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.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.