Researchers claim that a meteorite which disintegrated and fell in Sri Lanka in December last year bears evidence of extra-terrestrial life. A joint research by scientists from UK and Sri Lanka led to discovery of fossilized algae in samples of a large meteorite, collected immediately after it disintegrated and fell in the village of Araganwila in Sri Lanka on 29 December 2012. They have concluded that data on “fossil” diatoms provide strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia - which proposes that life forms that can survive the effects of space, such as extremophiles, become trapped in debris that is ejected into space after collisions between planets that harbor life and Small Solar System Bodies. Detailed article named Fossil Diatoms in a New Carbonaceous Meteorite about the findings was recently published in the Journal of Cosmology.
Research paper claims that in above image "we can unambiguously identify an object as being a diatom from its complex and highly ordered microstructure and morphology, a structure that cannot result from any conceivable mineralisation or crystallisation process. The mineralised fossil structure of the original diatom has been preserved intact and displays close similarities in elemental abundances with the surrounding material." A comparison between SEM images of another fossil diatom in the Polonnaruwa meteorite with a modern diatom Sellaphora blackfordensis further strengthens their argument. Following image depicts the comparison:
Furthermore, researchers say contamination of samples is not possible because the structure in the meteorite is deemed to be a fossilised object and there were no fossils diatoms present near the surface of the Earth to contaminate a new fall of meteorites. Though there may still be skeptics, they conclude that identification of fossilised diatoms in the Polonnaruwa meteorite is firmly established and unimpeachable; thereby vindicating the theory of cometary panspermia.
Source: Fossil Diatoms in a New Carbonaceous Meteorite, Journal of Cosmology
Featured image: Journal of cosmology
Ovoidal-shaped ribbed structure embedded in the rock matrix.