Scientists have discovered how could be the first «building blocks of life» on Earth

© Photo : MediaFarm / Niels Bohr InstituteПротопланетное cloud during the formation of stars and planets in the representation of the artistScientists have discovered how could be the first «building blocks of life» on Earth© Photo : MediaFarm / Niels Bohr Institute

Abnormal laboratory experiment helped scientists to prove that the basic «building blocks of life» – molecules of alcohols, sugars and amino acids can occur in the open space of methane and other simple molecules at their collisions with cosmic rays, according to a paper published in the Journal of Chemical Physics.

«These reactions, molecular synthesis, we believe, could play a decisive role in the biogenesis and formation of the simplest «building blocks of life» in the Solar system, and to be the key to the origin of life and chemical evolution of organic molecules in other parts of the Universe,» write Sasan Esmaeili (Sasan Esmaili) and his colleagues from the University of Sherbrooke (Canada).

According to modern views, the Earth and other planets of the Solar system was formed in the first few hundred million years of its life inside the nebula gas and dust that surrounded the newborn Sun. At the beginning of its life, the Earth was a molten ball, the surface of which simply could not exist volatile elements and compounds including water, carbon and nitrogen compounds, and organic «building blocks of life.»

The question arises, why, then, all these substances occur on the surface of the Earth and in the earth’s crust in great abundance. On this account scientists have several theories, and, for example, the presence of water on Earth due to the fact that it could «deliver» on our planet asteroids and comets, bombardirovschika the surface of the Earth approximately 3.8 billion years ago.

Some oddities in the isotopic composition of water molecules in the most ancient comets as well as recent data on the chemical composition of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko has led many scholars to assume that the lion’s share of the primary «blocks» of the Solar system was made before her birth. The inevitable question arises – how such molecules could have arisen in the dark void of interstellar space without the light of the newborn Sun or other energy sources.

Esmaeili and his colleagues tried to find the answer to this question, suggesting that the source of such energy can be cosmic rays colliding with molecules of interstellar gas. They tested this idea by irradiating a mixture of small grains of ice, ammonia, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, simple hydrocarbons and other substances that occur in primordial matter «stellar nursery» – a dense cloud of gas in which new stars are born and planets.

In the role of cosmic rays were beams of electrons and photons of x-ray radiation power was chosen in such a way that they corresponded with the real intensity of their «cousins». Periodically scientists were subjected to the «interstellar matter» to magnetic fields and other types of radiation, simulating the different processes that happen in outer space.

Fast enough as shown by these experiments inside the chamber began to arise, the molecules of acetylene, alcohols, aromatic hydrocarbons, sugars, and many other «building blocks of life», which, as earlier believed by scientists, can only occur inside the future of star systems.

This, according to Esmaeili and colleagues, suggests that a large part of the reserves of primary organics in the Solar system could indeed have been born before the advent of the Sun and planets, and in the vicinity of other worlds that were recently discovered by «Kepler» and other telescopes.


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