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Comets: Source of Life on Earth

Universe Around Us

Introduction:

Humans have observed streams of light as they appear in the night skies for thousands of years. These mysterious objects are called comets. Their orbits have brought them within the visible Earth Distance. These strange lights exist in historical accounts, which appear and disappear instantly were thought to be omens of war or the gods’ wrath’s arrival. But modern research has revealed that comets may be more deeply connected to humanity and their existence on Earth.

Origin: Comet

There are multiple origins of comets. Including the eight planets of our solar system, we have a sparse ring of icy bits range from the scale of marbles to tiny pieces of ice planets orbiting around the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: http://joehartleypanspermiathermalvents.weebly.com/interview.html

Figure 1: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/dr-marc-solar-system/comet-power.html

Even, a spherical layer of small pieces and pollutants lies there, millions of miles away in​​ the far reaches of the Solar System. Many of these mysterious clumps of stardust are leftovers from the origin 4.6 billion years ago of the solar system.

Some of the more distant comets can also come from nearby systems; they are drawn into our solar system by the gravity of moving planets or stars, initiating a path that may take millions of years. As the frozen sphere moves across the solar system, the sun grows from a remote fireball to an inferno, melting the ice for the first time in billions of years.​​ By gas and steam, dust is released into space, producing a glow that surrounds the cloud called a coma and can grow far stronger than the sun itself. Meanwhile, the powerful stream of high-energy particles emitting constantly from the sun, known as the solar wind, pushes particles away from the core of the comet, producing a trail of debris of up to millions of miles. Frost, coal, and ashes reflect the illumination that glows brightly. A comet was born.

What Happens on the Comet?

A meteor, along with the rest of the objects in our planetary system, is currently orbiting the earth. The solar windbreaks, though, and when the comet moves through our solar system, it recombines compounds into new compounds.

There was nothing less than amino acids required in many of the compounds found by scientists, first in the debris created by a disintegrating meteorite over northern Canada and then in samples collected by a spacecraft from the tail of a moving comet, coming together to form proteins according to the instructions​​ coded in DNA. They are the key active elements in all living creatures, from viruses to blue whales. When they are first created by these building blocks of life where comets are, they are the ultimate origins of life on Earth and maybe any other locations they have visited.

We realise the planets circle about every earth we see in the night sky, with one in five possessing a world of temperature and size close to the ground. Assume there are no exceptions between Earth-like planets and the compounds​​ found in DNA. Under that scenario, we might only demonstrate what is possible when a travelling comet plants the Planet under the proper conditions with organic molecules. Thus, rather than an omen of destruction, an omen of destruction, the comets that took the amino acid to Earth for the first time may have been a sign of creation, a prophecy of creation, a foretelling of a distant future, where the beings of stardust would return to space to explore the secrets of their origin.

Did Life Come About from these Mysterious Objects?

Maybe.

Panspermia and the Origin of Life on Earth:

The theory claims that the "seeds" of existence occur all over the World and can be propagated from one position to another across space. Panspermia is a Greek term that​​ simply translates as "seeds anywhere." Some claim that by these "seeds," life on Earth might have arisen.

This phase is defined as the deflection of interstellar dust by solar radiation pressure and extremophile microorganisms passing through space inside​​ an asteroid, meteorite, or comet by several of the mechanisms that show panspermia to be a useful hypothesis.

Three Variations of the Panspermia Hypothesis Include:

  • Litho-panspermia (interstellar panspermia) –​​ Litho-panspermia, the transfer of organisms in​​ rocks from one planet to another through interplanetary or interstellar space (Wikipedia).

  • Ballistic panspermia (interplanetary panspermia)-Impact-expelled rocks from the surface of a planet function as vehicles for the movement of biological material inside the same solar system from one environment to another (Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Directed panspermia - Directed panspermia is concerned with the intentional transport of microorganisms into space, sent to Earth to start life here, or sent from Earth to​​ seed new planetary structures encountered by inserted species of microorganisms on barren planets. Panspermia does not clarify nature or seek to establish the Universe's origin of existence. Nevertheless, it attempts to address the questions of the nature​​ of existence on Earth and the flow of energy across the World through the world (Wikipedia).

