Could ancient Earth fossils make their way to the moon?
|July 29, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
One space science team tried measuring the impact on fossilized diatoms, according to New Scientist:
The team powdered rock containing these fossils then mixed it with water and froze it to replicate a meteoroid. They then fired it into a bag of water using a large gas-powered gun. The force of the gun mimics what happens when a nearby impact launches a rock into orbit, and the rapid deceleration and high pressures of hitting the water simulates smacking into the moon at high speeds.
None of the fossils survived perfectly intact, and the team found fewer and fewer recognisable fragments as they ramped up the impact speed from around 500 metres a second to a likely meteorite impact speed, around 5 kilometres a second. But being able to recover anything at all is promising, says Burchell. Because Earth is so geologically active, some rocks on this planet containing evidence of past life have been destroyed, but any fossils found on the moon would be better preserved. More.
Among hundreds of lunar samples, none have been meteorites from Earth though. Dense atmosphere and high gravity are a barrier. But only further exploration would settle the matter.
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