A meteorite that collided with a lake in 2017 may hold the key to life on Earth


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A meteorite that collided with a lake in 2017 may hold the key to life on Earth, today, Thursday, October 29, 2020 07:26 PM

A new study revealed that a space rock “fireball” moved at a speed of about 30,000 miles / hour and collided with a frozen lake in Michigan 3 years ago, which holds the key to the emergence of life on Earth, and scientists used weather radar to determine the pieces that were quickly collected by meteorite hunters – before they Its chemical composition is changed by liquid water. The virgin organic compounds may shed new light on how life began. It is believed that the building blocks of DNA were transported to Earth on meteorites.

Lead author Professor Philip Hick, curator of the Field Museum in Chicago, said: “This meteorite is distinctive because it fell on a frozen lake and was recovered quickly. It was very pure. We can see that the minerals have not changed much and we later found that they contain a rich stock of organic compounds outside of a planet. “It is possible that these types of organic compounds were delivered to Earth early by meteorites, and may have contributed to the components of life.”

Professor Hick explained, “The weather radar aims to detect the hail and rain. These meteorite pieces fell within this size range, thus the weather radar helped show the location and velocity of the meteor. This means that we were able to find it very quickly.” Less than two days after its landing On January 16, 2018, meteorite hunter Robert Ward found the first piece on the frozen surface of Lake Strawberry, near Hamburg, Michigan. He worked with Terry Boudreau to donate the meteorites to the Field Museum, where Professor Heck and Jennica Greer, a graduate student, began their studies.

“When the meteorite reached the center, I spent the entire weekend analyzing it, because I was so excited to see what kind of meteor was and what was inside it. And with every meteor that falls, there is a chance there is something completely new and unexpected,” Greer said. Are sure of how the carbon-containing organic compounds responsible for life on Earth got here. One popular theory says it made its way onto meteorites.

This does not mean that meteorites themselves contain extraterrestrial life; Alternatively, it may be that some of the organic compounds that help create life first formed in an asteroid that later fell to Earth. “Scientists who study meteorites and space are sometimes asked, Have I seen any signs of life?” I always answer, yes, all A meteorite is full of life. Once the thing falls, it is covered in microbes and life from the earth. We have meteorites with lichens growing on them. So the fact that this meteorite was collected very quickly after it fell, and that it fell on the ice instead of dirt, helped to keep it clean. ”

The researchers used a variety of analytical techniques and studied samples from different parts of the meteorite to obtain a more complete picture of the minerals it contains. Heck added: “This study is an illustration of how we work with specialists around the world to make the most of a small piece of raw rock. Precious… When a new meteor falls on a frozen lake, maybe even sometime this winter, we will be ready. ”

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