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UK Meteorite That Fell To Earth Contains Building Blocks For Life

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The meteorite thousands saw fall over Winchcombe, Gloucestershire in 2021 contains organic compounds that could help explain the origins of life and may represent a new meteorite class.

The importance of the UK’s first meteorite in 30 years, collected after being seen falling, has been confirmed with the discovery of amino acids – organic compounds essential for life on Earth. The concentration of amino acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is not as high as in some other asteroid remnants (just 1.1 and 6.2 parts per million respectively), but that may make the discovery even more interesting.

The Winchcombe meteorite not only contains organic materials but also appears to represent a new class of meteorites, a new paper reports. Some of the materials in it were altered in ways that suggest at least three short outbursts of liquid water on the asteroid body from which it came.


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