Astronomers have long thought that life moves through thesolar system on the backs of meteorites, meaning that lifeon Earth was “seeded” from another planet. New researchshows that it’s not necessary for the actual microbes totravel through space. The fact that a meteorite impactbrings phosphorous to a planet may be enough.

Iron meteorites may have been necessary for the evolution oflife on Earth because they could have provided morephosphorus than naturally occurs here?enough to give rise tobiomolecules which eventually assembled into microbes thatcould evolve and reproduce. Phosphorus forms the backbone ofDNA because it connects genes into long chains and thus isvital to the formation of life. Planetary scientist MatthewA. Pasek says, “In terms of mass, phosphorus is the fifthmost important biologic element, after carbon, hydrogen,oxygen, and nitrogen.”

Scientists have long wondered where the phosphorousnecessary for life to begin came from, since it?s much rarerin nature than hydrogen, oxygen, carbon or nitrogen. Paseksays, “Because phosphorus is much rarer in the environmentthan in life, understanding the behavior of phosphorus onthe early Earth gives clues to life’s origin?If you aregoing to have phosphate-based life, it likely would have hadto occur near a freshwater region where a meteorite hadrecently fallen. We can go so far, maybe, as to say it wasan iron meteorite.”

There’s a way to tell what’s coming up in your ownfuture,and you don’t need to go to a fortune teller to do it.

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