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

 

New analysis of Apollo lunar samples solves decades-old mystery

RATE THIS! +21
Posted in Science on 29th Oct, 2015 11:28 AM by AlexMuller

A team has confirmed the origin of organic matter found in lunar samples collected during the Apollo missions. It has long been known that the samples collected contained amino acids, but the technology to determine where they came from has not been available until now.

 
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are central to creating organic structures like skin and hair. When the organic matter was found in soil samples brought back from the moon during the Apollo missions, there was a big question mark over how exactly it had ended up there, as the environment on the Lunar surface is completely inhospitable to any known forms of life.
 
It's generally accepted that there are four possibilities. Firstly, it's possible that the solar wind, a weak charged particles from the sun, contained the constituent elements of amino acids, and landed them on the lunar surface, with them later forming together to form the organic matter.
 
The second possibility is similar to the first, but with the precursor molecules arriving on the Lunar surface from rocket exhaust, while the third postulates that they were delivered to the Moon via asteroids, which are thought to habor chemical reactions that create amino acids.
 
The final possibility has perhaps always been the most likely, that the organic compounds are simply the product of terrestrial contamination, from equipment brought to the moon during the Apollo missions, or introduced during handling when they arrived back on Earth.
 
When they were first analyzed, scientists were able to determine that the samples contained organic material, but technological limitations meant that they couldn't ascertain their origin with any degree of certainty. With all the benefits of modern technology, the new team of researchers attacked the mystery once more.
 
Taking seven samples for analysis, the team first found that there were very low concentrations of amino acids present, between 105 to 1,910 parts per billion. Utilizing the high sensitivity of equipment in NASA's Goddard Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory, the researchers were then able to determine the isotopic composition of the samples, which provided answers to the decades old mystery.
 
Analysis revealed that the samples contained more Carbon-12 isotopes than larger, less reactive Carbon-13, which correlates with what you would expect to find in terrestrial life. This essentially confirms that the organic matter originates from terrestrial contamination, rather than from asteroids, solar wind or rocket exhaust.

Tags: spacemoonNASAApollochemistryresearch

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-09-21 08:16:42
    Google signs $1.1bn HTC smartphone deal..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-09-21 08:11:40
    US solar plant costs fall another 30 per cent in just one.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-09-21 08:04:25
    SpaceX will call global internet satellite network Starlink..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 19:05:15
    Google boosts Cloud Natural Language API with automatic.....read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 18:55:34
    Salesforce to launch $50 million artificial intelligence.....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