Research NewsPlanetary Science

Comet Origin of Oceans All Wet?

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Science  18 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5324, pp. 318
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5324.318

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BLOIS, FRANCE— Many planetary scientists have surmised that most of the water on Earth's surface could have originated in comets. But a close look at the water in two recent comets challenges that conclusion. Measurements of the ratio of ordinary water molecules to molecules containing deuterium in comets Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake, reported at a planetary science meeting here last month, showed a sharp departure from the ratio found in seawater.