Astrobiologists Find Ancient Fossils in Fireball Fragments
MIT Technology Review
March 11, 2013
On 29 December 2012, a fireball lit up the early evening skies over the Sri Lankan province of Polonnaruwa. Hot, sparkling fragments of the fireball rained down across the countryside and witnesses reported the strong odour of tar or asphalt.
Over the next few days, the local police gathered numerous examples of these stones and sent them to the Sri Lankan Medical Research Institute of the Ministry of Health in Colombo. After noticing curious features inside these stones, officials forwarded the samples to a team of astrobiologists at Cardiff University in the UK for further analysis.
The results of these tests, which the Cardiff team reveal today, are extraordinary. They say the stones contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix and that their tests clearly rule out the possibility of terrestrial contamination.
In total, the Jamie Wallis at Cardiff University and a few buddies received 628 stone fragments collected from rice fields in the region. However, they were able to clearly identify only three as possible meteorites.
This article was posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 11:05 am