Showing posts with label meteorite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meteorite. Show all posts

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Ancient Meteorite Provides Clues That Could Reveal The Origins Of Life On Earth

Ancient Meteorite

An Ancient Meteorite could provide answers about the Beginning of Life on Earth

An ancient meteorite that was formed 4.5 billion years ago could be the key to understanding the origin of life on earth. This ancient meteorite was formed during the birth of the Solar System. At that time, the ancient meteorite landed on the earth and scientists found that it contained the basic building blocks of life.

The isotope analysis conducted on this ancient meteorite showed the presence of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen.The scientists are of the opinion that this new discovery could reveal the origin of life on earth. The findings could also help the researchers to understand if there is a possibility of life existing in other Solar Systems as well.

The birth of the Solar System was quite tumultuous with space rocks that were present around the Sun’s gravitational field colliding with each other at a rapid rate. They formed planets, moons and meteors that are present today. It is one of these ancient meteorites which was formed around 4.5 billion years ago that has been analysed by the scientists.

Study conducted on the Ancient Meteorite


The scientists at the University of Manchester carried out studies on this ancient meteorite which is quite rare known as carbonaceous chondrite. They make up only a few per cent of all known meteorites. They are very important when it comes to understanding the beginning of the Solar System, since the earth tends to wipe off such records.

It is a grapefruit-sized space rock known as Orgueil and showed the presence of the basic building blocks for life.

The ancient meteorite and other rocks are made of solid materials like rocks, water, ice and fine grain dust that formed in our Solar System.

This ancient meteorite and other rocks that are found on the earth help the scientists to analyse how planets are formed and how they evolve over billions of years.

The scientists conducted isotopic analysis of the compounds within this ancient meteorite. They found the key elements like oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur which are the building blocks of life. Isotopes are different versions of the same element having same number of neutrons and varying number of protons in the nucleus.

All the research conducted by the scientists have been published in PNAS. Their research confirms that the organic materials were formed due to the chemical reactions that took place during the birth of our Solar System.

The scientists headed by researchers at the University of Manchester are of the opinion that if such organic materials could be formed by simple processes in the early Solar System, then it could be an indicator that life forms could exist in other planetary systems.

Besides helping us understand our own Solar System, we could also know if there is a possibility of the existence of life in other solar systems.

The ancient meteorite was scrutinised by the scientists for over two years in order to discover the exact components. The presence of oxygen may show that the key elements were formed by themselves in our Solar System and not come from elsewhere. The oxygen isotope pattern was same as that which linked the composition of the sun, asteroids and planets. This indicates that the ancient meteorite was formed due to the chemical reactions that took place in the early Solar System and not inherited from elsewhere.