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March 11th
12:50 PM
Astrobiologists Find Ancient Fossils in Fireball Fragments
‘clear evidence of panspermia’
The Physics arXiv Blog - excerpted »

On 29 December 2012, a fireball lit up the early evening skies over the Sri Lankan province of Polonnaruwa. Hot, sparkling fragments of the fireball rained down across the countryside and witnesses reported the strong odour of tar or asphalt.
… After noticing curious features inside these stones, officials forwarded the samples to a team of astrobiologists at Cardiff University in the UK for further analysis.
…The results of these tests, which the Cardiff team reveal today, are extraordinary.  They say the stones contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix and that their tests clearly rule out the possibility of terrestrial contamination. 
…Wallis and co say that one image shows a complex, thick-walled, carbon-rich microfossil about 100 micrometres across that bares similarities with a group of largely extinct marine dinoflagellate algae.
…If the paper is taken at face value, one obvious question that arises is where these samples came from. Wallis and co have their own ideas: “The presence of fossilized biological structures provides compelling evidence in support of the theory of cometary panspermia first proposed over thirty years ago,” they say.  >continue<

Astrobiologists Find Ancient Fossils in Fireball Fragments

clear evidence of panspermia’

The Physics arXiv Blog - excerpted »

On 29 December 2012, a fireball lit up the early evening skies over the Sri Lankan province of Polonnaruwa. Hot, sparkling fragments of the fireball rained down across the countryside and witnesses reported the strong odour of tar or asphalt.

… After noticing curious features inside these stones, officials forwarded the samples to a team of astrobiologists at Cardiff University in the UK for further analysis.

…The results of these tests, which the Cardiff team reveal today, are extraordinary.  They say the stones contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix and that their tests clearly rule out the possibility of terrestrial contamination. 

…Wallis and co say that one image shows a complex, thick-walled, carbon-rich microfossil about 100 micrometres across that bares similarities with a group of largely extinct marine dinoflagellate algae.

…If the paper is taken at face value, one obvious question that arises is where these samples came from. Wallis and co have their own ideas: “The presence of fossilized biological structures provides compelling evidence in support of the theory of cometary panspermia first proposed over thirty years ago,” they say.  >continue<

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