Mysterious Mars-Sized Planet Might Have ‘Brought Life to Earth’ After Huge Impact

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How did life on Earth begin, what made it possible and how did our natural satellite form? These are just a few questions we have all asked ourselves and tried to find a reasonable answer.

Scientists believe that the moon was made from all the leftover material after Earth and a rock as big as Mars smashed into each other 4.4 billion years ago. Through this impact, Earth received most of today’s carbon, nitrogen and volatile elements that support life.

Previous studies theorized that meteorites were the ones that brought the primordial matter to help create life on Earth. Their study was recently published in the Journal Science Advances.

They looked at all the primitive meteorites and impacts with Earth and pinpointed the delivery of life through experiments. They found that Earth’s volatile elements that are essential to create and sustain life were delivered by the donor planet that had a sulfurous core.

According to Damanveer Grewal, the lead author of the study, “the core doesn’t interact with the rest of Earth, but everything above it, the mantle, the crust, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere, are all connected. Material cycles between them.”

Building Blocks of Life Brought From Outside Our Solar System?

The study co-author Rajdeep Dasgupta, who is also the principal investigator of the project CLEVER Planets (funded by NASA), explains why this study can help us understand the origin of our planet, adding that the essential life-giving elements might also come from outside our solar system:

“This study suggests that a rocky, Earth-like planet gets more chances to acquire life-essential elements if it forms and grows from giant impacts with planets that have sampled different building blocks, perhaps from different parts of a protoplanetary disk.”

Moreover, he added that the silicate on Earth couldn’t have produced our biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere all alone, without the help of volatile elements that were brought by another planet through a massive impact. You can check out an in-depth article on their study here.