A planetary collision brought life

A planetary collision brought life

Most of the essential elements for life on Earth, such as carbon and nitrogen, probably came from another planet, whose impact with the globe formed the moon, according to a study published by the magazine «Science Advances».

"From the study of primitive meteorites, scientists have long known that the Earth and other rocky planets at the center of the Solar System lack Volatile elements (such as nitrogen or carbon)), "Said Rajdeep Dasgupta, co-author of the study and geochemistry researcher at Rice University, in Houston (United States), reports Efe.

However, Dasgupta added, "the time and manner of that delivery of volatile (materials) has been much discussed," so the study he led "offers an explanation that is consistent with all the geochemical evidence."

Dasgupta's laboratory experiments showed evidence that the volatile elements arrived on Earth as a result of a collision with an embryonic planet that had a sulfur-rich core.

This sulfur content of that planet is fundamental, according to the research, since until now the presence of these essential elements for life was explained by the impact of meteorites coming from outside the Solar System and once the Earth's core and He had formed.

Although this explanation proved the presence of carbon, it did not justify other elements, as the ratio of carbon per nitrogen, according to the researchers.

"What we have found is that all the evidence – the isotopic traces, the carbon-nitrogen ratio and the total volume of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the Earth's core – is consistent with an impact that formed the Moon and caused by a planet with volatiles the size of Mars with a nucleus rich in sulfur, "added Damanveer Grewal, a university student and Dasgupta collaborator.

The researchers remarked that it does not appear that the Earth's core could have obtained the essential volatile elements that produced the biosphere, the atmosphere and the hydrosphere.

In previous articles it had already been determined that the carbon from the meteorites that crashed into the young Earth could have interacted with the nitrogen in the atmosphere to form hydrogen cyanide, which, driven by the ultraviolet light of the sun, created the first molecule of life in the earth. EFE


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