Brought to you by Newscorp Australia

Australian scientists discover icy meteorites may have created our oceans

Mark Dunn, March 1, 2017 5:45PM Herald Sun

Print Article


science

Reading level: orange

THE origins* of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere may lie in collisions with icy meteorites or comets rather than volcanic releases of water and gas from deep within the planet, new Australian research suggests.

Seawater cycles have been detected* at depths of up to 2900km below the Earth’s surface, much deeper than previously* thought, which has reopened questions about how the atmosphere and oceans formed, an Australian National University study says.

New Study opens new questions on how the atmosphere and oceans formed. Mark Kendrick Attribution: ANU Permission Category: © - Only use with this story media_cameraNew Study opens new questions on how the atmosphere and oceans formed. Mark Kendrick Attribution: ANU Permission Category: © – Only use with this story

Previously, scientists largely believed the seas and atmosphere formed by the release of water and gas from the Earth’s mantle* through volcanic activity during the planet’s first 100 million years.

“Our findings make alternative theories for the origin of the atmosphere and oceans equally plausible*, such as icy comets or meteorites bringing water to the Earth,” said lead researcher Mark Kendrick from the ANU.

The study, published in Nature Geoscience, was done with the University of Tasmania, Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer in France, the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre, the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of Florida.

GLOSSARY

origins: how something began

detected: noticed

previously: before

mantle: the layer of earth between the hot middle and the surface

plausible: believable

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. Ocean Study

After reading the Kids News article on the origin of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, complete the three statements below:

— Originally, scientists believed that the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere originated from …..

– New scientific research suggests that the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere were formed by ….

– The study was completed by scientists from ….

Extension: Read the full article of the research at http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/study-opens-new-questions-on-how-the-atmosphere-and-oceans-formed

and summarise the extra information presented in this article compared to the Kids News article.

Time: Allow 20 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, Science

Activity 2 . Meteorites v Comets

What are the similarities and differences between Meteorites and Comets? Complete a space-themed Venn diagram to compare them both. A good website to read about meteorites and comets is http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/space/cometasteroidmeteoroiddifferences.html.

Ensure you have a big heading, label the circles of the Venn diagram and decorate your paper in a space theme.

Extension: Research a famous comet or meteor and present your findings on a poster or slide show.

Time: Allow 40 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: Science, Critical & Creative Thinking

VCOP Activity

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)

A Sea of Similies

A Simile is figure of speech where one thing is compared with another thing of a different kind. It is used to make writing more emphatic or vivid. e.g. as brave as a lion

Can you create a Simile using the following words?

1. As Icy as a ______

2. As _____ as the ocean

3. As ______ as the sea

4. As _____ as a meteorite

5. As ______ as the Earth

Extension: Try to create 5 of your own about a topic of your choosing.

Time: Allow 10 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP

EXTRA RESOURCES

HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER ON MARS

SEVEN EARTHS FOUND IN SPACE

IN A SENTENCE, SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S STORY

Kids News loves your best grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.

We publish the best comments.

Extra Reading in science