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Building Blocks of Life Found in Meteorite Which Crashed Landed in Gloucestershire

Accepted submission by hubie at 2023-01-22 03:16:19 from the rocky beginnings dept.
Science

The research found organic compounds from space which holds the secrets to the origin of life [royalholloway.ac.uk]:

New research has been published on the organic analysis of the Winchcombe meteorite which crashed landed onto a driveway in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire in 2021. [...]

In the study [wiley.com], the analysis found a range of organic matter which reveals that the meteorite was once from part of an asteroid where liquid water occurred, and if it that asteroid had been given access to the water, a chemical reaction could have occurred leading to more molecules turning into amino acids and protein - the building blocks of life.

[...] "Winchcombe belongs to a rare type of carbonaceous meteorite which typically contains a rich inventory of organic compounds and water. The first Winchcombe meteorite stone was recovered within 12 hours of the fireball observation event and properly curated to restrict any terrestrial contamination. This allowed us to study the organic signature truly essential to the meteorite itself.

"Studying the organic inventory of the Winchcombe meteorite provided us with a window into the past, how simple chemistry kick started the origin of life at the birth of our solar system. Discovering these life's precursor organic molecules allowed us to comprehend the fall of similar material to the surface of the Earth, prior to the emergence of life on our own planet.

Journal Reference:
Queenie H. S. Chan, Jonathan S. Watson, Mark A. Sephton, et al., The amino acid and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compositions of the promptly recovered CM2 Winchcombe carbonaceous chondrite [open], Meteorit Planet Sci, 2023. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/maps.13936 [doi.org]


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