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Lightning strikes played a vital role in life's origins on Earth

Minerals delivered to Earth in meteorites more than 4 billion years ago have long been advocated as key ingredients for the development of life on our planet.

Scientists believed minimal amounts of these minerals were also brought to early Earth through billions of lightning strikes.

But now researchers from the University of Leeds have established that lightning strikes were just as significant as meteorites in performing this essential function and allowing life to manifest.

They say this shows that life could develop on Earth-like planets through the same mechanism at any time if atmospheric conditions are right. The research was led by Benjamin Hess during his undergraduate studies at the University of Leeds in the School of Earth and Environment.

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