Back in 1998, two huge space rocks crashed into our planet at separate times. After journeying around our solar system’s belt for billions of years, they finally hit the Earth. However, apart from this, they had something else in common. According to researchers, those contained the ingredients of life. More precisely, those were the first two space objects to contain liquid water and some organic compounds vital for life. Upon studying the chemical composition obtained from the blue and purple salt crystals from these meteorites, the experts also got an idea about their origins. Among their “parents” are the brown dwarf planet Ceres and the Hebe asteroid.
According to David Kilcoyne, scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, this research sheds some light on the history and geology of asteroids. Also, it analyses certain possibilities that might suggest there is life outside our planet. It’s true that these organic remnants that the experts got from the meteorites do not prove anything regarding extraterrestrial life. However, this rich chemistry of the meteorites is the equivalent of solidified prehistoric insects here on Earth.
The meteorites that contain the ingredients of life
Queenie Chan, the leader of this research, says that this is the first time anyone has found both organic matter and liquid water. These are crucial elements for life and also the origin of the organic compounds that exist in space. Among those ingredients are amino acids that are crucial to forming proteins and therefore, life.
Also, if forms of life indeed did exist outside our planet, this meteorites that contain salt crystals might have trapped life and biomolecules within them. The traces of water from these crystals date back 4.5 billion years, when our solar system was an infant. All in all, this doesn’t prove that life indeed existed or exists, but it’s important when it comes to understanding certain ideas.
Image source: nasa.gov