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Paleomicrobiologists and lunar exploration

Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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6/14/2016 7:55:44 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
To keep it simple, this is a reason why anyone interested in the life sciences would be eager for (more) lunar exploration.

As most of you would know, Earth can get meteorites from the Moon (When a meteorite hits the moon at enough force to send Moon rocks to us), and it is accepted that this can happen in the opposite way, ie Earth meteorites landing on the Moon.

The idea is that meteorites from much earlier on in Earths history that landed on the Moon could contain ancient preserved microbes.

What are your thoughts on this?
Meh!
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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6/14/2016 11:21:36 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/14/2016 7:55:44 AM, Axonly wrote:
Meteorites from much earlier on in Earths history that landed on the Moon could contain ancient preserved microbes.
What are your thoughts?

I've seen that conjecture before, Ax. It seems sensible, though I couldn't guess how frequently such microbes might be preserved.

But more broadly, it also seems likely that comets can contain sugars such as ribose -- the 'R' in RNA. [http://science.sciencemag.org...]. Such information is valuable both for discovering the history of life on earth, and exploring the potential of life elsewhere.

It seems to me that detection of life and life-precursors around the Earth should become routine as we develop the means to explore the extraterrestrial environment cost-effectively. Such investigation might not find very much most of the time, but it's only while such exploration is expensive that you need to mount a special case to do it. As it gets cheaper (assuming it might), it ought to be a standard check -- like looking at mineral compositions and crystallography.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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6/23/2016 12:39:00 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/14/2016 11:21:36 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/14/2016 7:55:44 AM, Axonly wrote:
Meteorites from much earlier on in Earths history that landed on the Moon could contain ancient preserved microbes.
What are your thoughts?

I've seen that conjecture before, Ax. It seems sensible, though I couldn't guess how frequently such microbes might be preserved.

But more broadly, it also seems likely that comets can contain sugars such as ribose -- the 'R' in RNA. [http://science.sciencemag.org...]. Such information is valuable both for discovering the history of life on earth, and exploring the potential of life elsewhere.

It seems to me that detection of life and life-precursors around the Earth should become routine as we develop the means to explore the extraterrestrial environment cost-effectively. Such investigation might not find very much most of the time, but it's only while such exploration is expensive that you need to mount a special case to do it. As it gets cheaper (assuming it might), it ought to be a standard check -- like looking at mineral compositions and crystallography.

I know -_- it would be nice if all the world's governments could spend a little extra money making this stuff happen.
Meh!