Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meteorite Brought Life Ingredients To Earth




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Meteorite Brought Life Ingredients To Earth

By Charles Q. Choi
The huffington Post
9-10-13

      Scientists have discovered unexpected ingredients for life — organic molecules never seen before in meteorites — inside a chunk of space rock that fell to Earth over California last year, scientists say.

The discovery comes from an analysis of the so-called Sutter's Mill meteorite, which lit up the California night sky with a dazzling fireball in April 2012. Meteorite fragments from the event may shed light on the primordial ooze that helped give rise to life on Earth, researchers said.

Meteors that streak across Earth's sky mostly are fragments of the asteroids that lie between Mars and Jupiter. Meteorites can be rich in organic compounds, including some found among life on Earth.

"Their composition therefore has always been seen as an indication that the precursors to the evolution that led to the origins of life could have come from the extraterrestrial material of meteorites," study lead author Sandra Pizzarello, a biochemist at Arizona State University in Tempe, told SPACE.com. "Since the origins of life are utterly unknown, the idea has its merits." . . .
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