Arab News Japan
DUBAI: Life in space might very well be possible after Japan’s education ministry’s latest discovery, which found more than 20 types of amino acids detected in samples of an asteroid that was brought to Earth in December 2020.
The Japan Times reported that the detection is the first evidence of amino acids on asteroids from space, which will give astronomers an understanding of how the vital organic molecule first arrived on planet Earth.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) probe Hayabusa2 spacecraft collected the samples from an asteroid named Ryugu. The spacecraft landed on the asteroid in 2019 and collected about 5.4 grams of samples from the asteroid’s surface and subsurface.
Ryugu is a carbon-rich fragment from a larger asteroid, which formed from the same dust and gas that created our solar system.
Ryugu’s surface gave scientists a look at the substances that were floating around over 4 billion years ago.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, making them essential organic molecules for life. Ancient rocks on Earth have offered evidence that similar molecules to those found on Ryugu arrived here billions of years ago.
It is possible that the essential molecules first arrived on earth through comets and asteroids, and the Ryugu samples have now proven that these molecules exist on asteroids in space.
Samples from Ryugu will help scientists understand more about our solar system and how life on Earth came to be.