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Building blocks of life found on comet 67P

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Author Topic: Building blocks of life found on comet 67P  (Read 114 times)
Medium of the Damned
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« on: May 30, 2016, 11:43:34 pm »

Building blocks of life found on comet 67P
Posted on Sunday, 29 May, 2016

The Rosetta mission has been an unmitigated success. Image Credit: CC BY-3.0 DLR
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made a significant new discovery within the atmosphere of its new home.
The probe, which became the first spacecraft in history to go in to orbit around a comet when it arrived back in August 2014, has already returned a wealth of information as part of its ongoing efforts to conduct the most detailed study of a comet ever undertaken.

Its most recent findings, which were announced by scientists on Friday, include the discovery of the amino acid glycine as well as a range of organic molecules within the comet's dusty atmosphere.

The presence of these crucial molecules suggests quite strongly that comets like this one could have helped to seed planets like the Earth with the building blocks of life in their early history.

"With all the organics, amino acid and phosphorus, we can say that the comet really contains everything to produce life - except energy," said Rosetta's Kathrin Altwegg.

"Energy is completely missing on the comet, so on the comet you cannot form life. But once you have the comet in a warm place - let's say it drops into the ocean - then these molecules get free, they get mobile, they can react, and maybe that's how life starts."
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