【Global Times】Source of life found in asteroid samples collected by Japan’s space probe

2022-06-09 15:47:08 ciwa
DNA Photo: VCG

DNA Photo: VCG

More than 20 types of amino acids have been detected in samples collected in late 2020 by Japan's Hayabusa2 space probe, a Japanese government official said Monday, showing for the first time that organic compounds exist on asteroids in space.

With amino acids essential for all living things to make proteins, the discovery could hold clues to understanding the origins of life, according to local media. This development has added evidence to the notion that various amino acids exist on celestial objects outside of Earth.

One theory suggests that they ceased to exist on Earth during a period when the planet became extremely hot but were reintroduced from outer space by meteors.

Japan's science ministry says that eight teams in the country, including one at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, have been analyzing the materials and they are wrapping up their analyses, and detailed data are expected to be made public in academic papers and other publications.