Fossilized Alien Life Found in Meteorites
Tue Mar 08, 2011 08:26
The remains of microorganisms similar to a class of bacteria that live on Earth have been discovered in meteorite samples analyzed by experts at NASA. The team was led by award-winning astrobiologist and scientist Richard B. Hoover.
He holds an appointment as the leader of the Astrobiology Group at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), in Huntsville, Alabama. He explains that the tiny fossils of alien life were discovered inside three of the nine CI1 carbonaceous chondrite meteorites ever discovered on Earth.
His announcement understandably caused a shock wave through the astrobiology community. Many scientists say they are very excited about this prospect, though some are skeptical.
In excess of 100 scientists are currently working on verifying the discovery, which has been published online in the latest issue of the Journal of Cosmology (full paper available).
Hoover and his team used an imaging technique known as field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) to investigate the Alais, Ivuna, and Orgueil CI1 carbonaceous meteorites.
The main conclusion of the investigation was that the fossilized microorganisms detected inside these space rocks are very similar to trichomic cyanobacteria found here on Earth, as well as to other trichomic prokaryotes, including filamentous sulfur bacteria.
The NASA group took a very close look at the remnants, and determined that the organisms which were preserved within did not originate on our planet. Hoover called them “indigenous fossils,” and proposes that they prove life permeates the Universe, and is not only limited to our planet.
“The presence of microfossils of filamentous cyanobacteria and other trichomic prokaryotes in the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites has direct implications to possible life on comets and icy moons [in the solar system],” the expert write in the journal paper.
“It is concluded that the complex filaments found embedded in the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites represent the remains of indigenous microfossils of cyanobacteria and other prokaryotes associated with modern and fossil prokaryotic mats,” the team adds.
“The absence of nitrogen in the cyanobacterial filaments detected in the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites indicates that the filaments represent the remains of extraterrestrial life forms that grew on the parent bodies of the meteorites when liquid water was present,” Hoover and colleagues write.
“This finding has direct implications to the distribution of life in the Cosmos and the possibility of microbial life in liquid water regimes of cometary nuclei as they travel within the orbit of Mars and in icy moons with liquid water oceans such as Europa and Enceladus,” the study adds.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) expert Rudy Schild, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cosmology, has already issued calls for experts in several fields to peer-review the findings.
“Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis,” he says.
If the conclusions are confirmed, then this would be the first time that life is discovered as originating outside Earth. It would also demonstrate that the theory holding that comets brought life here may be correct after all.
Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:01
Interesting topic, thanks
Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:06
Interesting topic, thanks
you are welcome m8.........
Wed Mar 09, 2011 03:21
very intresting thx alot
Wed Mar 09, 2011 04:23
Thanks for the info Cuteguy, very interesting read.
Wed Mar 09, 2011 05:18
thank you all.......i will post some others like this in future.......