Japan’s Hayabusa2 Probe Finds 20 Amino Acids on an Asteroid

Japan’s Hayabusa2 Probe Finds 20 Amino Acids on an Asteroid

The asteroid designated as 162173 Ryugu is getting some special attention from astronomers, as it falls into the “potentially hazardous” category. The Hayabusa2 probe of Japan finished exploring the asteroid, and it collected 20 amino acids, according to The Register.

Amino acids are considered the building blocks of life, as they have a crucial role in making proteins. Since they are so important for life as we know it, there’s a chance that their presence on the asteroid might indicate the existence of some form of extraterrestrial life. 

Learning more about the evolution of life?

Along with the discovery of amino acids on the Ryugu asteroid, scientists are hoping to learn more about how life evolved on our planet. Scientists speculate that life can spread as comets and asteroids carry ingredients of life throughout the Universe. In other words, life may have evolved on other planets as well.

Dr. Carl Pilcher, who’s Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, explained as republicworld.com quotes:

The discovery of glycine (type of amino acid) in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare.

Kensei Kobayashi, who’s professor emeritus of astrobiology at Yokohama National University, explained as kyodonews.net quotes:

Proving amino acids exist in the subsurface of asteroids increases the likelihood that the compounds arrived on Earth from space.

In other words, maybe we should all stop wondering where aliens are because each and every one of us might be one! 

Jokes aside, for now! Last month, the first public hearing on UFOs in 50 years took place, as some believed that humanity might have already encountered extraterrestrial beings.

Peer-reviewed research on the material found by the Hayabusa2 probe is awaited. 


Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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