Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossils could be discovered on the moon: Signs of ancient life may be littered across the moon

Date:
July 31, 2014
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Physicists have tested what would happen if a piece of rock containing microscopic fossils from Earth was launched into space and hit the surface of the moon. The team turned fossil-filled rock into powder which was mixed with water and frozen to replicate a meteoroid.

Earth's moon.
Credit: NASA/JPL

Kent physicists have tested what would happen if a piece of rock containing microscopic fossils from Earth was launched into space and hit the surface of the moon.

Related Articles


In order to do this, Professor Mark Burchell and researchers from the University's Centre for Astrophysics simulated the condition that fossilised diatoms -- microscopic algae with detailed shells -- might have faced if travelling from earth to the moon.

The team turned fossil-filled rock into powder which was mixed with water and frozen to replicate a meteoroid. The replica meteoroid was then fired into a bag of water using a large gas-powered gun to allow it experience the impact of being launched into orbit, whilst the rapid deceleration and high pressure as it hit the water simulated how it might have smashed into the moon at high speed.

This suggests that if earth meteorites are ever found on the moon -- in the same way that we find lunar meteorites on earth -- then they may contain fossils from Earth's past.

Although this idea has existed for over a decade, the researchers have now shown by simulating the 'explosion' that it may be possible. This could then shed light on what life was like on Earth.

The research has been published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. The original article was written by Katie Newton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. J. Burchell, K. H. McDermott, M. C. Price, L. J. Yolland. Survival of fossils under extreme shocks induced by hypervelocity impacts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2014; 372 (2023): 20130190 DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2013.0190

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Fossils could be discovered on the moon: Signs of ancient life may be littered across the moon." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731101036.htm>.
University of Kent. (2014, July 31). Fossils could be discovered on the moon: Signs of ancient life may be littered across the moon. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731101036.htm
University of Kent. "Fossils could be discovered on the moon: Signs of ancient life may be littered across the moon." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731101036.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Universe Could Be Full Of Tatooine Sunsets

The Universe Could Be Full Of Tatooine Sunsets

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) University of Utah researchers say mathematical simulations show small, rocky planets, like Tatooine from "Star Wars," can form in dual-star systems. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

Newsy (Mar. 28, 2015) Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year in space running tests on human physiology and psychology. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Astronauts Arrive at ISS for 1-Year Mission

Raw: Astronauts Arrive at ISS for 1-Year Mission

AP (Mar. 28, 2015) The capsule carrying a Russian and an American who are to spend a year away from Earth docked Saturday with the International Space Station. (March 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 28, 2015) Russian-U.S. crew arrives safely at the International Space Station for the start of a ground-breaking year-long stay. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins