By using lasers to simulate the impact of a large meteor with primordial Earth, researchers have shown how the atom bomb-like collisions might have reconstituted ordinary molecules into the early building blocks of life.
While NASA and other space agencies keep their telescopes trained on near-Earth objects that could smash into us, we don't know how to prevent an impact. Here are some of the best (and weirdest) ideas for protecting Earth from incoming asteroids.
Are we on the path to a major asteroid collision? The Russian Federal Space Agency fears that the approaching asteroid Apophis could spell certain doom. And it has a plan to knock the asteroid off its current course.