US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — As shown by new studies published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the most ancient molecular fluids on the objects of the solar system could contribute to the rapid formation and development of building blocks of life.
An international team of scientists led by researchers from the Royal Museum of Ontario (ROM) and co-authors from McMaster University and York University used the most advanced methods to map individual atoms in minerals formed in liquids on an asteroid over 4.5 billion years ago.
When studying the cult meteorite of Lake Tagish, scientists used atomic probe tomography. A special technique allows you to visualize atoms in three-dimensional space, for targeting molecules along the boundaries and pores between magnetite particles, which are likely to have formed in the asteroid’s crust. Water sediments left inside the studied rocks were discovered.
A new study on an atomic scale provides the first evidence of sodium-rich (and alkaline) fluids in which magnetite framboids formed. These fluid conditions are preferred for the synthesis of amino acids, opening the door to microbial life as early as 4.5 billion years ago.
Using new methods such as atomic probe tomography, scientists hope to develop analytical methods for planetary materials returned to Earth by spacecraft, such as the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission or a planned mission to return a sample from Mars in the near future.
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