Recent Support for Panspermia:

In 1984, in the Antarctic, a team of experts from the U.S. government expedition to detect meteors uncovered a meteorite blasted from the surface of Mars around 15 million years ago. Allan Hills 84001 (ALH84001) are named after the meteor. Eight years since, compounds that could be the remnants of terrestrial​​ nanobacteria have been found to produce ALH84001. An report in the journal Science was written by David McKay of NASA. It made worldwide news and caused the U.S. President Bill Clinton would make a TV statement labelling the case and voicing the devotion of his government to the ambitious campaign for Mars robotic exploration. After multiple experiments on the organic material derived from ALH84001, amino acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ( PAH) were discovered.

Experts are still suggesting, though, that this is not a definitive sign of survival. Instead, perhaps because of​​ contaminants from the Antarctic Ice, they could have been abiotically produced from organic molecules. The controversy is still underway, but recent developments in nano science have rendered the exploration exciting again.

In addition, the news of the finding of proof of existence on ALH84001 produced a surge of support for the panspermia hypothesis.

The panspermia hypothesis gained traction even after many backlogs in a sequence of events across the globe.

At the 46th annual meeting of the International​​ Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) in San Diego , California, on April 29, 2001, Indian and British researchers led by Chandra Wickramasinghe provided proof that the Indian Space Science Organisation had obtained air samples comprising clumps of living​​ cells from the stratosphere. "Chandra named this" unambiguous proof of the existence in air samples of clumps of living cells from as far as 41 kilometres, well​​ above the local tropopause, above which no air can usually be transported from lower down. NASA Ames, on the other hand, replied with a study claiming that microorganisms would not survive at such high altitudes, but noted that for millions of years, certain microbes may stay dormant, perhaps long enough for an interplanetary journey inside a solar​​ system.

On May 11 , 2001, Bruno D'Argenio (Geologist) and Giuseppe Geraci (Molecular Biologist), a team of two people from the University of Naples, revealed that they had discovered extraterrestrial bacteria inside a meteorite believed to be over 4.5 billion years old. THE

Researchers believed that the bacteria had been revived in a culture medium, trapped within the crystal framework of minerals in the meteor. The scientists were confident that the bacteria had DNA unlike any on Earth and persisted when​​ the sample of the meteorite was sterilised and treated with alcohol at high temperatures.

Comets Brought Water to Earth:

Earth is a cosmic garden, but it should not rightly be. In the solar system containing planets and moons made up of solid rock or mostly gas, hid in clouds or are free of any atmosphere, intensely hot or very cold, the earth is the only plane containing water and is wet. The Earth-like inhabitants call Earth as the Water world of the Solar system, and it is somewhat relieving that Earth Is damp and not like other heavenly bodies because, without water, there would be no life.

It is very likely that our planet, Earth, was once also like all other planets, i.e., dry and dusty. We can think about what will feel like living so close to a vast​​ burning star, also known as Sun, by just observing Mercury and Venus. Earth's atmosphere helps it retain the essential water we have, but the question arises from where the water came first?

One famous theory answering this question is related to comets.​​ The astronomers estimate that about a trillion of such comets, swimming and colliding freely in the solar system with anything they encounter, were in existence just after the sun and planets were formed. Since a few crash landings of comets, which are dirty snowballs made up of rocks, gas, and water ice on Earth, could have given us all the water we now have.

Yet there was an obstacle to this theory. All the comets which were detected by astronomers were coated with water ice. Even, heavy water, which is​​ distinct from regular water since it includes an isotope of hydrogen, i.e. deuterium comprising one neutron and one proton, was a significant part of its structure. Most of the water in the oceans is simple water, as studied, but astronomers assumed that the explanation for about 10 percent of the water is Comets. A recent research published in the journal Nature, however, informs us that most scientists were incorrect when they aimed at the incorrect comets.

The study, co-authored by researchers at the California Institute of Technology, is focused on the findings of a spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency in 2009, the Herschel Space Observatory. Herschel aimed directly at comet Hartley 2, a tiny comet with an approximate diameter of .75 to .99 mm (1.2 to 1.6​​ km) found in 1986. Analyzing the chemical composition of Hartley 2's corona, which is often referred to as the gassy curtain covering the primary comet body, Herschel noticed that the abundance of heavy water was just around half that of any​​ comet previously seen. Although this does not specifically clarify the dual water ratio, i.e. heavy and medium, the chemical is clarified.

As a product of impacts of Comets, composition and hence confirms the reason for Earth's water.

According to physicist Dariusz Lis of Caltech, a co-author of the study, "Our findings with Herschel indicate that comets may have played a major role in carrying large quantities of water to earth."

