One of the great mysteries that human beings have wanted to reveal since time immemorial is the origin of life on our planet.
Ancient civilizations explained this event through divine intervention, creating a whole cosmos of beings whose power exceeded the human explanation of the time.
Then, with the evolution of science and human knowledge, different thinkers and scientists emerged who gave their own ideas about the creation of life.
Thus, theories such as spontaneous generation, evolution, primary broth and panspermia emerged.
The theory of panspermia is one of the ideas that coexist with the theory of evolution, as possible explanations for the origin of life on Earth, the second being the most accepted by the scientific community.
In the theory of panspermia it is ensured that life comes from outer space, arriving thanks to the impact of meteorites, which brought with them bacteria or other physical components that made possible the birth of terrestrial life forms.
For years, this theory has been discussed and discarded by scientists, since so far there was no conclusive evidence of their hypotheses. But apparently, this could change very soon.
A research team from the University of Tübigen, Germany, has shown that a significant amount of water and carbon from Earth comes from outer space.
The research, published in the journal Nature GeoScience, ensures that meteorites from corners far from the solar system are responsible for supplying large amounts of water, carbon and other volatile substances to Earth.
The study explains that this caused our planet to have the biological capacity to house life.
Dr. María Isabel Varas-Reus, Dr. Stephan König and Professor Ronny Schönberg of the Isotope Geochemistry team at the University of Tübigen, are the researchers leading this research, along with Dr. Jean-Pierre Lorand of the Nantes University.
The scientists used a method that consists of measuring the selenium isotopes in the rocks of the earth’s mantle. They discovered that isotope signatures are identical in these rocks and in samples taken from various types of meteorites, the same goes for water and other crucial elements for life.
Dr. María Isabel Varas-Reus explained to the scientific journal of the University of Tübigen that selenium should not be present in the Earth’s mantle:
“It is attracted to iron, which is why in the early history of our planet he descended to the iron-rich core.”
Varas-Reus states that selenium was not in the outer layer of the Earth, since the previous waste was completely erased.
This means that the selenium found in the mantle currently must have been added after the formation of the core of our planet, approximately 4.5 billion years ago.
According to Dr. Varas-Reus, there was already the idea that meteorites contributed substances to the Earth’s mantle, but that these came from the Inner Solar System.
However, the researchers were surprised to see that they were really meteorites from the Solar Outdoor System, that is, beyond the asteroid belt, near the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
The researchers said to the Tübigen scientific journal that it was possible to identify that, apart from selenium, these meteorites brought water.
“According to our calculations, 60% of the water on Earth comes from that source (meteorites). It is the only way in which the oceans could form, which created the necessary conditions for life on Earth to develop as we know it.”