A comet uncovers the three mysteries of the solar system

  According to astronomers’ understanding of the formation process of comets, the content of nitrogen on comets should be relatively high, but the nitrogen they actually detect is only 1/10 of the theoretical prediction. Where did the rest of the nitrogen go? A discovery from the comet “67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko” may reveal this mystery. As soon as this mystery is revealed, it helps to uncover the other two mysteries of the solar system.
  During 2014-2016, when the European Space Agency’s “Rosetta” spacecraft orbited Comet 67P, it sent a beam of light to the comet and collected the reflected light for spectral analysis. Analysis showed that some compounds on the surface of the comet absorb incident light, but the researchers could not identify what this chemical substance is.
  Recently, two French scientists simulated the experiment on the ground. They let a beam of light shine on the dust collected from comet 67P; then add different compounds to it to see what kind of compound is added, which can reproduce the absorption spectrum collected from comet 67P. They found that when nitrogen and hydrogen-containing ammonium salts are added, the absorption spectrum of the reflected light is very consistent with the situation in space. Therefore, they believe that the unidentified compound is probably ammonium salt. Ammonium salt contains nitrogen, and 90% of the missing nitrogen is hidden in ammonium salt-because ammonium salt has not been recognized on comets before.
  This discovery also helps explain another mystery in the solar system: the formation of some giant planets. Previously, some scientists speculated that some gas giant planets are so big because they have a relatively high starting point, that is, they are formed with a comet that falls into it. However, this guess has not been verified. It’s good now. Just measure the nitrogen content of giant planets and compare it with the nitrogen content of comets, and you should be able to verify that the guess is true.
  Ammonium salts are essential for the manufacture of amino acids and DNA, and amino acids and DNA are the basic components of organic life. We can imagine that if a comet like 67P falls on the early Earth, the ammonium salt carried by the comet is dissolved in water, and it may initiate a series of chemical reactions that create life. Someone once speculated that life on earth originated from comets. It seems that this speculation is reasonable.

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