At https://phys.org/news/2023-02-ryugu-asteroid-sample-reveals-organic-rich.html … samples from the Ryugu asteroid, collected by Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, are organic rich. This sample was shared with US researchers and we are told organics are the building blocks of all known forms of terrestrial life and consist of a wide range of compounds made of carbon combined with hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and other atoms. Ryugu’s organic molecules are created by chemical reactions, it is thought, and these do not involve life itself. The theory is that chemical reactions in asteroids can make some of life’s ingredients – such as amino acids.
Prebiotic chemistry analyses the prebiotic organics and among these are amino acids. These are used by terrestrial life to build proteins. The latter are essential for life as they are used to make enzymes which speed up and regulate chemical reactions. The sample from Ryugu also included aliphatic amines, carboxylic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrogen containing heterocyclic compounds. These prebiotic molecules were able to live on Ryugu in spite of solar heating, ultraviolet radiation and cosmic ray irradiation, under high vacuum conditions. This suggests the uppermost grains of the asteroid have the potential to protect arganic molecules, said Hiroshi Naraoka. These molecules can be transported through the solar system, potentially being dispersed by interplanetary dust particles. These are falling into the atmosphere of the earth on a daily basis. The theory sounds reasonable. So far, the amino acids appear to be similar to that seen in carbonaceous meteorites that have been exposed to water in space. However, sugars and nucleobases have not yet been found in the samples from Ryugu – but there may be many reasons why this is so. I wonder what electro-magnetic effects would have on these organic molecules? The Safire experiment seemed to show that plasma is capable of producing many of the basic elements – although that idea has gone surprisingly quiet over the last few years. Ryugu would have been affected by the solar wind over its whole lifetime, and therefore by plasma and any side effects.
Over at https://phys.org/news/2023-02-meteorite-crater-french-winery.html … the discovery of a meteor crater in a french winery. A vineyard was actually planted within the depression caused by the impact crater. It is 220 m in diameter and 30 m in depth. It was proposed by some geologists back in the 1950s but the idea was quickly quoshed a few years afterwards. Now it is back on the agenda, as a result of a holidaying scientist. Analysis of a couple of rocks dug up in the vineyard was done in his university laboratory, on his return home to Frankfurt. He then went on to organise an expedition to the crater, with a group of interested students. The crater was examined in detail and is now officially an impact crater – once again. One of only four craters to be recognised across the whole of Europe – by mainstream. Can’t get hold of projected date of the crater but for the moment, that does not matter.