RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Microbes in space. Conceptual artwork of microorganisms on asteroids orbiting an alien star. The theory that microbes can travel through space is called panspermia. It is possible that bacterial spores could survive the vacuum and radiation of space if shielded by rock. It has been proposed that life may have arrived on earth on a meteoroid or comet. Rocks ejected from the surface of Mars by meteor impacts have been found on the surface of Earth. One specimen (ALH840001) found in Antartica in 1984 contains apparent fossilised microbes. This raises the possibility that living organisms could have travelled between Earth and Mars.
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