Cosmic Log – Life in meteorites? Study stirs debate

Are there traces of ancient bacteria trapped inside meteorites that fell to Earth decades ago? You can add that question to the list of unresolved issues surrounding the search for life beyond Earth, thanks to a just-published study by a NASA researcher.

The new study, published in the Journal of Cosmology, focuses on structures that look like the filaments that biologists typically see on micro-organisms known as cyanobacteria. Richard Hoover, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, found the filamentary structures inside samples of meteorites that are thought to date back to the solar system’s beginnings, more than 4 billion years ago.

If the structures are confirmed to be of biological but unearthly origin, that would serve as fresh evidence that life can make its way through outer space and “seed” planets, including our own, Hoover told me today.

“Life may have a wider planetary distribution than simply being limited to the planet Earth,” he said. In the paper, Hoover said the evidence suggests that microbial life could well exist on comets or icy worlds such as Europa or Enceladus.

Read More:  Cosmic Log – Life in meteorites? Study stirs debate by Alan Boyle

Categories: Events, Science, Technology

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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