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Did life begin amidst giant asteroid strikes?

20 Oct 2015, 08:13 UTC
Did life begin amidst giant asteroid strikes?
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If you've enjoyed this please share it on facebook, twitter, or whatever your favourite social media is. Life on Earth may have begun amidst cataclysmic violenceTiny flecks of carbon, preserved in Zircon crystals close to four billion years old, may have pushed back the earliest known life on Earth by a seemingly paradoxical amount. The tiny pieces of carbon might be microfossils - preserved remains of microbes caught inside the zircon crystals when they formed. Analysis of the ratio of carbon isotopes inside them suggests they're of biological origin, although carbon isotope measurements aren't conclusive proof of life: Other processes can duplicate the isotopic signature. But the amazing thing - if further investigation shows that this is true - is that this result would push the origin of life back to the time of the late heavy bombardment, 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago, when Earth's surface was being pummelled by massive asteroid strikes on a daily basis. It's hard to see how life could have survived in such an environment. One possibility is that asteroid strikes themselves may have thrown microbe bearing rocks into space, where they would have been preserved before their orbit brought them back to Earth when ...

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