It's often said that an asteroid or meteor crashing into Earth wiped out the dinosaurs - but it might also have done something much more. Researchers now claim that the collision may have also sent rocks to Mars and Jupiter's moons - and these could well have contained life.
The research was undertaken at Penn State University and the results were published in the journal Astrophysics.
The lead author, Rachel Worth, said, "We find that rock capable of carrying life has likely transferred from both Earth and Mars to all of the terrestrial planets in the solar system and Jupiter."
She continued by saying, "Even using conservative, realistic estimates ... it's still possible that organisms could be swimming around out there in the oceans of Europa [Jupiter's moon]. I'd be surprised if life hasn't gotten to Mars ... It seems reasonable that at some point some Earth organisms made it."
It is estimated that the Chicxulub meteor, which brought about the demise of the dinosaurs, sent 70 billion kilograms of rock into space - some of which may have contained 'life'.
The full research findings can be found in an eleven page pdf format Seeding Life on the Moons of the Outer Planets via Lithopanspermia
To quote from the research paper:
It is known that rock can be exchanged between planets; therefore, if life can survive the transfer, it is probable that life from Earth has already been brought to other planets. Also, it is theorized that Mars may have been habitable during the Noachian period, when the young planet is thought to have been warm and wet.
Of course, if the research is correct, rocks from other planets may also have reached Earth from other planets. And the theory that there was once life on Mars, prior to life on Earth, is also possible.
child - who created God? Another God? And so on.
It's a bit like those Russian Dolls I mentioned in a previous post - you open up one and there's another inside. You solve one question and this leads to another - ad infinitum. Or maybe you eventually arrive back to where you started, there is no beginning or end..
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Fascinating. In a way, this article ties in with the remote view of Mars a million years ago that we wrote a post on.ReplyDelete