Canada the cradle of life, eh?
Is Canada the cradle of life?
By Michael Kanellos
Meteor showers are usually associated with mass extinctions, but a new study poses that these catastrophic events also created an environment where evolution could bloom.
A study of the Haughton Impact Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic by the Canadian Space Agency has revealed the presence of a number of features associated with the emergence of microscopic life forms. These include hydrothermal systems and fissures and cracks in rocks created by the blast.
While further study will be necessary, the findings could prod scientists to begin to examine the search for life on this planet or Mars slightly differently.
The Haughton meteor smacked into the icy ground of Devon Island some 23 million years ago. When it hit, it fractured the ground in such a way as to create a series of hydrothermal springs reaching up to 250 degrees Celsius. The heat dropped over the next few thousand years but, ideally, the springs could have served as an incubator for microbes. [...] [CNet]