November Meeting : Green Rust: one of six ‘must-have’ minerals for Life’s emergence on Earth 4 billion years ago
Our meetings include brief business, a main presentation and items of astronomical news or learning from members. The main item for this meeting is talk by Dr David Moriarty : Green Rust: one of six ‘must-have’ minerals for Life’s emergence on Earth 4 billion years ago.
It is only in the past few years that there is agreement among most scientists that life emerged on Earth more than 4 billion years ago, but many questions remain concerning how. It did not start in a warm little pond somewhere, as Charles Darwin mused. Those who speculate that the organic chemical ingredients for life came from comets, meteorites or asteroids misunderstand the importance of the second law of thermodynamics in life’s emergence. To put it simply: there is no free lunch!
Thermodynamic disequilibrium across membranes with voltage gradients and electron flow through transition metals drives the energy generating processes that built the organic molecules needed for life to start. Fougerite — green rust — is a vital mineral that enabled the emergence of life based on geochemical disequilibrium processes. Five other minerals were essential, starting with bridgemanite formed in the lower mantle of Earth at depths of 660 km and very high pressures of 23 – 25 gigapascals. These geological processes place constraints on astrobiologists who are searching for exoplanets and moons that could support life.
The November 2023 meeting is planned to be a face-to-face meeting; attendees can also join in online via Zoom. Details emailed to members. Guests/visitors can contact us for Zoom details at .
Visitors are welcome to join our face-to-face or online meetings.