The building blocks of life were hidden in a meteorite that struck England
Organic compounds – including amino acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – in the UK meteorite is determined.
Not only does the Winchcombe meteorite contain organic material, but it also appears to represent a new class of meteorites.
Chemical analysis of the organic matter in the rock indicates that liquid water erupted from the asteroid at least three times.
The meteorite’s value was increased by the fact that the first of the four surviving pieces were collected just after the fall, within 12 hours, so they were not contaminated by terrestrial material. Some of the amino acids identified in the meteorite are very rare on our planet, which confirms their extraterrestrial origin.
The Winkcomb asteroid has a number of characteristics not previously seen in meteorites, for example, the unusually low concentration of amino acids, and the ratio of amino acids to PAHs is also different than usual.
The Winchcombe meteorite may originally have been part of a larger asteroid. It collapsed over time and then drifted through space for a long time before colliding with England.
More details about the meteorite can be found at Meteorites and Planetary Science Publishes a professional magazine.
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