Extraterrestrial source is the reason behind life on earth, claims study

Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies the young star cluster NGC 602.
NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI / AURA

A new study conducted by an international team of researchers led by Andrew Turner, an assistant professor at the University of Pikeville has suggested that life on earth would not be possible without a key ingredient that came from an extraterrestrial source.

As per the research report, titled 'An Interstellar Synthesis of Phosphorus Oxoacids', published in the Nature Communications magazine, phosphorus, which is an important component of life on earth was created on outer space and might have delivered to earth by comets or meteorites. Experts believe that this event of spilling phosphorus on earth might have happened in the first billion year's after earth was formed.

After phosphorus reached earth, it got incorporated in biomolecules which can be now found in the living cells of all creatures on the planet.

Even though phosphorus is an important element in biology, it is one of the least abundant elements cosmically. Phosphorus, as the derivative phosphate is very much necessary for the creation of DNA in living beings. It is also essential for the healthy cell membranes and for various other cellular activities.

Experts argue that phosphorus might have formed in supernovas while stars explode. Later, the newly created phosphorus spreads to dust from which new stars and solar systems were condensed. However, a transformation is needed to turn phosphorus to phosphate. Researchers believe that this transformation process might have happened in the interstellar dust clouds, where phosphine gas can be found.

It should be also noted that traces of phosphine were found in the atmosphere of Jupiter and Saturn. In 2014, the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe also discovered phosphene in the gas jets of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

"On Earth, phosphine is lethal to living beings. But in the interstellar medium, an exotic phosphine chemistry can promote rare chemical reaction pathways to initiate the formation of biorelevant molecules such as oxoacids of phosphorus, which eventually might spark the molecular evolution of life as we know it," said Andrew Turner, Metro.co.uk reports.

Even though this research did not provide any clear evidence that humans descended from aliens, it did not disprove this idea either.