Extraterrestrial Organic Matter Discovered In 3.3-Billion-Year-Old Volcanic Rock
Geologists in France and Italy have spotted what appear to be organic molecules from outer space in 3.3-billion-year-old rocks in South Africa, according to a new study. By now, we know that organic molecules, from methane to amino acids, exist in space, and perhaps some of these molecules were brought to our own planet via carbon-containing asteroids. A small range called the Makhonjwa Mountains or the Barberton Greenstone Belt sits in eastern South Africa and Swaziland, and contains a 23-to-66 foot thick deposit of 3.3-billion-year-old volcanic rock called the Josefdal Chert. In essence, the researchers measured how the samples’ electrons responded to a slowly changing magnetic field.
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