Tuesday , June 15 2021

Life on Earth may have been possible thanks to an ancient, violent collision

Life on Earth

Was the violent cosmic collision that created the Moon made life possible on Earth? A new study suggests this.

There are a number of theories about how life originated on Earth, many of which are trying to explain how our planet has received ingredients for life: elements such as carbon and nitrogen.

Earlier, scientists suggest that the meteorites supply living elements on Earth. While the isotopic signatures of these Earth elements coincide with these objects, the ratio of carbon to nitrogen is not quite right. While the meteorites thought they had supplied crucial elements for Earth's life (known as carbon chondrites), they had 20 parts of carbon for each nitrogen portion, this ratio being about 40-1 on the Earth.

Instead, these key elements may have been delivered in a stunning collision, a group of oil scientists from Rice said. Scientists know that the long-standing collision between the proto-earth and the Mars-sized object has created the moon – the same striking element may have given us the elements to spark life, they say.

To arrive at this conclusion, the research team created a simulation of the event based on a series of experiments that tested the behavior of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur during the process of forming the core of a rocky planet. The team then simulates high pressures and temperatures during core formation and estimates how much carbon or nitrogen can be on the Mars-sized planet with a sulfur-rich core. They completed with a geochemical simulation that accurately modeled the observations of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur on Earth.

A probable scenario

With their simulation, along with the known ratios and concentrations of Earth elements, the team found that instead of rain from meteorites supplying important elements, it is more likely that the explanation would come at once.

"Our simulation results suggest that the most likely scenario for the origin of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in the silicate part of the Earth is where these elements are brought from the size of Mars (8-10 percent of the mass of today's Earth). ) the planet merges with the proto-earth, "said Reed Dasgupta, co-author of the newspaper in an e-mail. Besides, such a planet would probably have a core rich in sulfur.

The work does not solve the question of how life originated on Earth, but it begins to answer the question of how the ingredients for life may have come so far. "There are many questions that have not answered the question of how life really came into being. Our research, however, provides a mechanism for bringing the raw materials needed for the recipe of life, "Dasgupta said.

This work was published in Science Advances.

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