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11 November, 2020 / Read time: 1 minute

Phosphorus, present in our DNA and cell membranes, is an essential element for life. But how it arrived on the early Earth is something of a mystery. Astronomers have now traced the journey of phosphorus from star-forming regions to comets using the combined powers of ALMA and the European Space Agency’s probe Rosetta. Credit: ESO. Directed by: Herbert Zodet. Editing : Herbert Zodet. Web and technical support: Gurvan Bazin and Raquel Yumi Shida. Written by: Caroline Reid and Bárbara Ferreira. Music: Stellardrone — Comet Halley. Footage and photos : ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Rivilla et al., ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM , Mario Weigand, www.SkyTrip.de, Digitized Sky Survey 2, C. Malin (christophmalin.com), M. Kornmesser, L.Calçada and Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org). Scientific consultants: Paola Amico and Mariya Lyubenova.