Scientists analyzed the substance of a meteorite that fell a couple of years ago on the ice of one of the lakes in the U.S. state of Michigan, and found a pure cosmic organism that survived a flight through the Earth’s atmosphere. The article on the subject appeared in the publication of Meteoritics & Planetary Science.
“People often ask if there are traces of life in meteorites. They do, but this is usually Earth life, because when a meteorite falls on our planet, it immediately becomes infected with bacteria and fungi. But we were lucky to find a meteorite on a frozen pond right after it fell, so it didn’t have time to become Earth’s life,’ says Phillip Heck of the University of Chicago.
The meteorite of interest to scientists is a meteoroid fragment that exploded in the sky over the outskirts of Hamburg, USA, in early 2018. Fragments of the celestial body fell, including on the ice of Lake Strouberry, where they were found quite quickly. The fact that the flight of the meteoroid was monitored by a special weather radar NASA, so the researchers immediately moved to the place of the alleged fall of fragments.
“We collected a dozen fragments of the meteorite and analyzed them. Hamburg meteorite belongs to chondrites type H4, which are about thirty percent composed of nickel, iron and olivine. Inside some fragments survived organic compounds, which by some miracle did not collapse when the meteorite came into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere. We are talking about the organic matter, which was present in the primary matter of the solar system – perhaps life on Earth was formed also from this substance,” – said Heck.