A closer look at origin of life, comets and the Rosetta Mission

A closer look at origin of life, comets and the Rosetta Mission

A closer look at origin of life, comets and the Rosetta Mission

Written by Staff Writer

20 Nov, 2014 | 12:57 pm

An age-old question that many philosophers, scientists and theologists have always pondered upon is the question of our origin. An announcement was made on Wednesday that organic molecules were detected on the surface of the planet, bringing hope that we are perhaps a step closer to answer the questions – who we are and how did we become?

Carbon-containing “organics” are the basis of life on earth and may give clues to chemical ingredients delivered to our planet early in its history. The compounds were picked up by a German-built instrument designed to “sniff” the comet’s thin atmosphere.

It has not been disclosed which molecules have been found, or how complex they are. But the results are likely to provide insights into the possible role of comets in contributing some of the chemical building blocks to the primordial mix from which life evolved on the early earth.

The Rosetta Mission, is a cornerstone mission to travel around the orbit and land on a comet launched on  March 2, 2004 becoming the first space craft to orbit a comet.

One of the original official principal investigators on the Rosetta Mission, Professor Chandra Wickremasinghe says that data which has come out of the Rosetta Mission is a complete proof of the idea that comets carry life and may lead the way to answer the question of our origin.

Speaking further, he said:

“This has been a prediction that of the theory of cometary “Panspermia” that I have been advocating for nearly three decades from around 1980.The late Sir Fred Hoyle and I proposed the theory that comets contain life in the form of micro-ogranisms and this is essentially a prediction of that they have what we have – the materials that result in the break up of bacteria that the degradation of bacteria at the surface of comets like ‘Comet 67 P’ the one that has been recently studied. I think the red rain in Sri Lanka was a cometary injection from the comet. So this kind of material the red rain cells and other living cells are present in comets and evidence for such living cells would be what we should look forward to. I think that the data that is coming out of this Rosetta Mission is a complete proof of the idea that comets carry life in the form of bacteria and maybe red rain cells. The idea that comets distribute life throughout the solar system and on to the earth – and this is what is really exciting.”

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