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Solar wind can form water on interplanetary dust, potentially adding to the primordial soup that gave rise to life on Earth, scientists say.

On Earth, there is life virtually everywhere water is found. Past research suggests much of this water may have come to Earth from comets raining down on the planet. But scientists have suggested another source of water in the airless void of space — the continuous flow of charged particles from the sun, a stream known as the solar wind.

This wind consists primarily of protons, the positively charged nuclei of hydrogen atoms. When these particles slam against oxygen-laden rocks — for instance, minerals known as silicates — they could in principle form water molecules.

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