DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Panspermia, conceptual image. Panspermia is the theory that the seeds of life on Earth, such as water and organic matter, arrived from outer space. Here, eggs impact water and crack open, releasing seeds into the water. In the theory of panspermia, impacts from comets and other bodies would do the same, kickstarting the evolution of life on Earth. Recent research, from probes such as Deep Impact in July 2005, have revealed that comets do contain water and organic materials, which lends weight to the theory. Panspermia is an ancient notion, but its leading modern proponent was the cosmologist Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001).
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