Scientists have excitingly discovered a huge amount of life-giving organic molecules in space, which was previously only believed to occur under rare cosmic circumstances.
Now the discovery could show there's as much as 100 times more of the molecules than previously thought, circling around the estimated 400 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
The study has revealed that the molecules have been collecting in around "protoplanetary discs" of dust and gas that are known to orbit each star.
Researchers explained the only thing left to spark life on a planet is water and a viable distance from a host star or the "Goldilocks zone".
“It’s possible the molecules needed to kick-start life are readily available in all planet-forming environments,” said Leeds’ Dr. Catherine Walsh, who led the study with co-author Dr. John Ilee.
The researcher's work was published in “The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series ” on Thursday.
“These large complex organic molecules are found in various environments throughout space,” said Dr. Ilee.
The scientists believe that the mix of molecules comprises "raw ingredients" that are essential to Earth, New York Post reports.
"They create sugars, amino acids and even the components of ribonucleic acid (RNA) — under the right circumstances,” said Ilee.
“We wanted to understand more about where exactly, and how much of, these molecules were present in the birthplaces of planets — protoplanetary discs,” he continued.
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It is believed that every star in the galaxy has at least one planet attached to its orbit.
Viewed through the ALMA radio telescope in the Atacama Desert in Chile, radio signals were seen from newly formed stars, which suggests that the key molecules could be present in up to 80% of protoplanetary discs spinning through the galaxy.
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There are many theories that suggest Earth was "seeded" by comets, asteroids and meteorites that contain these potent chemicals which encouraged life.
This study is the first ever to show that protoplanetary discs outside our solar system could be brimming with similar potential.
Said Dr. Ilee: “If we are finding molecules like these in such large abundances, our current understanding of interstellar chemistry suggests even more complex molecules should also be observable.”
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