Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Did we literally come from comet dust?

The existence of life outside Earth appears much more likely following the discovery of key organic compounds on a comet studied by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft made several detections of the amino acid glycine, used by living organisms to make proteins, in the cloud of gas and dust surrounding the comet.

Extrapolating the find, the argument goes that these and necessary building blocks may have been instrumental in life forming on our planet if brought here by a similar comet. (Glycine was actually found on a comet in Utah in 2006, but there were questions about contamination of the samples.)

As other planets would also be peppered by these amino acids, including planets suitable for establishing life, then the possibility of life in other parts of the universe is seen as much more likely.

The picture shows the comet in question  (Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko) taken from Rosetta spacecraft.

Read more about it here.

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