A rainbow-colored meteorite found in Costa Rica may hold building blocks of life. Researchers said it is made of the same dust as a previous meteor found in 1969. The meteorite is a remnant of the early solar system. The rock is estimated to be 4,560 million years old. The rock weighed around 1 kilogram (2.4 pounds). On April 23rd, 2019, it fell on the terrace of a small house in Aguas Zarcas. Aguas Zarcas is a village in Costa Rica's tropical rainforest. On that day, an asteroid broke apart over Coast Rica and rained meteors on two villages.
Residents of the village saw blazing fireballs and rocks falling from they sky on that night. The small, rainbow-colored meteorite could be made of a complex carbon compound because it is made of the same dust from the early Milky Way. The dust was found in a separate meteor that exploded over Australia in 1969. Researchers have found nearly 100 different amino acids in the Australian asteroid's remains.
Many of which are found in organisms on Earth. Which others are rare or unknown in existing life. The Australian rock also contained nucleobases. These are the building blocks of genetic molecules such as RNA. Researchers found the sugar molecule ribose which is a major component of RNA's backbone. After studying the rock for over a year the team has named the rock Aguas Zarcas.
The rock is made of a carbonaceous chondrite which was formed before our sun developed. Many carbonaceous chondrites are mud balls that are between 80 and 95% clay. Clays are important because water is an integral part of their structure.
Scientists are analyzing the organic inventory of the samples. The rock may provide insights into whether these types of meteorites provided the ingredients for the origins of life on Earth.