NASA researchers from the Ames Astrophysics and Astrochemistry Institute in Mountain View, California, have provided the first experimental evidence that sugar in DNA – 2-deoxyribose – can be formed in interstellar space. In their study published on December 18, 2018, in the journal Nature Communications Michel Nuevo, George Cooper and Scott Sandford combined organic compounds, water vapor and light – all elements that are in interstellar space – in a vacuum chamber imitates the cosmic environment and observes the results. In addition to the DNA sugar, a variety of other sugar derivatives was found. This discovery is more evidence that the chemical building blocks of life throughout the universe could be common and sow other planets than they did in ancient times.
One of the biggest questions that science is constantly pursuing is the question of whether we are alone the universe, a research that goes many ways. The astrophysicist Carl Sagan is often quoted as saying, "The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pie was made inside by collapsing stars. We are made of star material. "The universe was filled with the building blocks of life. Therefore, the pursuit of finding out how these building blocks actually make life is an endeavor whose effects are most extensive. Scott Sandford, one of the study's investigators, added this to the experiment of his own team and said, "The universe is an organic chemist. It has big cups and a lot of time ̵
For their discovery, the Ames team cooled an aluminum substance in a vacuum to near zero-zero chamber (since the space is a vacuum) and added a mixture of water vapor and methanol gas before exposure to ultraviolet light and heat the interstellar environment has been completely mimicked. The space between the stars is filled with dust and gases and is constantly exposed to light particles that bombard each radiation-emitting source in the area. The experiment was developed to answer the question of whether the space environment can make connections more vital than just individual elements. Another research team in France discovered the formation of ribose – the sugar in RNA, a potential precursor to DNA – in an experiment similar to the current study, and set the stage for further insights from the team.
Over the years, more and more organic compounds have been found on meteorites, including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur. Although Earth's geography has actively changed and the discovery of remnants has been complicated from the beginning, scientists have been able to find and study things like carbonaceous chondrites and asteroid meteorites that are as old as our solar system. This research has made it possible to analyze how planets have formed and evolved over billions of years. Combining this kind of research with other work that shows that meteorites generally contain the building blocks of life and migration through the galaxies of the universe, the growing number of exoplanets found could imply even more significant opportunities.
Exoplanets, ie planets that orbit other stars than our own, are regularly detected when examining data from past and current observatory and telescope missions. In the last 20 years, since the beginning of the "Planet Hunt", more than 3800 exoplanets have been confirmed, and another 2900 more are awaiting confirmation. By observing the amount of light that a distant star obscures over time, scientists can determine if a planet is orbiting it, its size, distance from the star, and the colors that are missing in the atmosphere light spectrum of the planets and which contain chemicals, such as oxygen, Carbon dioxide, nitrogen and so on. After analyzing all these things, it can be predicted whether an exoplanet can be Earth-like and whether it is in the so-called "Goldilock Zone" or in a position where life, as we know it, is the right conditions for development Has.
That may seem like a lot of conditions, but it is estimated that about 20-50 percent of the stars in our night sky can have small, rocky planets in the habitable zones of their stars. When learning more about planet formation, this number can be corrected up or down. So far, a planetary system has been studied in detail whose planets resemble the Earth: TRAPPIST-1. It consists of an ultra-cool dwarf star with 7 rocky worlds orbiting it. All may have water, some more than the earth. Given the growing evidence that the germ of life's development is prominently distributed and created with the number of potentially Earth-like planets in space, we may have some exciting news from the interstellar world in the near future.