Planetary scientists have claimed that comets or “dirty snowballs” may have deposited the building blocks of life on Earth billions of years ago.
A team at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute NASA/Ames Research Centre in California says its research has shown that comets bombarding Earth some billions of years ago deposited key ingredients for life to spring up on the planet.
Jennifer G Blank,who led the team,described experiments that recreated with powerful laboratory “guns” and computer models the conditions that existed inside comets when these celestial objects hit Earth’s atmosphere at almost 25,000 miles per hour and crashed down upon the surface.
The research is part of a broader scientific effort to understand how amino acids and other ingredients for the first living things appeared on a planet that billions of years ago was barren and desolate,say the planetary scientists.
Amino acids make up proteins,which are the workhorses of all forms of life,ranging from microbes to people.
“Our research shows that the building blocks of life could,indeed,have remained intact despite the tremendous shock wave and other violent conditions in a comet impact,” Blank said in a release by the American Chemical Society.
“Comets really would have been the ideal packages for delivering ingredients for the chemical evolution thought to have resulted in life. We like the comet delivery scenario because it includes all of the ingredients for life amino acids,water and energy,” she added.