© ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Rivilla et al.; ESO/L. Calçada; ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM; Mario Weigand, www.SkyTrip.de

Without phosphorus there would be no life as we know it. The mineral is present in our DNA and cell membranes and is an important building block for our bones and teeth. Besides calcium, phosphorus is the most common mineral in our body and it provides the cells with important energy. Scientists have long been trying to solve the mystery of how and where it came to Earth. A group of international astronomers has now used the new results of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the ROSINA-InstrumeAstronont on board Rosetta (Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis) to trace the origin of phosphorus from star-formation regions to comets.

Get full access to our archive by becoming a member of Innovation Origins. Sign up here as a supporter of independent journalism!

Become a member!

On Innovation Origins you can read the latest news about the world of innovation every day. We want to keep it that way, but we can't do it alone! Are you enjoying our articles and would you like to support independent journalism? Become a member and read our stories guaranteed ad-free.

About the author

Author profile picture Petra Wiesmayer is a journalist and author who has conducted countless interviews with high-profile individuals and researched and written general entertainment, motorsports, and science articles for international publications. She is fascinated by technology that could shape the future of mankind and enjoys reading and writing about it.As an avid science fiction fan she is fascinated by technology that could shape the future of mankind and enjoys reading and writing about it.