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Space Telescope Science Institute

Earth's Hot Formation May Solve Water Shortage Mystery

Earth probably formed in a hotter, drier part of the solar system than previously thought, which could explain our planet's puzzling shortage of water, a new study reports.Our newly forming solar system 's "snow line" — the zone beyond which icy compounds could condense 4.5 billion years ago — was actually much farther away from the sun than prevailing theory predicts, according to the study."Unlike the standard accretion-disk model, the snow line in our analysis never migrates inside Earth's orbit," co-author Mario Livio, of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, said in a statement."Instead, it remains farther from the sun than the orbit of Earth, which explains why our Earth is a dry planet," Livio added. "In fact, our model predicts that the other innermost planets — Mercury, Venus and Mars — are also relatively dry. " [ A Photo Tour of the Planets ]Earth a dry planet?Referring to Earth — with its vast oceans , huge rivers and polar ice caps — as a dry planet m...

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  3. Mirrors finished for NASA's new James Webb Space Telescope

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  4. Monster Galaxy's Core Is Biggest Ever Seen

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  5. Huge 'Zombie' Alien Planet Rises from the Dead

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  7. 'Ghost galaxies' of early universe seen by Hubble Telescope

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  1. Europe launches satellite that will map 1 billion stars, hunt for new planets

    The European Space Agency successfully launched its star-surveying satellite Gaia into space Thursday in a bid to produce the most accurate three-dimensional map of ...

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  7. Steven Muller, former president of Johns Hopkins University and Hospital, dies at 85

    Steven Muller, who led Johns Hopkins University during a period of tremendous growth and also served as president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital for a decade, died Sa...

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