Astrophysicists figured out which asteroids could become carriers of life

(ORDO NEWS) — An asteroid similar to Ryugu billions of years ago could have brought “bricks” to Earth, from which life subsequently arose.

Planetary scientists have found more than 10 types of amino acids, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrogen compounds, in soil samples from the Ryugu asteroid. This discovery supports the idea that C-type asteroids could be the source of prebiotic compounds for the young Earth.

The study was conducted by planetary scientists and members of the Hayabusa-2 research group, led by Hiroshi Naraoka of Kyushu University in Japan.

They studied a 17.15 milligram sample collected from the surface of the asteroid. The report on the results of the work was presented at the 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).

During the study, scientists discovered more than 10 types of amino acids. Among them are proteinogenic (glycine, D-, L-alanine) and non-proteinogenic amino acids (b-alanine and D-, La-aminobutyric acid).

In addition, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and various nitrogen compounds have been found.

Ryugu is a chondrite asteroid belonging to the CI group. It contains large amounts of carbon, water, and organic matter. Experts suggest that an asteroid similar to Ryugu billions of years ago could have brought to Earth fragments of amino acids, “bricks”, from which life subsequently arose.

Scientists believe that prebiotic organic molecules could have appeared on Ryugu as a result of the spread of interplanetary dust from the surface of such asteroids, which is formed after collision with other space objects.

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