The origin of water on Earth: stars or diamonds?

A conversation among astronomers and geologists
  • Rossella SpigaEmail author
  • Cesare Barbieri
  • Ivano Bertini
  • Monica Lazzarin
  • Fabrizio Nestola
Lincei Prizewinners
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Lincei Prizewinners


This contribution deals with two different hypotheses on the origin of superficial water on the Earth: the Endogenous hypothesis and the Exogenous one. They proposed that water either was brought to the surface of the Earth from the deep interior of the Earth or would have come to the Earth from celestial bodies that bombarded the planet billions of years ago. The evidence from recent astronomical and geological findings supporting the two alternative hypotheses will be discussed.


Water Solar System Earth Comets Asteroids Diamonds 



We warmly thank Professor Ernesto Carafoli for his support, helpful suggestions and critical review of the paper. The ERC Starting Grant INDIMEDEA (agreement n. 307322) to Fabrizio Nestola supported this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest can occur with Prof. Carafoli.


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Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of GeoscienceUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

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