UM astronomers say the water in your bottle may be older than the sun

Oct 1, 2014

Credit User: NASA Goddard Space / Flickr


University of Michigan researchers believe the water in your glass or bottle might be older than the sun.

One of those researchers is Ilse Cleeves, an astronomy PhD student. 

Cleeves and her fellow researchers arrived at the estimate by simulating the chemistry that went on as our solar system formed. They studied the ratio of two different varieties of water – common water and a heavier version. Through the simulation, the researchers found that at least half of our water likely formed in the cold molecular cloud that spawned our solar system. 

"It's always exciting to find that link between something like water and our interstellar origin... to understand how these ingredients came together to form earth, and to form our entire planetary system," says Cleeves.

The research is published in the current issue of Science

* Listen to our conversation with Ilse Cleeves above.