Scientists announced on Friday that the Rosetta spacecraft has detected crucial ingredients for life on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which it has been probing for almost two years.
They include the amino acid glycine, which is commonly found in proteins, and phosphorus, a key component of DNA and cell membranes.
“This is the first unambiguous detection of glycine at a comet,” said Kathrin Altwegg, principal investigator of the ROSINA instrument that made the measurements, and lead author of a new study published in Science Advances. “At the same time, we also detected certain other organic molecules that can be precursors to glycine, hinting at the possible ways in which it may have formed.”
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