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Did dinosaur asteroid send life to Mars ?


Posted on Thursday, 12 December, 2013 | Comment icon 23 comments

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)

Tags: Panspermia, Mars, Asteroid


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant on 12 December, 2013, 15:45
Like what may I ask? That we were not hit by a massive asteroid? And that chunks could not have been blown into space? Well there is another thesis to how the dinosaurs died, they died from the Deccan Traps erupting causing the air and water to become uninhabitable, also possibly what Chris374 said. Life could have come from Mars to Earth so testing any microbes from Mars could very well give off a Earth reading but they could still be originally from Mars. It is well known that Mars was like Earth millions of years ago, not a stretch to say Earth was "seeded" by Mars.
Comment icon #15 Posted by LimeGelatin on 12 December, 2013, 16:47
Or, did the Annunaki plant an "Alien Ant Farm" right here on this planet? -I like my question better...
Comment icon #16 Posted by scowl on 12 December, 2013, 16:59
Most of their energy is spent repairing cell damage caused by cosmic rays or racemization, and very little is available for reproduction or growth. Where are these animals on Earth getting bombarded with the levels of cosmic rays they would experience in outer space?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 12 December, 2013, 22:54
Or life on Earth comes from Mars... maybe that's more true? There is growing evidence that Mars was suitable for life before Earth, so this is indeed possible, however we know that life existed on Earth 65 million years ago and we know that there was a massive impact at that time, so it is fair to theorise that the Chicxulub impact sent life to Mars. Some scientists belkieve that the moons of Jupiter and Saturn could have been seeded with life from Earth and/or Mars in the same way (see here: Did Life Hitch a Ride?) In my mind I think life is everywhere in the unviverse and comes with water an... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by scowl on 12 December, 2013, 23:05
There aren't any. The thing is we aren't talking about complex animals (or even plants), we are talking about simple single celled life which CAN survive in those harsh conditions. The Wikipedia article is confusing because it specifically says they can repair damage from cosmic rays, yet it says nothing about where this has been seen. It sounds like the article is yelling "They can survive in space!!!" when we don't really know that.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 12 December, 2013, 23:28
The Wikipedia article is confusing because it specifically says they can repair damage from cosmic rays, yet it says nothing about where this has been seen. It sounds like the article is yelling "They can survive in space!!!" when we don't really know that. Your two mistakes here are: assuming that wikipedia is a good source of in depth research findings assuming that because YOU find something confusing means that NO ONE knows the answer I'm afraid both these assumptions are false. A quick Google search brings up these scientific articles: Survival of bacteria exposed to extreme acceleration:... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by highdesert50 on 13 December, 2013, 14:58
The water on Earth is largely the result of comet collisions. These same comets were colliding with Mars. It's probable Earth, Mars, and other planets were concurrently seeded with organics and prebiotic chemicals from these collisions. More complex life was sustained and evolved where conditions were optimal.
Comment icon #21 Posted by seeder on 13 December, 2013, 15:23
The water on Earth is largely the result of comet collisions. These same comets were colliding with Mars. It's probable Earth, Mars, and other planets were concurrently seeded with organics and prebiotic chemicals from these collisions. More complex life was sustained and evolved where conditions were optimal. Where did the Earth's oceans come from? Most scientists think they came from water-rich asteroids and comets raining down on the planet in its youth. But now planetary scientists in Japan suggest the oceans were actually "home-grown" - they may have formed because the young Earth had a t... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by scowl on 13 December, 2013, 17:00
Your two mistakes here are:assuming that wikipedia is a good source of in depth research findings Your first mistake: thinking that I ever said that Wikipedia is a good source of in depth research findings after someone cut and pasted directly from this article. assuming that because YOU find something confusing means that NO ONE knows the answer Your second mistake: thinking that I said NO ONE knows the answer. If I thought that, why would I be wasting my time here, Sherlock? Survival of bacteria exposed to extreme acceleration: implications for panspermia an article describing how simple lif... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns on 18 December, 2013, 0:49
I can imagine a T-Rex wearing swimming trunks, sunglasses, holding some can of soda, riding a chunk of meteor in space. Of course, he'd be the only one who discovered how to survive in space long enough to reach Mars. A bun can dream, right?


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