Meteorites carry ancient carbon

By | May 11, 2006

Organic stuff from before the Solar System formed.

Meteorites 2Meteorites that have fallen to Earth contain some of the most primitive stuff of life, a new study has found.  Contrary to popular belief, they are packed with ancient carbon-rich (organic) molecules that were essential for life to get started on Earth. Until now, it was thought such matter, which was formed before our Solar System came into existence, could only be found in interstellar dust. … “It’s amazing that pristine organic molecules associated with these isotopes were able to survive the harsh and tumultuous conditions present in the inner Solar System when the meteorites that contain them came together,” said Carnegie researcher Conel Alexander.

“It means that the parent bodies – the comets and asteroids – of these seemingly different types of extraterrestrial material are more similar in origin than previously believed.” – more

Leave a Reply