New research conducted by NASA has implied mimicking rocky seafloor chimneys in a scientifically controlled environment. This study aims to provide proper insight into the formation and evolution of the first living microorganisms.
Many scientists suggest that the life started a billion years ago with hydrothermal vents. The paper was published by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Astrobiology journal. There they described in detail their complex experimental setup. The study shows how extreme pressure can crack the fluid from the ancient seafloor cracks, which mixed with the ocean waters, creating the organic molecules that have been the beginning of life on Earth.
In addition to providing resourceful information regarding the formation of life on our planet, the study aims to provide new research opportunities for scientists that analyze ocean worlds such as Saturn and its natural satellite, Enceladus and Jupiter’s Europa.
NASA Has Found the First Microorganisms on Earth
The experiment gathered three essential ingredients that built its success: seawater with carbon dioxide added, hydrogen-rich water, and several minerals that could have been part of the ancient environment. The significant difficulty in re-creating the natural environment was to keep the pressure at the same levels. The most effective approach of the scientists is the fact that they managed to show how life was created using the implications of physical factors.
The following years will bring Europa Clipper, which is a rover created by NASA to orbit around Jupiter and perform a series of landings on the surface of its natural satellite to analyze its icy surface.
Scientists consider that Jupiter’s moon is responsible for spilling ice in the outer universe, and they are focusing on gathering information regarding the distinctive characteristics of Europa’s depths. Therefore, the recently published study may create the basis of future analysis of the chemical composition that might be involved in slightly different oceans than ours.