Three sentences on old water | Day 44

One of my absolutely favourite science publications is the Nautilus magazine. The gorgeous award-winning website is a treasure trove of well-crafted and entertaining stories that span science, culture, and ideas. They are also true innovators in the online publishing industry — one of the latest stints being “Three Sentence Science,” a fresh approach to delivering the latest news. With no more than three sentences allowed for each item, these news bites are surprisingly informative and thought-provoking, given their length.

Writing concisely can be surprisingly hard, particularly when you have a complex subject to explain. Some writers always struggle with staying within the word count of a story, never mind sentence count. So, in the spirit of continuous science writing experimentation on this blog, I will spend this whole week attempting three-sentence-sciences of my own.

Our planet’s water is older than the Sun itself

As much as 30% to 50% of the water in Earth’s oceans could be older than the planet itself, inherited from the cloud of interstellar gas from which our Sun formed 4.6 billion years ago. This is indicated by our planet’s relative abundance of so-called heavy water molecules, which contain the hydrogen isotope deuterium. This type of water can only form in a severely cold environment bombarded by cosmic radiation, conditions characteristic of the gas cloud which predated our Solar System. Science 

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