Scientists discover cosmic factory for making building blocks of life

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Scientists have discovered a 'cosmic factory' for producing the building blocks of life, amino acids, in research published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.


The team from Imperial College London, the University of Kent and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered that when icy comets collide into a planet,  can be produced. These essential building blocks are also produced if a rocky  crashes into a planet with an icy surface.

The researchers suggest that this process provides another piece to the puzzle of how life was kick-started on Earth, after a period of time between 4.5 and 3.8 billion years ago when the planet had been bombarded by comets and meteorites.

Written By: PhysOrg
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    • In reply to #1 by obzen:

      So basically, anything involving water, rock, and intense energy.

      That would explain the algae re-appearing so quickly when I’ve cleaned the garden path with a pressure washer.

  1. The researchers suggest that this process provides another piece to the puzzle of how life was kick-started on Earth, after a period of time between 4.5 and 3.8 billion years ago when the planet had been bombarded by comets and meteorites.

    The late heavy bombardment was triggered by the gas giants changing orbit and rearranging the outer Solar system, showering the inner rocky planets and moons with some of the displaced cometary materials.

    http://astroclock2010.wordpress.com/cosmic-timeline-17/

    After the formation of the Solar System, the orbits of all the giant planets continued to change slowly, influenced by their interaction with large number of remaining planetesimals. After 500–600 million years (about 4 billion years ago) Jupiter and Saturn fell into a 2:1 resonance; Saturn orbited the Sun once for every two Jupiter orbits. This resonance created a gravitational push against the outer planets, causing Neptune to surge past Uranus and plough into the ancient Kuiper belt.

    The planets scattered the majority of the small icy bodies inwards, while themselves moving outwards. These planetesimals then scattered off the next planet they encountered in a similar manner, moving the planets’ orbits outwards while they moved inwards. This process continued until the planetesimals interacted with Jupiter, whose immense gravity sent them into highly elliptical orbits or even ejected them outright from the Solar System. This caused Jupiter to move slightly inward. Those objects scattered by Jupiter into highly elliptical orbits formed the Oort cloud; those objects scattered to a lesser degree by the changing orbit of Neptune formed the current Kuiper belt and scattered disc.

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