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FOR KIDS: Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth

A collision of extraterrestrial objects and Earth’s ancient oceans could have produced raw materials for life

Thoughts of meteors hurtling toward Earth usually generate visions of mass extinctions. But some recent studies paint a new picture: Large rocks hurtling in from space may have actually helped spark life on Earth.

Nobody would call early Earth a friendly place. Billions of years ago, it started as a red-hot sea of molten rock. But then the surface cooled enough for oceans to form. During that era meteorites slammed into Earth about 1,000 times more frequently than they do today.

While these conditions might not seem conducive to life, scientists say they may have been just the recipe needed to jump-start a few life-producing chemical reactions.

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