The transfer of viable microorganisms between planets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


There is increasing acceptance that catastrophic cosmic impacts have played an important role in shaping the history of terrestrial life. Large asteroid and cometary impacts are also capable of displacing substantial quantities of planetary surface material into space. The discovery of Martian rocks on Earth suggests that viable microorganisms within such ejecta could be exchanged between planets. If this conjecture is correct, it will have profound implications for the origin and evolution of life in the solar system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-317
Number of pages14
JournalCIBA Foundation Symposia
Issue number202
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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