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Planetary collision made life on Earth possible


Posted on Thursday, 24 January, 2019 | Comment icon 9 comments

Our planet was involved in some major collisions billions of years ago. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The carbon and nitrogen that make up our bodies likely came from a planet that once smacked in to the Earth.
The early solar system was a particularly violent place, with cataclysmic collisions between protoplanets being a relatively common occurrence.

One such collision, which saw the Earth collide with an itinerant planet the size of Mars around 4.4 billion years ago, is believed to have created the debris which later coalesced in to the Moon.

Now according to scientists at Rice University in Texas, this violent collision may have also transferred volatile elements to our planet's surface - elements that would later be essential for life to develop.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers conducted experiments involving the same high temperatures and pressures that can be found deep inside a planet.

The goal was to determine exactly where many of Earth's key elements may have come from.

"From the study of primitive meteorites, scientists have long known that Earth and other rocky planets in the inner solar system are volatile-depleted," said researcher Rajdeep Dasgupta.

"But the timing and mechanism of volatile delivery has been hotly debated. Ours is the first scenario that can explain the timing and delivery in a way that is consistent with all the geochemical evidence."

"This study suggests that a rocky, Earth-like planet gets more chances to acquire life-essential elements if it forms and grows from giant impacts with planets that have sampled different building blocks, perhaps from different parts of a protoplanetary disc."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (9)

Tags: Earth, Moon, Life

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Reignite on 24 January, 2019, 12:34
It never ceases to amaze how we humans place our trust in a science whose scientists suggest theories having evidence found today explaining events from billions of years ago.
Comment icon #2 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 24 January, 2019, 13:48
I guess it makes more sense to develop educated hypothesis rather than accept that anything that we can't yet explain is a result of device intervention
Comment icon #3 Posted by Trenix on 24 January, 2019, 14:25
Remember, we can barely predict the weather within a few hours, but yet these scientists seem to believe they have have figured out how the earth was created millions of years ago. Science is great, once you stop accepting everything they say is fact and instead take it as an interesting idea.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Nnicolette on 24 January, 2019, 14:26
It's interesting how the story of tiamat has been around since before scienctists backed up the story, and yet its original source (sitchen) goes uncredited, called woo, and these translations are disregarded.
Comment icon #5 Posted by TripGun on 24 January, 2019, 15:34
I wonder if I take all the ingredients to make a cake and leave them in a room with the stove on set at at 350 for a billion years if I will have that cake. Seems like a silly question...Life is a billion times more complicated than a cake.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Essan on 24 January, 2019, 16:02
No, but if you take 100,000 sets of ingredients, and mix them up every day, who knows?   And that's just on one planet.   If you do the same on every other planet in every galaxy since the dawn of time ......   That's quite a lot of chances and it you only have to get it right once.
Comment icon #7 Posted by TripGun on 24 January, 2019, 18:49
But life from no life? Abiogenesis is not real...
Comment icon #8 Posted by bison on 24 January, 2019, 20:02
If life didn't start from no-life, at some point in time, just how is it that it exists now?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Essan on 24 January, 2019, 22:09
Life is just chemical reactions.   Chemical reactions have always happened.   (Note: I am not saying that the Sun is a living entity )


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