San Marcos

Studying the Origin of Water in the Solar System



Associate Professor of Physics Gerardo Dominguez is conducting laboratory experiments at Cal State San Marcos that attempt to recreate the physical and chemical conditions in the earliest days of our solar system.

Dr. Dominguez’s experiments will help better explain the origins of water in the solar system, including the Earth’s oceans. With funding from NASA, the study aims to determine, among other things, whether water formation predates solar ignition and the effects of early water formation on the relationship between terrestrial planets and the sun.

“The research Dr. Dominguez has proposed is important,” notes his post-doctoral mentor, Dr. Mark Thiemens, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences at UC San Diego. “The issue of the formation of water in the solar system is a basic one for understanding the origin of life and the evolution of planetary atmospheres, yet its chemical formation and processing is poorly understood at best.”