Solar flares bombarded our earth’s surface around 4.1 million years ago reaching atmosphere and Collisions between the particles and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere produced nitrous oxide, a planet-warming greenhouse gas, and hydrogen cyanide, a crucial component for building DNA, the researchers propose May 23 in Nature Geoscience.
Solar storms made a big impact on Earth, the researchers propose. The storms temporarily squeezed the magnetosphere, the protective magnetic bubble surrounding Earth, to one-sixth its normal height. That squashing allowed more solar particles to rain into the atmosphere. The dive-bombing particles ionized and broke apart nitrogen molecules in the air. Those molecules reassembled into new ones such as hydrogen cyanide, which can produce DNA bases and amino acids.
Another product, nitrous oxide, is a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide. The additional nitrous oxide could have kept Earth from freezing during the sun’s dim days, the researchers propose.
Solar storms as factor for life formation gives weight to possibility of finding life on other planets as like earth distant planets had also faced solar eruptions in the past.