Topics

Chemistry
Did a massive asteroid impact spark life on Earth?
Did a massive asteroid impact spark life on Earth?

Researchers have recreated a split-second impact of a meteor with primordial Earth, and shown how the 3.5-megaton collision might have reorganized common molecules into some of the early building blocks that led to all life. The feigned cataclysm took place in a lab in Prague, Czech Republic, using a 492-foot laser system to create a high-density plasma, with temperatures soaring to about 7,640 degrees Fahrenheit, and see its effects on a pool of formamide. That chemical, commonly used in making sulfa drugs, has been identified in the tail of comets and around young stars, and some researchers believe it could have been present on the early Earth nearly 4 billion years ago. In the...

Loading