📩 12/10/2023 13:08
Initial analyzes of the 4,5 billion-year-old asteroid Bennu, collected from space and brought to Earth by NASA, revealed that it contained high amounts of carbon and water.
In the statement made by NASA, it was announced that the 4,5 billion-year-old Bennu asteroid sample, collected from space and brought to Earth by NASA, contained high carbon and water in its initial analysis.
During the first two weeks, scientists carried out analyzes on this material using methods such as scanning electron microscope, infrared measurements, X-ray diffraction and chemical element. These analyzes showed that the asteroid contained plenty of carbon and water.
“The OSIRIS-REx sample is the largest carbon-rich asteroid sample ever sent to Earth and will help scientists investigate the origins of life on our own planet for generations to come,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said about the asteroid.
Although more work is needed to understand the nature of the carbon compounds found, the initial discovery holds promise for future asteroid sample analyses, the statement said. The secrets hidden in the rocks and dust carried by the asteroid will be studied for decades, providing insights into how the solar system formed, how the precursors of life can be transported to Earth, and the precautions that need to be taken to prevent asteroid collisions.
What Does It Mean That Asteroid Bennu Contains Carbon and Water?
The fact that the asteroid Bennu is rich in carbon and water has several reasons that excite scientists:
- Carbon is an element necessary for life. Life consists of carbon-based molecules. Therefore, Bennu is rich in carbon, suggesting that life may exist on the asteroid.
- Water is a substance that forms the basis of life. Life can arise and thrive in the presence of water. Therefore, Bennu is rich in water, suggesting that life may exist on the asteroid.
- The asteroid Bennu is rich in carbon and water, indicating that it may have had conditions suitable for life in the early Solar System. This suggests that life may be widespread in the Solar System.
What Do Scientists Want to Learn from Asteroid Bennu?
By conducting more detailed analysis of samples taken from the asteroid Bennu, scientists will try to better understand the formation and chemical composition of the asteroid. These analyzes can give scientists answers to the following questions:
- How was the asteroid Bennu formed?
- What role did asteroid Bennu play in the early Solar System?
- What are the odds of life existing on asteroid Bennu?
The information scientists gain from asteroid Bennu could significantly increase our understanding of how the Solar System and life formed.