Organic comet

In an astounding first for space science, the European Space Agency (ESA) landed a probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and, despite various technical problems, there was sufficient power onboard for the spacecraft to extract data from this distant object that orbits the Sun every 6.45 years at a maximum speed of 135 000 kilometers per hour. Among that data from COSAC (the COmetary SAmpling and Composition gas analyzer) was evidence of molecules containing carbon and hydrogen in the "atmosphere" of the comet. At the time of writing, the ESA team is still analyzing the spectroscopic data to determine what organic molecules are present. Various theories of how life on Earth began hint at a cometary origin to the seeds of life, the amino acid building blocks of proteins.