New research suggests that the collision of icy comets with our planet billions of years ago may have produced a 'cosmic factory' for early life on Earth.
An icy comet collision billions of years ago might have spurred life on Earth, a new British study suggests.
Researchers found that amino acids – the building blocks of life – can be produced when an icy comet collides with a planet. The shock wave from the collision produces molecules that transform into amino acids under the heat of impact, the study finds.
"Excitingly, our study widens the scope for where these important ingredients may be formed in the Solar System and adds another piece to the puzzle of how life on our planet took root," Dr. Martins said.
The team recreated a collision by firing steel projectiles out of a gun at more than 15,000 miles per hour into ice mixtures that mimicked the composition of comets.