Organic Chemistry Takes Place In The Void Of Space

The excellent New Scientist Magazine reports that organic chemistry takes places on asteroids that are flying around in space.

(Above–The asteroid known as 951 Gaspra. Here are some facts about asteroids.)

From New Scientist—

“For the first time, rocks from an asteroid have been shown to power the synthesis of life’s essential chemicals. The asteroid in question fell to Earth on 28 September 1969, landing on the outskirts of the village of Murchison in Victoria, Australia. Tests showed it was laced with amino acids and some of the chemicals found in our genetic material. The discovery suggested that space was not the chemically sterile place it was once thought to be, and that organic chemistry was widespread. It hinted that the molecules life needed to get started could have been produced in space, before dropping to Earth.”

I find this discovery encouraging. Positive–even “creative”— things can happen in an environment as hostile as outer space.

I don’t know about you, but I often feel I must be on the moon or in another galaxy, because surely the crazy and mean-spirited behavior I witness and read about each day cannot be of this Earth.

I’m glad that even in what might seem to be a void, hopeful things can happen.

So when you feel you are in a void of decency because of some barbaric public policy idea, or in an intellectual void because everything you are hearing makes so little sense, just think of all those asteroids flying around brewing up various chemicals and amino acids.

It is almost always possible to make some kind of progress.