Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Life on Earth might actually be Martian — or Europan, or Titanese!

Even IO9 does it straight every now and again. Here is an interesting article that has possible science fiction written all over it.

New research suggests microbes can survive an asteroid impact big enough so send them into space, making panspermia a real possibility. Previous experiments have shown that microbes can survive in the punishing cold of space.

But Could microbes survive the crushing force and extreme heat of an asteroid impact?

Astrobiologists at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Germany developed a series of tests designed to simulate these pressures on the selected organisms. By smashing the life-containing rocks between metal plates, the researchers were able to determine which organisms are capable of surviving different pressures caused by asteroid impacts and ejection into space. Ultimately, they discovered that a wide range of organisms would be capable of surviving impacts on Mars or Earth.

Astrobiology magazine article

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