Over the history of the Earth, billions of football-sized rocks have landed on its surface, some only slightly heated by the launch, reaching Earth in a matter of a few months. Recent research on lunar rocks discovered in Antarctica has shown that rocks greater than 10 kilograms in mass could be ejected from terrestrial planets -rocks capable of carrying living microbes- and survive the searing violence of the launch.
Each year Earth is hit by by half a dozen or so one-pound or larger rocks that were blasted off the surface of Mars by large impacts and found their way into Earth-crossing orbits. Nearly 10% of all rocks blasted off into space from the Red Planet end up crashing into Earth.
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Continue Reading