Fireball Meteorite That Fell To Earth In 2018 Contains Extraterrestrial Compounds

by : Daniel Richardson on : 27 Oct 2020 17:24
Fireball Meteorite That Fell To Earth In 2018 Contains Extraterrestrial CompoundsSWNS

A six-foot-wide meteorite that crashed into Earth in 2018 appears to have extraterrestrial elements that could explain how life on our planet first began.

In 2018, a large meteorite fell to Earth and was embedded in a frozen lake in Michigan. The meteorite was well preserved, and its size made it easy to track and collect very quickly. In fact, equipment that NASA usually uses to track weather enabled researchers to pinpoint the location of the majority of the meteorite. The result of this quick collection was a meteorite sample that had not been compromised in the way most historic samples are.


The fragments that were collected by scientists in 2018 revealed extraterrestrial ‘organic compounds’ embedded in the rock. The meteorite had amino acids, fats and DNA in it. These carbon compounds are said to be key to the development of life on the planet, and scientists believe that the findings of tests on this meteorite reveal that life on Earth may have come from outer space.

Robert Ward recovering meteoriteRobert Ward/SWNS

While the rock contains the materials for life, it still does not explain how exactly life was created, MailOnline reports.

Nonetheless, Philipp Heck, a curator at the Field Museum in Chicago wrote in the Meteoritics and Planetary Science journal:


These kinds of organic compounds were likely delivered to the early Earth by meteorites and might have contributed to the ingredients of life.

The discovery of these elements is certainly exciting, and it may even offer greater insight into how life developed on Earth and how it could do so on other planets. While it is unclear exactly where these materials come from, it seems that most meteorites contain the foundations of life.

He added, ‘This meteorite is special because it fell onto a frozen lake and was recovered quickly. It was very pristine. We could see the minerals weren’t much altered and later found that it contained a rich inventory of extraterrestrial organic compounds.’

Discussing the findings Heck told Field Museum:


Scientists who study meteorites and space sometimes get asked, do you ever see signs of life? And I always answer, yes, every meteorite is full of life.

It seems that finding out more about life on Earth may require a greater knowledge of the events in space.

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Science, DNA, Earth, Life, Now, Space, Tech


  1. MailOnline

    'Fireball' meteorite that smashed into a frozen US lake in 2018 contains 'pristine' organic compounds that could shed light on the origins of life