A team of researchers at the Berkley Lab at the Department of Energy has found ingredients of life in meteorites which crashed to the earth in 1998. According to the report, vital ingredients necessary to support life including liquid water, amino acids and hydrocarbons were found in the meteorites, which are approximately 4.5 billion years old.
Scientists made this startling discovery after analyzing the blue and purple salt and potassium crystals present in the meteorite. Even though the water traces in the meteorite could not be considered a solid evidence of life outside the earth, the water particles in the salt crystals dates back to the earliest days of the solar system. The study report is now available in the latest edition of the Journal Science Advances.
The two meteorites named Monahans and Zag crashed in two separate places on earth, after completing an extended circulation on the asteroid belt of our solar system for hundreds of billions of years.
Interestingly, the salt crystals of the two meteorites look very similar, and it clearly indicates that both of them has crossed similar paths during its course. According to experts, the meteorites might have fallen either from brown dwarf planet Ceres or asteroid Hebe, a significant source of meteorites which fall to earth.
"Our coordinated organic analysis of the salt crystals suggest that the organic matter originated from a water-rich, or previously water-rich parent body — an ocean world in the early solar system, possibly Ceres," said Queenie Chan, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research associate at The Open University in the UK, reports NBC.
During the research, scientists made use of An ALS X-ray beamline in conjunction with X-ray microscope along with XANES ray technique to measure the specific amount of elements in the meteorite. In the coming days, the team will study more about the complexity of organic molecules present inside the crystals which will provide a better understanding of possible life forms which may exist outside the Earth.