Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Reverse Panspermia Considered in Sky & Telescope

In the January issue of Sky & Telescope, now on the science library's current journals display, Selby Cull describes the hypothetical journey of a bacteria-laden rock hurtling from Earth through space, propelled by a mighty asteroid-earth collision on the scale of the Chicxulub impact.

Speculation that endospores from bacteria billions of years old might survive such a journey and successfully colonize inhospitable surfaces found on Europa, Titon and Mars is not so far-fetched, says Cull. Take a break from your Winter Term activities and check out this issue, which also considers how black holes helped build the universe and includes marvelous photographs from the land rovers on Mars, Opportunity and Spirit. Selby Cull, editorial intern for Sky & Telescope in the summer of 2006, wrote the text accompanying the "Martian photo opportunity" in addition to the story of bacteria launched by asteroid impact.

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