Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

Comet collisions increase chance of life across solar system, research suggests

RATE THIS! +56
Posted in Science on 17th Sep, 2013 02:42 AM by AlexMuller

Violent impacts from comets and other hurtling bodies can pepper planets and their moons with the molecular building blocks of life, new research suggests.

 
The high-speed collisions unleash intense shock waves that can turn simple organic compounds found in comets and on icy worlds into amino acids, which make proteins, cells and ultimately all living organisms.
 
The findings suggest that rather than being a purely destructive force, the impacts increase the chances of life originating and being widespread across our solar system.
 
"We know that impacts are very common in the solar system, because we can see the craters left behind on different planetary bodies," said Zita Martins, an astrobiologist at Imperial College London. "If impacts occur then more complex molecules can be made, so these building blocks of life could be widespread throughout our solar system."
 
The surfaces of planets and moons are scarred from billions of years of violent impacts with space rocks left over from the birth of the solar system. The impacts release profound amounts of energy: the meteor that tore into the sky over Chelyabinsk in Russia this year arrived at more than 18 kilometres per second and exploded with 30 times the energy of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb.
 
Scientists have previously used computer models to demonstrate that shock waves could turn simple molecules found in icy comets, such as ammonia, carbon dioxide and methanol, into complex amino acids. That work prompted researchers to test the idea by reconstructing celestial impacts in the laboratory.
 
Researchers at Imperial College and the University of Kent teamed up with Nir Goldman, a researcher at the US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, whose models showed that amino acids might be made in comet strikes. They made batches of ice mixture laced with ammonia, methanol and carbon dioxide to represent different compositions of comets. To mimic a comet's impact on a planet, they fired sterilised steel balls into half-kilogram lumps of each ice mixture using an instrument called a light gas gun. After each shot, the scientists looked for traces of amino acids in the ice they had fired at and also in a block of the same ice mixture that had not been fired at. This second lump acted as a control to ensure that any amino acids they found had been created, and were not caused by contamination before or during the firing stage.


Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-17
+5
The previous work with the computers prompted researchers to test the idea by reconstructing celestial impacts in the laboratory Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-10-19 01:17:17
    Bots are transforming personal banking around the world..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-10-19 01:12:16
    Hardware isn’t enough, content is key to mainstream VR.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-10-18 00:24:23
    Puerto Rico hurricane shows islands must have renewable.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-10-18 00:13:22
    China is betting big on AI..read more
    Posted in Online on 2017-10-18 00:02:28
    Has your browser been hijacked to mine cryptocurrency?..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me