The ingredients that created the conditions for life on Earth may not be native to our home planet. According to a new hypothesis, the essential elements of life were carried on a Mars-sized planet that collided with Earth 4.5 billion years ago.
This hypothetical planet is called Theia, and some believe it is responsible for breaking off a lump of earth and sending it into space to become our moon.
But also, say researchers from Rice The university brought the volatile elements such as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and sulfur, so that the earth could be brought to life.
Based on our findings, it is unlikely that the Earth could have produced the volatiles that fed the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere biosphere alone.
It is believed that the volatiles of the earth were carried away by meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites. These primitive meteorites that have bombarded our planet are much more volatile than the early Earth (aka Gaia) and other rocky bodies inside the solar system, which is a pretty good reason for this hypothesis.
But according to the researchers, the ratio of these volatiles in the chondrites is shut off, especially for a pair of elements. The carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of the bulk silicate is more than 20 times the ratio in carbonaceous chondrites.
Therefore, the research team began a mission to find out if the volatile components could have been released using a different method, such as Theia.
In a series of hands-on experiments with silicate and alloy-loaded capsules, the team restored the high-temperature and high-pressure conditions under which Theia's core might have formed. This helped to determine what percentage of sulfur the nucleus could have excluded carbon and nitrogen, and left them in the bulk of the planet.
Equipped with this information, the team conducted computer simulations of around one billion different scenarios to determine how Earth had come to be volatile.
"What we found is that all the evidence ̵
This does not mean that carbonaceous chondrites have not contributed in any way, but suggests that Theia has contributed the majority. a finding suggesting that a planet may have a better chance of developing life as it goes through violent clashes.
"From the study of primitive meteorites scientists have long known that E arth and other rocky planets inside the solar system are volatilely exhausted," said geologist Rajdeep Dasgupta.
"But the timing and mechanism of volatile delivery has been hotly debated, and our first scenario can explain the timing and delivery in a manner consistent with all geochemical evidence."
The team's research has been published in the journal Science Advances published.