The incredible Murchison Meteorite is rumored to be a space rock that is thought to maybe not only be older than the Sun, but contain organic compounds; the building blocks of life. If this turns out to be true, then it could be evidence of organic life long before Earth even existed.
Though organic compounds are not direct proof of life, the ancient rock is currently being studied by the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers who have had the privilege of studying the meteorite, which is estimated to be the oldest known object on Earth have commented on the incredible complexity of the object, and have published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Murchison meteorite, it is said will not only show scientists what potential life could spring up in the organic compounds located elsewhere in the universe, but the conditions of the universe when it was in its youngest days.
“We are really excited,” Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin was quoted as saying, “When I first studied it and saw the complexity I was so amazed!” The ambitious researchers studying the object at the Institute of Ecological Chemistry in Neuherberg, Germany are just one of several groups around the world who want to get a look at the incredibly important rock that will no doubt shed light on quite a few mysteries currently stumping astronomers.
And leading scientists aren’t the only ones who are getting in on the excitement of the revealing rock. Kent Davis, an amateur astronomer has been following the movements of the rock for years and reporting to his local astronomical society on its findings, “It’s truly one of the most amazing finds of the 21st century. To think the Earth, which is relatively small to most other things in the universe could happen upon such a find and actually have it recovered, indicates there are many more like it.” Astronomers agree that others like it could be discovered, and that another meteorite like it, perhaps even older cannot be far behind.
The findings of studies centered around the object indicate that the molecular composition of the solar system at its birth were likely more molecularly diverse than they currently are. It is like a snapshot of the past before planets and a sun were in the space the solar system currently occupies, and eventually was caught in Earth’s orbit where it eventually crashed.
The location the meteorite crashed was in Australia in a place by the name of Murchison (the meteorite’s namesake) in 1969. Though it has been studied for years, the recent wide spectrum analysis of compounds it contains have confirmed its ancient source, likely over 4.7 billion years ago. As the analysis continues so does the debate about the source of the planets, and the suggestion that the Solar system may not be so unique after all. If the findings truly turn out to be as revolutionary as many scientists suspect, it may turn out to be one of the most incredible meteorite discoveries of the past ten years.