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View Full Version : Life is sweet -Asteroid sugar



John Kierein
2001-Dec-19, 05:24 PM
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/meteor_sugar_011219.html
Also; Checkout my website:
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Galaxy/7827/

Mr. X
2001-Dec-19, 11:20 PM
Hmmm, sugar.

Have to get me one of those.

I can picture the bag:
"Uncle Mr.X's asteroid sugar
STELLAR TASTE, ASTRONOMICAL PRICE!"

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

ToSeek
2001-Dec-20, 01:16 PM
On 2001-12-19 18:20, Mr. X wrote:
I can picture the bag:
"Uncle Mr.X's asteroid sugar
STELLAR TASTE, ASTRONOMICAL PRICE!"


"The taste is out of this world!" /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Wally
2001-Dec-20, 01:53 PM
Here's CNN's article on this:

http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/12/19/rock.sugar/index.html

I question their caption under the picture at the top stating "many ingredients of life came from outer space". Wouldn't it be more accurate to say ALL ingredients rather than "many". As the late, great Mr. Sagan was fond of saying, we are all made of "star-stuff" afterall. . .

ToSeek
2001-Dec-20, 02:46 PM
On 2001-12-20 08:53, Wally wrote:
Wouldn't it be more accurate to say ALL ingredients rather than "many". As the late, great Mr. Sagan was fond of saying, we are all made of "star-stuff" afterall. . .



I suppose it depends on how you define "ingredients." A lot of the organic chemicals we're made up of obviously didn't, but then what went into the chemicals obviously did.

lpetrich
2001-Dec-20, 06:50 PM
One problem: biologically-useful molecules are likely to be mixed in with a much greater quantity of non-biologically-useful molecules. It's simple probability.

For starters, many biologically-important molecules have characteristic asymmetries, and when formed nonbiologically, these molecules are found alongside versions with the asymmetries reversed.

Also, it is likely that some of these molecules are poisonous; one example known from comet spectroscopy is hydrogen cyanide.

jkmccrann
2005-Nov-07, 03:26 PM
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/meteor_sugar_011219.html
Also; Checkout my website:
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Galaxy/7827/

It's interesting how they always relate these things back to Mars........


It also implies a greater chance that asteroids seeded life on other planets, including Mars.

Interesting theories, but does anyone in here regard it as a serious possibility that life on Earth was somehow the result of Mars being seeded first and then that life being fortuitously transported to Earth?

Maddad
2005-Nov-07, 07:09 PM
I don't know if the chances are as much as 50-50, but generally, yes, I consider that it's just as good a bet that life started first on Mars and came here from there.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-07, 07:19 PM
I don't know if the chances are as much as 50-50, but generally, yes, I consider that it's just as good a bet that life started first on Mars and came here from there.

And how, exactly, did they get here?

trinitree88
2005-Nov-08, 01:25 AM
Martian meteorites have been recovered in Antarctica. Apparently the formatian of at least a few impact craters on Mars was sufficiently energetic to produce ejecta with escape velocity, and with directional heading to eventually take them to Earth.While run-of-the-mill meteorites are worth roughly their weight in gold......the rarer Martian ones are worth considerably more. So if one of those recent Taurid bolides lands near you...happy hunting. Always worth setting two stakes in a line to any impacts you personally witness, should you be so lucky. They never found the giant one that landed near McMinnville, Oregon years ago...I believe it was estimated in the tons...(twenty tons??). My memory eludes me here. Treasure hunting anyone?..I know where one lurks, but it'll take some doing. Ciao. Pete.

Benign Terrorist
2005-Nov-08, 07:11 PM
And how, exactly, did they get here?Obviously a really big bomb has an advantage.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-08, 08:32 PM
Your post is funny, Terrorist. Unless you're serious, in which case, it's very very scary. On multiple levels.

eburacum45
2005-Nov-08, 08:36 PM
If, and only if, evidence of life is found on Mars and it turns out to be related to Earth life genetically or in some other way, then we should seriously consider the possibilty of life having started on Mars and moving to Earth rather than the other way round.
Mars has a lower escape velocity so the impacts required to put a rock in orbit from the surface is much less; this would tend to suggest that life would have been transferred much more easily from Mars to Earth than the other way round.

On the other hand, transfer between planets in either direction is unlikely, so I would not expect this scenario to be the true situation.

Maddad
2005-Nov-08, 08:49 PM
The meteorite they recovered in Antartica was controversial because they couldn't tell for certain if the small structures were microbial micro fossils or not. However, what wasn't contested was that the rock came from Mars.

What's interesting is that an analysis of chemical structure indicated that the rock internally never experienced more than 104 degrees Farhenheit. The implication is that fragil biochemical bonds could have survived the trip, so life could have been transferred by such a method.

I will grant though that it would still be more likely from Mars to Earth than the other way around.

publiusr
2005-Nov-09, 09:01 PM
"The taste is out of this world!"

One lump or two?

QJones
2005-Nov-10, 12:36 AM
The meteorite they recovered in Antartica was controversial because they couldn't tell for certain if the small structures were microbial micro fossils or not. However, what wasn't contested was that the rock came from Mars.

You know, I don't think there's any way the experiments could have been done without giving any naysayers enough reasonable doubt to actually have reasonable doubt.

We really need the ability to repeat these types of discoveries among different science groups (with a refining of the research method, as well). Sadly, finds like these are not all that reproducible, eh?

Maddad
2005-Nov-10, 01:55 AM
There's a lot of truth in that, QJones. We'll not put this issue to bed until we culture Martian microbes in a petri dish.

steve1
2005-Nov-10, 08:03 AM
That's true, IPetrich. The fact is that living cells use almost exclusively 'l' or 'd' forms of organic molecules. The existence of an overwhelmingly life like set of organic compounds found in an asteroid or meteorite would give a high probability that the organic chemicals came from living cells.

However, as you state, the organic compounds in asteroids and other bodies possess about equal proportions of the enantiomers, that is racemers, which the biochemists and organic chemists are so delighted to confound us with. Thus the origin of life is NOT from meteoric or other sources but from the highly specific use and creation of set 'l' and 'd' forms. ;)