Comet Amino Acids
Having completed the 11th grade early, pondering summer and dreading a stint in mosquito infested singing camp, complete with bad food and latrines, my mind wandered to the origins of life.
Don’t get me wrong, quite literally light came from darkness and the world was created in seven days. But new details emerge about some of the finer details.
The postulation the comets carry glycolic acids, glyceric acids and the amino acid glycene has the song leaders at summer camps atwitter composing new verse for the familiar campfire tunes.
We have known for some time that our solar system contains large stashes of methane is quite well understood. I think there are at least four new verses for Bill Grogan’s goat about the methane on the moon Titan.
Just like the goat had a formula for stopping the train, methane has a molecular formula CH4. Hydrocarbons like methane, propane and butane are found through out the solar system. This should lead us to search for the termites and farting cows of Titan.
One source for methane on earth are landfills, and we now endeavor to capture the methane and use it for productive purposes rather than allowing it to simply drift into the atmosphere.
While some might worry incessantly about the methane entering the atmosphere, with a molecular weight of 16.04 it is more buoyant than glycine which has a molecular weight of 75.07, making it one of the lightest amino acids. The glycine molecule contains a nitrogen atom, two oxygens, two carbons and five (5) hydrogen atoms.
But considering the postulate that comets contain molecular amino acids, combined with evolution created goats, termites and cows, all of with produce methane which is found in the solar system, it seems we have a chicken and egg question, or we have to admit the methane is produced in natural space dust processes without regard for organic activity.
One alternate view of the origin of amino acids is the idea that boiling oceans on earth, primarily in the locality of volcanic vents provided the chemistry needed to transform molecular aldehydes into amino acids. However aldehydes have been confirmed on comets which has caused excitement in the panspermia community.
In the panspermic line of thought, bacteria may have carried DNA between galaxies. The excitement crescendos when these thinkers consider a young Earth during the late bombardment period with warm oceans awaiting the arrival of DNA.