"Building Blocks of Life" in the meteorites came from Mars to Earth, scientists have identified
On Mars in the distant past could theoretically exist conditions for the emergence of life, say U.S. astronomers. This conclusion came after scientists studying 11 Martian meteorites, inside which were found traces of complex organic substances. As it turned out, they were the result of geological activity bowels of the planet, and not the earth or space impurities and pollutants. The study is published in the journal Science.
The analysis showed that the most ancient of these meteorites were formed about 4.2 billion years ago, and the youngest broke away from Mars about 190 million years ago. Inside the 10 fragments of researchers led by Andrew Steele of the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington, found a large number of hydrocarbon molecules consisting of multiple closed rings of atoms of carbon and other elements.
To analyze the structure and nature of the organic compounds in the Martian meteorites, Steele and his colleagues have applied the so-called confocal Raman spectroscopy, said RIA "Novosti". In this procedure, a sample of the studied material is irradiated by short laser pulses. When photons of the laser beam reach the molecules of matter, some of them are faced with individual atoms and changes its properties. The study of the spectrum of these particles allows to learn the chemical composition of the sample with very high accuracy.
However, some astrogeologi remain confident that the molecules of organic compounds in the meteorites came during their travel in space or in the fall to Earth.
However, Steele and his colleagues insist that these organic chains could not get in meteorites due to contamination, as on the surface of the objects were not of the same substance. In addition, the study sites were not found traces of DBT — a substance that often falls to the surface and into the fall of meteorites on Earth.
After analyzing the geological history of the rocks, which were found within these molecules, scientists have come to believe that they originated from volcanic vents, or by other geological phenomena.
In itself, this is no reason for the assumption of the presence of life on Mars, though the discovery suggests that the primary mechanism for the accumulation of organic matter still existed. Moreover, this process could be the same as that at one time flowed on Earth during the period of accumulation of the primary components for the origin of life, says Andrew Steele.