Collisions With Earth And The Inception Of Life Essay

1356 Words Nov 6th, 2015 null Page
Cometary Collisions with Earth and the Inception of Life

Since the advent of the Space Race and the ensuing rise of science fiction, humankind has been keen to discover life on other planets. Sightings, conspiracies, and Hollywood interpretations have engineered a wide range of alien life forms, both peaceful and hostile, and it is widely believed by American public that extraterrestrial life could and does exist. This raises more questions than could be answered in a lifetime of observing said lifeforms (for starters, our lifetime or theirs?) but to answer any of them we must begin, naturally, with the beginning: how is life created?
With the only known life extant on Earth, scientists began with studying how terrestrial life began, and how it then evolved into what we know today. A leader in the research of early life, and author of several papers on the subject, Zita Martins designed in 2013 an experiment to test his hypothesis that comets and meteors could strike the forming Earth with enough force that the amino acids frozen on the celestial bodies, under the right conditions, could create the earliest life forms (Martins, 2013). Martins and her fellow astrophysicists fired steel projectiles at cometary ice to simulate the collision of comets during the early years of the Earth. She found that those projectiles which had been fired and received an impact shock produced many of the basic amino acids found in terrestrial life today, while those that experienced the same…

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