Cometary panspermia - Traces of life found inside meteorite

Cometary panspermia - Traces of life found inside meteorite

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.

SEM of a wide field showing putative fossil structures chosen for further study. Credits: www.journalofcosmology.com

 

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:

Comparison of a Polonnaruwa meteorite structure with a well-known terrestrial diatom. Credits: www.journalofcosmology.com Comparison of a Polonnaruwa meteorite structure with a well-known terrestrial diatom. Credits: www.journalofcosmology.com

 

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 MeteoriteJournal of Cosmology

Featured image: Journal of cosmology
Ovoidal-shaped ribbed structure embedded in the rock matrix.

Comments

Jonathan 4 years ago

This has already been disproven, sadly. The diatoms on the "meteorite" aren't even fossilized. http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/01/15/life_in_a_meteorite_claims_by_n_c_wickramasinghe_of_diatoms_in_a_meteorite.html

nanoduck (@Jonathan) 4 years ago

Jonathan, thanks for the info.

sarah murray 4 years ago

sellaphora blackfordensis is commonly found in muddy areas rich with organic life like a swampy area, pond, or lake. Its a type of algae. Now, I know that algae has significant amounts of nutrients and producing great amounts of oxygen. Even if the algae is fossilized, scientists still have a way to extract dna from fossils and replicate plant and animal dna. I believe there are great medicinal finds in this algae.

nanoduck 4 years ago

Maybe it came from the planet that once existed between Mars and Jupiter, where the asteroid belt is now.

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