View Full Version : Interstellar Organics

2006-May-05, 12:10 AM
Like an interplanetary spaceship carrying passengers, meteorites have long been suspected of ferrying relatively young ingredients of life to our planet. Using new techniques, scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism have discovered that meteorites can carry other, much older passengers as well—primitive, organic particles that originated billions of years ago either in interstellar space, or in the outer reaches of the solar system as it was beginning to coalesce from gas and dust.

The study shows that the parent bodies of meteorites—the large objects from the asteroid belt—contain primitive organic matter similar to that found in interplanetary dust particles that might come from comets. The finding provides clues about how organic matter was distributed and processed in the solar system during this long-gone era.
The work is published in the May 5, 2006, issue of Science.

Source (http://www.carnegieinstitution.org/meteorites/default.html)