Learn about the meteors that were discovered in Antarctica. Also learn about the importance of studying meteorites and the compounds.
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The Importance of Studying Meteorites Year after year as man’s collective knowledge grows his capacity to reach further into the universe and his ability to understand and control the forces of nature and his know-how in devising the tools to make his life comfortable have increased. The answers to some of the most challenging questions are coming from space. There are meteorites that have landed on earth from outer space. Some with the history dating back 4 ½ billion years and they are being found in relatively large numbers in Antarctica. Literally tens of thousands have been collected from the icy wasteland over the years and considering only around 2,000 specimens existed in total before the Antarctic discoveries the cache has been a scientific boom. Meteorites, a small fragments from an asteroid built that might have held form planet earth. So here in these frozen conditions is some of the oldest material in the solar system. By studying meteorites, scientists hope to find the answers to two fundamental questions. Is there life beyond earth and what are the processes that led to life on earth? The coolest stand of the investigations was the search for organic compounds known as amino acids within the meteorites. Amino acids are the building blocks of life on earth and as it was discovered also exist in the Antarctic meteorites. Importantly, these organic compounds would different from any found in living organisms on earth. Could it have been that meteorites, with the seeds, that sought life throughout the universe? Many scientists now ascribe to this theory. Man’s investigation of space indeed his investigation of life itself has been an outward looking one. But with the gathering of meteorites from across the face of the planet, scientists have been able to unlock the door to a myriad of secrets our universe is kept hidden for millions of years. Could it be that one day we’ll discover exactly how life came to be? The scientists say the answer must be yes but until then they could have look to the stars and wait.