The essential elements of life were found on the asteroid Ryugu

These amino acids and other organic matter from the asteroid Ryugu It can give clues to the origin of life on EarthAccording to this study conducted by scientists at Okayama University.

The discovery of amino acids capable of forming proteins is important, because, unlike meteorites, Ryugu was not exposed to the Earth’s biosphere.Explain the researchers.

Two types of rocks and boulders make up Ryugu. They are dark and rough, with a crumbly surface, or light and smooth.

Photo: Jaumann et al., Science 2019

And therefore, Their discovery proves that some of these first building blocks of life on Earth could have formed in alien environments.

The researchers identified 23 different types of amino acids in 5.4 grams of rock and black dust samples collected on Ryugu by the Hayabusa-2 probe, whose capsule returned to Earth in late 2020 with its precious payload after a six-year mission.

The asteroid Ryugu (Dragon Palace, in Japanese) was discovered in 1999, located more than 300 million km from our planet and less than 900 meters in diameter.

Scientists believe that some of the asteroid’s material formed about 5 million years after the birth of our solar system and was not heated above 100 degrees Celsius.

According to another study published Thursday in the American Journal of Sciencematter taken from Ryugu Its chemical composition is very similar to that of the sun’s photosphere from meteorites.

Ryugu samples Giving reason to believe that amino acids were brought to Earth from spaceKensei Kobayashi, an astrobiologist and professor emeritus at Yokohama National University, said in an interview with AFP.

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Another theory is that amino acids were formed in Earth’s early atmosphere by lightning.

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