Lightning can bring life to earth and other planets in the Universe



Scientists have announced that the lightning strikes the Earth that can sow the seeds of life appear.  Besides, it is likely the same is true for other "worlds" beyond our Solar System.

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Scientists have announced that the lightning strikes the Earth that can sow the seeds of life appear.  Besides, it is likely the same is true for other "worlds" beyond our Solar System.

A groundbreaking new study by geologists at the University of Leeds has found a link between lightning and the origin of life on Earth.  So far, scientists have agreed that vital elements of life were brought to Earth through the bombardment of meteors more than four billion years ago. Newly published research, however, has found that some of the same minerals may have been struck by billions of lightning bolts - and the same may also be true for life on our extrasolar planets.  The research is led by student Benjamin Hess in the Faculty of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds.

Lightning can bring life to earth and other planets in the UniverseLightening strikes the Earth that can sow the seeds of life appear. / ph: pexels

 Hess, currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Leeds, USA, examined samples of a rock with an unusual appearance commonly known as a fulgurite.  Fulgurite, derived from Latin meaning lightning, is formed when lightning strikes the ground.  Hess and his colleagues examined fulgurite samples formed when lightning struck a home five years ago in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA.  This caused these rocks to have an unusually high concentration of the phosphorus mineral known as schreibersite.  Phosphorus is a key ingredient in many processes that govern life, from growth to reproduction.  On a young Earth, the phosphorus found on the planet's surface is insoluble in water - but schreibersite does.

The results of the study were published on March 16 in the journal Nature Communications.  "Many people believe that life on Earth originates from shallow surface waters, according to a famous Darwin concept. Most models of how life can form on the Earth's surface are believed to be due to meteorites carrying a small amount of schreibersite. Our work found a relatively large amount of schreibersite in the studied fulgurite. "

Because lightning is so often "visiting" Earth, researchers have argued that meteorite collisions bringing phosphorus helped life occur on Earth.

Lightning is not as destructive as the space rock bombardments, which means it also has the ability to interfere with evolutionary processes that allow life to emerge.  Perhaps, more importantly, this gives us an idea that life formation on other Earth-like planets can occur long in collisions with celestial bodies, Hess added.  "Perhaps, more importantly, this gives us an idea that life-formation on other Earth-like planets can happen long ago when meteorite collisions are dense."  The study also showed that the phosphorus minerals produced by the lightning bolts surpass those deposited by meteorites when and entered our planet 3.5 billion years ago.  This is also the time when several species of microfossils are thought to have emerged.

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"The initial bombardment is an event that only happens in the Solar System.  They, the additional phosphorus supply from meteorites becomes unnecessary. On the other hand, lightning is not a one-time event. If the atmospheric conditions are favorable for the creation of lightning, the elements needed for the formation of life could be transferred to the surface of a planet. This means that life could be present on Earth-like planets at any given time. "

 According to Sandra Piazolo, Professor of Structural Geology and Construction, the study's findings opens up a whole new study. "All of these studies will help improve our understanding of the importance of fulgurite in changing the chemical environment of the Earth over time. she said.

Lightning can bring life to earth and other planets in the Universe

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