|06-09-2013, 03:09 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Twixt Hell & Highwater
Life on Earth Caused by Comet Impacts?
The impact of comets crashing into Earth's surface may have provided the energy to create simple molecules that formed the precursors to life, a new study suggests.
That conclusion, published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, was based on a computer model of such an impact's effect on a comet crystal initially made up of water, carbon dioxide and other simple molecules.
"Comets carry very simple molecules in them," said study co-author Nir Goldman, a physical chemist at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California. "When a comet hits a planetary surface, for example, that impact can drive the synthesis of more complicated things that are prebiotic — they're life-building."