“Evidence is building that Earth life originated on Mars and was brought to this planet aboard a meteorite, said biochemist Steven Benner of The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida.
An oxidized form of the element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, was likely available on the Red Planet’s surface long ago, but unavailable on Earth, said Benner, who presented his findings today (Aug. 28; Aug. 29 local time) at the annual Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Florence, Italy.
…It’s only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed,” Benner said in a statement. “This form of molybdenum couldn’t have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because 3 billion years ago, the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did. It’s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet.”
“The universe is simply too large for there not to be another intelligent civilization out there. Really, the proper question is: ‘How far away is our nearest intelligent neighbor?’ They could be 10 light-years, 100 light-years, a million light-years or more. We have no idea.”
“Edinburgh University is to offer a new course exploring how to detect alien life on Earth-like planets, and the implications if contact is made.”
“Up until now, researchers thought that it had taken billions of years for stars to form and with that, galaxies with a high content of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. But new research from the Niels Bohr Institute shows that this process went surprisingly quickly in some galaxies.”
“We have studied 10 galaxies in the early Universe and analysed their light spectra. We are observing light from the galaxies that has been on a 10-12 billion year journey to Earth, so we see the galaxies as they were then. Our expectation was that they would be relatively primitive and poor in heavier elements, but we discovered somewhat to our surprise that the gas in some of the galaxies and thus the stars in them had a very high content of heavier elements. The gas was just as enriched as our own Sun,” explains Professor Johan Fynbo from the Dark Cosmology Centre at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen.”
“For one of the galaxies, we observed the outer regions and here there was also a high element content. This suggests that large parts of the galaxy are enriched with a high content of heavier elements and that means that already in the early history of the Universe there was potential for planet formation and life,” says Johan Fynbo.
“Though these weird and transient optical flashes had been seen for decades by pilots, mainstream science was unmoved until 1989, when space shuttle cameras began documenting this worldwide phenomenon.”
“Although these were credible eyewitnesses with a professional interest in severe weather phenomena, their accounts did not inspire a general search for hard evidence of such phenomena,” states the NASA report. In fact, it adds, “A number of the pilots were reluctant to officially report the things they had seen, because the scientific community, the Air Force and the airlines were skeptical of ‘upward lightning.’”
“According to a recent study, tens of billions of planets around red dwarfs are likely capable of containing liquid water, dramatically increasing the potential to find signs of life somewhere other than Earth.”