More Life From Meteorites
Disclaimer: This scientist had the pleasure of working with researchers who found signs of fossilised life in an Antarctic Martian meteorite. Since 1996 many others have claimed alternate explanations for the fossils. The most recent research from the Mars meteorite team focused on magnetites. These were found in patterns that could not be produced except via biology. Though many have claimed in the press that the 1996 findings were disproven, the evidence for life in meteorites continues to grow.
Richard B. Hoover of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has spent the last 10 years travelling to remote spots like Antarctica in search of CI1 carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. These rare meteorites are thought to originate in asteroids and comets. In a paper published Friday in the Journal of Cosmology, he claims evidence that life is common in the solar system.
Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites
The Scanning electron Microscope image is from the Ivuna meteorite, found in Tanzania. This filament is encased in a carbonaceous sheath. It is very simlar to Earthly bacteria, both in shape and chemical makeup. It is hard to imagine how it could have formed, except through biology.
Using examples from multiple CI1 meteorites, Hoover advances the argument that life is common: in asteroids, moons and comets. Life's appearance on Earth could have been the result of meteorites/comets. We could all be descendants of Space travellers. Hoover's paper adds to evidence of life from multiple Martian meteorites. The evidence for extraterrestrial life continues to grow. As we dreamed via science fiction stories, life could be everywhere.