It is its chemical structure and the location where it was formed that separates Hartley 2 from all the other comets studied so far. In its massive looping swings into and away from the Sun, the comet's course follows indicated that it originated in the Kuiper Belt, described as a network of ice bodies orbiting the Sun at a distance of around 50 times more distant than the Earth from the Sun. The paths of other comets indicate that they form in the Oort cloud, a large swarm of comets up to 10,000 times more remote than the Kuiper Belt circling the solar system.

We are not exactly that there is a distinct composition of water in the Oort comets and Kuiper comets. However, before being gravitationally expelled into deep space, each comet spends near the Sun plays a role. That, though, is a guess taken by astronomers. "Our research reveals that our comprehension of the​​ distribution, as well as the dynamics of the early solar system, of the lightest elements and their isotopes is incomplete," Caltech planetary scientist Geoffrey Blake admitted.

Although research has not yet been done, but​​ is more accurate than in the past, it is fair to conclude that the water of our earth was supplied by comets. If a meteor strikes Earth today, it may bring an end to all of humanity, but we shouldn't overlook that we're here because around 4 billion years​​ ago, the same thing happened.

Did Life Come About from these Mysterious Objects?

Maybe Not

Rosetta Results: Comets 'did not Bring Water to Earth'

Water is crucial for life; wherever we find water on earth, we are sure to find some living​​ organisms there. That's why the Motto for NASA's hunt for life in space has been, "Follow the water." With that being said, comets might have brought building blocks of organic compounds to boost up the life on earth, but evidence suggests comets didn't get water on the ground; instead, asteroids might be the source of water the planet. Evidence came from the results of Europe's Rosetta mission. This Rosetta probe has been orbiting​​ 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a​​ Jupiter family comet, since August and made a historic landing on its surface on November 12. This close-up look is helping scientists to answer the question of whether comets are the source of water on earth. And the results suggest that this might not be the case. Water​​ on Earth has a

Distinctive signature. While the prodigious majority of liquid on our planet is composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, occasionally, a hydrogen atom will be superseded with a deuterium atom.​​ Prof. Kathrin Altweg of the University of Bern, Switzerland, who is the principal investigator of Rosina, said: "This is a very characteristic ratio between heavy and light water." You cannot easily change it, and it stays for a long time." The team found that there was far more heavy water on Comet 67P than on Earth. These results show that water on comets is far more different from water found on earth. Thus water on earth might not have come from the bombardment of comets on earth billions of years ago.

Extinction of Dinosaurs Because of Comets

About 66 million years ago, dinosaurs​​ and other almost 70 percent of earth species were killed and eliminated from the earth's surface by bombarding massive objects on Earth. There has been a lot of discussion of whether these vast objects were comets or asteroids. However, results of recent research suggest that these objects were comets, not asteroids. Scientists performed their analysis on the crater formed because of this impact. While presenting their findings at the 44th (LPSC) Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas, scientists from Dartmouth college that includes Moore and his colleagues, re-evaluated the iridium deposits KPa boundary. Results conclude that the object was not 13 kilometers wide because it would have left more iridium in the K-Pa boundary if it was. Asteroids are​​ moving too slowly; however, comets travel much faster than​​ asteroids. A comet of 7 kilometers traveling at typical comet velocities could release enough energy upon impact to create the crater.

Moore and colleagues found that almost 99.99% of all impactor​​ candidates with velocities and masses in the right ranges in the currently known population are comets. Thus strengthening the case that comets destroyed nearly 70% of life on earth. Therefore comets might be the source of experience in the first place and​​ provide energy to planets; on the other side, they also take life from worlds.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can safely state that most of the evidence presented points towards life being spread throughout the cosmos via comets, asteroids, and​​ meteors. But according to the research, only the existence of bacteria or other microorganisms, which constitute the most basic building blocks of all the living creatures here on earth, have traveled the far reaches of space.

Given the amount of time our​​ earth has expired through the years, one can say that the microorganisms may have taken ample time to develop in extraordinary things. That they survived through the test of space and time and have been deemed eternal. But we cannot connect how we humans and other creatures came about from a simple bacterium.

Work Cited:

  • http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2096512,00.html

  • http://www.universetoday.com/121930/more-evidence-that-comets-may-have-brought-life-to-earth/

  • http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30414519

  • http://joehartleypanspermiathermalvents.weebly.com/interview.html

  • http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/dr-marc-solar-system/comet-power.html

  • http://www.panspermia-theory.com/

  • http://www.livescience.com/28127-dinosaur-extinction-caused-by-comet.html

  • http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-did-water-come-to-earth-72037248/

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