If you look up your ancestral tree back to the start, you will notice that we all originated from dust rich in organic matter.
Though the origin of the organic dust is still a puzzling mystery to date, this new discovery maybe even more enjoyable.
Researchers have discovered the first trace of organic matter related to life on our planet on the surface of an S-type asteroid.
An international team of researchers recently conducted an in-depth analysis of a particle taken from the asteroid Itokawa from the Japanese Space Agency’s (JAXA’s) Hayabusa mission of 2010.
Most of the meteorites found on our planet originate from S-type asteroids like Itokawa, so knowing that it may have featured fundamental components for life on Earth is a significant step forward in the scientists’ understanding of how life-forming conditions occurred. Up until recently, most research on organic material focused on carbon-rich (c-class) asteroids.
After analyzing the sample, the team discovered organic material originating from the asteroid itself had evolved thanks to extreme conditions, embedding water and organic matter from other sources.
That process is very similar to what happened on our planet. It helps scientists delve deeper into how the earliest forms of terrestrial biochemistry may just be an extension of the chemistry happening inside many asteroids.
Queenie Chan, an earth scientist from the Royal Holloway University of London, said:
“These findings are really exciting as they reveal complex details of an asteroid’s history and how its evolution pathway is so similar to that of the prebiotic Earth.”
Evolutionary models go as far as looking into the past for up to 3.5 billion years when life was a little more than competing sequences of nucleic acid.