Dr. Zita Martins, from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, Dr. Mark Price, from the University of Kent, and colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published new evidence that claims amino acid creation is possible anywhere in the Universe in the Sept. 15, 2013, edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.
Recent discoveries by NASA and the ESA as well as laboratory experiments led the scientists to the conclusion that meteorite or comet impact imparted the necessary energy to cause the production of amino acids from smaller chemicals like methane and water.
The researchers used compressed gas to propel projectiles with compositions similar to those of comets and meteorites that bombarded the Earth between 4.5 and 3.8 billion years ago into an ice target and created amino acids such as glycine and alanine.
The force of a meteorite impact produced a shock wave that was transformed into the heat necessary to catalyze amino acid creation.
“The abundance of ice on the surfaces of Enceladus and Europa, which are moons orbiting Saturn and Jupiter respectively, could provide a perfect environment for the production of amino acids, when meteorites crash into their surface.” according to the researchers.