Originally posted on Nepal - the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest:
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// ]]>By: SPACE.com Staff Published: 07/18/2012 06:40 AM EDT on SPACE.com
Earth probably formed in a hotter, drier part of the solar system than previously thought, which could explain our planet’s puzzling shortage of water, a new study reports.
Our newly forming solar system‘s “snow line” — the zone beyond which icy compounds could condense 4.5 billion years ago — was actually much farther away from the sun than prevailing theory predicts, according to the study.
“Unlike the standard accretion-disk model, the snow line in our analysis never migrates inside Earth’s orbit,” co-author Mario Livio, of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, said in a statement.
“Instead, it remains farther from the sun than the orbit of Earth, which explains why our Earth is a dry planet,” Livio added. “In fact, our model predicts that the other innermost planets — Mercury, Venus and Mars— are also relatively dry. ” [A Photo Tour of the Planets]
Earth a dry planet?
Referring to Earth — with its vast oceans, huge rivers and polar ice caps — as a dry planet may sound strange. But water makes up less than 1 percent of our planet’s mass, and much of that material was likely delivered by comets and asteroids after Earth’s formation.