Society for Popular Astronomy

Did meteorites spark life on Earth?
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Author:  brian livesey [ Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

Darwin's hypothesis about life arising in "little warm ponds" might now have become fact. Scientists now claim that meteorites splashing into warm puddles, bonded molecules to form RNA molecules that became the first genetic code for life. Scientists believe the event occured some 4 billion years ago.
Their findings are published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The researchers at MacMaster University in Canada and the Max Planck Institute in Germany claim to have proved their theory through extensive calculations.
Fed Pearce, the study's lead author, said: "No one has actually run the calculation before. This is a pretty big beginning. It's pretty exciting. That's the Holy Grail of experimental-origins-of-life chemistry."
Co-author, Ralph Pudritz, added: " Because there are so many inputs from so many fields, it's amazing that it all hangs together. Each step led very naturally to the next. To have them all lead to a clear picture in the end is saying there's something right about this."
A previous theory was that space dust could have contained the source of the nucleotides necessary for life, but the researchers say that, although space dust did contain the right sort of materials, they weren't in a high enough concentration.
Next year the researchers hope to test their theory by replicating the pre-life conditions in a sealed laboratory.

Author:  RMSteele [ Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

My 2 year old granddaughter loves splashing in puddles. It must be a kind of subconscious
return-to-the-puddle thing. I wonder if the life starting meteorites were wearing yellow wellies.

Author:  brian livesey [ Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

A team of global researchers, including scientists from the Open University, has discovered amino acids, hydrocarbons and water - the ingredients for life - in the halite ( salt-containing ) crystals of two 4.5 billion-years-old meteorites that fell to Earth in 1998. At that time the technology for detecting trace amino acids wasn't available
The research is published in "Science Advances". The new data seems to support the results from Nasa's Dawn spacecraft that suggests that the organic compounds for life might be present on some asteroids, including Ceres.

Author:  PaulB [ Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

Panspermia has alway's been one of my pet theories, of how life started.
I believe that LIFE on our planet was helped by the impact of meteorites and comets, during the late heavy bombardment.

This news is very interesting.

Author:  Cliff [ Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

Let us assume life on earth did originate from meteorites.
Would this suggest any other life in our Universe originated the same way ?
Since I myself tend to think that the Universe is infinite then I think there may be numerous life forms elsewhere. However, it is still debatable whether we (ie humans) will ever know ?
Perhaps fortunately the way things are going I think it likely humans will become extinct relatively soon.
Up until recently I thought Buddhism to be a peaceful organisation, but not anymore.
So it now seems even they are far from perfect.
Eskimos may be nearer human perfection (?). But even they kill fish (I think).
I personally now think (in my infinitely sized Universe) there must be plenty of life elsewhere (other than just on Earth) however it will be a tragedy if humans ever get beyond "our" solar system.
Best of luck for 2018 from Cliff

Author:  Cliff [ Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

I'm in a very bad mood today.
The answer is "NO!!!!"
The question is rather like "Is there water on Mars?"
The answer to which is - "Yes there is, no there isn't, yes there is, no there isn ..................."
Best wishes from Cliff

Author:  M54 [ Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

It seems that although the earth appears well suited to life and there is a fair bit of it running aound the surface, the oceans, the atmosphere and just about every nook and cranny possible that somehow it just couldn't have actually originated here.

So far Mars, meteors, passing aliens, dust and just about any general stuff floating around all seem to be considered more relevant.

If meteors how did it start on one or them? A meteor in the nice cold darkness of space is a lot more hostile to live the a wet warm planet like earth. And effectively the same for all other options. Expecially as it cannot be argued they had anylonger to develop life. We all came from the same protoplanetary disk at the same time.

Is it really so difficult or impossible to think that just maybe all this assorted life on earth started out on earth?

Author:  Cliff [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

Dear M54
I agree; I tend to accept the view expressed, I think, by James Lovelock of Gaia fame, that given enough time in the past and suitable materials the numerous possible chemical reactions that would happen, could have created life. Of course I suppose that doesn't rule out the possibility of life on earth having been outer space. An idea that may have originated because (at least as far as I know?) humans so far haven't been able to recreate life themselves, except by the good old fashioned way.
from Cliff

Author:  brian livesey [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

Note that the researchers mentioned in this thread are not actually saying that meteorites contain/ed life, but only that they have some of the ingredients necessary for life.

Author:  Cliff [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

What you said may well be strictly correct. However, to a simpleton like me I do think from what I have read over the years, "experts" have strongly hinted that life on earth may have originated from outer space eg via meteorites. I personally admit over the years to being confused about that in a similar way to getting quite confused about water on Mars.
Incidentally since you mentioned that food that future rocketeers are likely to need to eat might be made from human excrement I have decided not to apply for any spaceship commanders jobs.
Best wishes from Cliff (It just occurred to me perhaps meteors have sexual encounters in remote space).

Author:  brian livesey [ Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did meteorites spark life on Earth?

Presumably Cliff, when the "Shmite" runs out the astronauts will eat each other :lol: .

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