Added by David Sandercock on March 8, 2011
The remnants of a meteorite are showing evidence of tiny alien fossils, a NASA scientist claims.
The findings, by scientist Richard Hoover, published in the peer-reviewed online Journal of Cosmology, show microscopic earthworm-like creatures, which are being closely reviewed by some 100 experts.
“Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis,” said the journal’s editor in chief, Rudy Schild of the Centre for Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian.
Hoover used a powerful microscope to look inside several types of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites known to contain high levels of both water and organic materials.
In doing this, he found bacteria-like creatures which he believes originated beyond Earth rather than having been introduced after the meteorites landed. Hoover calls these “indigenous fossils”.
The idea that alien microbes could be contained in meteorites is not new, but there is an ongoing debate over how and where such life would have originated and how it could survive in space.
Another study from December last year found a previously unknown arsenic-thriving bacterium in a lake in California which suggests that a new element should be added to the six building blocks of life, as currently understood by scientists.