A persistent hypothesis is that perhaps life did not 'originate' on Earth at all, perhaps its building blocks came from space.

In April, the public, fed by astronomy's runaway hype train, were excited by the discovery of water on an asteroid - but it was exciting, it was just the conjecture that followed was a little cloying.

Now the same researchers have revealed that asteroid 65 Cybele also contains traces of water and, they say, complex, long-chained molecules.   65 Cybele is somewhat larger than asteroid 24 Themis; Cybele has a diameter of 290 km (180 miles) while Themis has a diameter of 200 km (124 miles). Both are in the same region of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

65 cybele and 24 themis
Location of 24 Themis and 65 Cybele, both of which are found to have traces of water.  Graphic:Josh Emery/University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Before the hype machine goes into overdrive, let's keep in mind what that means - they measured the spectrum of infrared sunlight reflected by the object and found it consistent with frozen water.  Obviously it's perfectly valid but what the mainstream press and more hysterical science pundits infer from that is something else entirely.   See Planet Hunters - How They Do It for insight on detection methods.  And don't start bowing to alien overlords just yet.