Researchers have been roaming the universe or signs of organic matter that might support life on planets and other things. New research published from Royal Holloway University in London found water and organic matter on the surface of an asteroid sample that returned from the inner solar system. This discovery marks the first time organic matter has been found on an asteroid.
Estee Kind of Organic matter could be the chemical precursors to the origins of life on Earth. The single grain sample was brought to Earth from an asteroid known as Itokawa by the first JAXA Hayabusa mission in 2010. Scientists discovered that the sample showed water and organic matter that originated from the asteroid itself and evolved chemically over time.
The research indicates that the asteroid has been continuously evolving for billions of years, comprising water and organic matter from extraterrestrial materials just as Earth did. Research shows that the asteroid has been subjected to intense heat, dryness, and shattering due to a catastrophic impact. However, despite the impact, the asteroid returned together from torn fragments and re-moistened itself with water delivered via falling dust or meteorites rich in carbon.
The study found that Type S asteroids, which are the most common Earth meteorites, contain the raw ingredients needed for life. Scientists say analyzing the asteroid sample is changing traditional views about the origin of life on Earth that previously focused on carbon-rich Type C asteroids. The single grain used in the study was called Amazon and contains primitive organic matter preserved (unheated) and processed (hot) at a distance of 10 microns.
The researchers say that the heated organic matter indicates that the asteroid has been heated to more than 600 degrees Celsius in the past. The presence of unheated organic matter very close by means that primordial organic material falls onto the surface of the asteroid after it cools.