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Asteroid impacts to life on Earth, says study

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There has been more discussion lately about the need to protect the life on Earth from a devastating asteroid strike. However, a new study suggests that a space rock, in fact it was the existence of life on our Blue Planet.

The researchers identified isotopes of selenium in rocks in the Earth’s mantle, and was found to be identical isotopic signatures in certain meteorites, particularly those from the outer solar system.

“We have to show that the selenium isotope record of the signature of the late accretion after core formation and that the signature is applied to overlap only with those of the CI-type carbonaceous chondrites,” the study abstract states. “We can only conclude that this isotopic constraints indicate at the end of the veneer is formed from the outer solar system, and has a lower mass than previously estimated. So, we’ll set up a late, and highly focused delivery of volatiles enabled the Earth to move in to now.”

An artist’s concept of an asteroid approaching the Earth.
Erik Simonsen via the Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images Gb.

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The selenium isotopes were detected by using a method that took samples of the earth’s crust rocks to the surface of plate tectonic processes, and it can be measured.

All of this means that the levels of selenium, as well as water and other building blocks of life originated outside the Earth and were brought to the planet by comets or meteors heading for earth, a concept known as panspermia.

“According to our calculations, about 60 percent of all the water on Earth comes from this source. That’s the only way the oceans could end up in shape,” said the study’s lead author, Maria Isabel Varas-Reus, D. Ph., in a written statement. “This has created the conditions for the development of life on Earth in its present form.”

Panspermia is the hypothesis that life on Earth originated from microbes in the area which have been by way of accident, due to items such as fabric of space, meteoroids and asteroids, according to an article on NASA’s web site.

Technically speaking, it is not it is seen in the Earth’s mantle, because it is attracted by the iron, Varas-Reus, will be explained. As a result, it is mainly located in the center of the Earth, that is, the “iron-rich” Varas-Reus, will be continued.

However, the levels of selenium, which is found in the mantle, it should come after the core of the Earth is formed, and a period of time that she estimates that the moon was formed between 4.5 billion euros and 3.9 billion years ago.

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It has long been suspected that the meteorite has brought the elements out of the area, and they will be added to the Earth’s mantle, but Varas-Reus, said the researchers “thought they were meteorites from the inner solar system.”

“So, we were very surprised to find that the selenium isotope signature of the Earth’s mantle, close to a certain type of meteorites from the outer solar system,” Varas-Reus, not added. “These are the carbonaceous chondrites in our solar system beyond the asteroid belt, the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and pluto.”

The study, which was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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