Life’s Building Blocks Discovered On Comet 67P

building blocks of life found on comet 67p by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft

The historical probe which is the first to ever orbit a comet when it reached the comet 67P back in August 2014 has provided a huge amount of valuable information, being the most detailed study of a comet ever undertaken.

Scientists announced with excitement on Friday that the Rosetta craft had discovered the amino acid glycine as well as many other organic molecules in the comets atmosphere. Such materials present suggests that there is a high chance that similar comets to 67P could have spread life around the universe with life’s basic building blocks.

“With all the organics, amino acid and phosphorus, we can say that the comet really contains everything to produce life – except energy,” said Rosetta’s Kathrin Altwegg.

“Energy is completely missing on the comet, so on the comet you cannot form life. But once you have the comet in a warm place – let’s say it drops into the ocean – then these molecules get free, they get mobile, they can react, and maybe that’s how life starts.”