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Lightning Sparked The Life on Earth

According to the new study many Lightning strikes might have needed to start life on Earth. The key ingredient necessary to start life is phosphorus. This study was published in the journal Nature Communication.

The multitude of Lightning strikes that happened when Earth was young 4 billion years ago may have unlocked the necessary amount of phosphorus to create the foundation for life. Earth first appeared about 3.5 billion years ago.

Benjamin Hess, a graduate student at Yale University in The Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences said Phosphorus is important in the molecules that form basic cell structures and cell membranes and even make up the phosphate backbone of DNA and RNA. This element is difficult to track in early Earth soil.

Hess also added that phosphorus found in the early earth was infused in minerals. This phosphorus cannot contribute to the production of biomolecules. This lighting gave a new mechanism for creating phosphorus that can contribute to life.

Lightning has been suggested as a vital part of what made life possible on Earth. Lab experiments have demonstrated that organic materials produced by lightning could have included precursor compounds like amino acids. Hess and colleagues determined that trillions of lightning strikes could have produced 110 to 11,000 kilograms of schreibersite every year.

Scientists looked first at meteorites that are chunks of space rocks such as asteroids and comets that fall down to the surface of the Earth. meteorites containing the phosphorus mineral schreibersite -which is soluble in water crashed on Earth’s surface with enough frequency to create the conditions necessary for biological life.

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