar system was made from stuff older than it was, so no surprise that the left over bits are still older than the solar system.

    A vanishingly small proportion of the current system could well be newer synthesised elements or particles from more recent supernovas or even sol itself.

    Meep!

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: "something that could in parts be older than the solar system"

      Interestingly, in response to another nutter claiming NASA faked the Moon landings, a Russian scientist who has analysed some of the rock brought back from the Moon has replied that as the rock samples are older than the Earth, it would have been easier simply to go to the Moon and get them than to fake them.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cool - it arrived

    My name is on that satellite somewhere.

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