This is an image of Comet Kohoutek.
Click on image for full size
Believe it or not, many scientists believe that life may have begun on these distant, solar system traveling objects. Out in their distant home, the Oort Cloud, comets are exposed to the energy needed to form long, complex molecules akin to life's basic molecules. Because comets periodically migrate to the inner solar system and swoop around the sun, spilling portions of their surfaces in their wakes, it is thought that comets may have brought some of life's beginnings to the inner solar system where they could thrive.
NASA currently supports research on understanding comet's role in the formation of life, and there are many missions to comets in the planning phase whose purpose is to contribute to our understanding of these mysterious objects.
Read more about comets by reading our comet section. Read more about different sort of unsophisticated life forms found on the primordial Earth by taking the Exporatour of Life on Earth.
This is page 18 of 20
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science