Did an asteroid impact send Earth life to Mars ? Image Credit: NASA/Don Davis
The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs may have also catapulted life to Mars and elsewhere.
Panspermia is the idea that life, far from relying solely on its independent origination on any given world, is instead transported around the cosmos in comets, asteroids and other interplanetary bodies. Some believe that life on Earth (and possibly even Mars) may have arisen in this way.
Researchers in the US have taken this idea one step further by analyzing the possibility that life from Earth may have been spread throughout the solar system following the impact of the giant asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. The research involved calculating the number of rocks capable of carrying life that would have been produced by the collision and where they may have ended up.
"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," said lead author Rachel Worth. "Any missions to search for life on Titan or the moons of Jupiter will have to consider whether biological material is of independent origin, or another branch in Earth's family tree."
Source: BBC News | Comments (23)
Panspermia, Mars, Asteroid