Paul Rincon, the Science Editor of BBC News, reported on Nov. 18 that the Philae that crash-landed on the surface of a comet on November 14, detected “organic molecules,” which have not been identified yet, on the surface of the comet. Paul Rincon writes: “the results are likely to provide insights into the possible role of comets in contributing some of the chemical building blocks to the primordial mix from which life evolved on the early Earth.” It is probably too early to even speculate the actual significance of such a finding. However, it is exciting just to think about the possibility of getting some insights into the formation of Earth.
What I find most interesting about this science news is that this good result is a happy consequence of the slight mishap, crash-landing on the comet. As Prof Mark McCaughrean, senior science adviser to Esa, The European Space Agency, said: “The fact that we landed up against something may actually be in our favour. If we’d landed on the main surface, the dust layer may have been even thicker and it’s possible we might not have gone down [to the ice].”
It seems many scientific discoveries/ breakthroughs are chance products. This tells us that we may be able to find something interesting and rewarding even in endeavors that do not develop in anticipated ways – if we keep our minds open.