Ice: Comets

Ice – Comets (Memorial Program)

Music; Ambience: Comet Bowshock Passage

We’re listening to sounds transmitted by a space probe as it passed near a comet. Comets may be the water carriers of outer space, bringing ice and perhaps even organic life to planets. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. This program is in memory of Mariana Gosnell, author of “Ice: the Nature, History and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance.

Gosnell: There have been probes that have gone to a couple of comets and they seem to be formed from the same kind of ice and dust that made up our solar system from the very beginning of time. 9:30 There’s a strong hypothesis that comets brought organic material to earth. And comets are icy. And so, in a way it was this icy body that could have brought the ingredients for life to evolve on earth. And it’s possible: “no ice, no us!” Ice is the most ubiquitous compound in the universe; it is out in deep space there’s a lot of hydrogen out there and it’s also very cold out there.

There’s evidence that there may be ice in the polar regions of the moon and even on the north pole of Mercury, an extremely hot planet.

Gosnell: And the reason is that there are craters on those poles, both places that are very deep, that the sun cannot reach. And any ice that made its way to the poles would go in and not be able to get out. Ice would have gotten there by hopping. A bit of ice from a comet would land there. Evaporate, condense, evaporate, condense and sort of hop its way to the pole, land in this crater, and build up.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Ice: Comets

To find the source of life on earth, some say we should look to the skies.
Air Date:12/04/2006
Scientist:
Transcript:

Ice - Comets (Memorial Program)

Music; Ambience: Comet Bowshock Passage

We're listening to sounds transmitted by a space probe as it passed near a comet. Comets may be the water carriers of outer space, bringing ice and perhaps even organic life to planets. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. This program is in memory of Mariana Gosnell, author of "Ice: the Nature, History and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance.

Gosnell: There have been probes that have gone to a couple of comets and they seem to be formed from the same kind of ice and dust that made up our solar system from the very beginning of time. 9:30 There's a strong hypothesis that comets brought organic material to earth. And comets are icy. And so, in a way it was this icy body that could have brought the ingredients for life to evolve on earth. And it's possible: "no ice, no us!" Ice is the most ubiquitous compound in the universe; it is out in deep space there's a lot of hydrogen out there and it's also very cold out there.

There's evidence that there may be ice in the polar regions of the moon and even on the north pole of Mercury, an extremely hot planet.

Gosnell: And the reason is that there are craters on those poles, both places that are very deep, that the sun cannot reach. And any ice that made its way to the poles would go in and not be able to get out. Ice would have gotten there by hopping. A bit of ice from a comet would land there. Evaporate, condense, evaporate, condense and sort of hop its way to the pole, land in this crater, and build up.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.