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Pieces of Ancient Earth May Be Hidden On the Moon

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the what-you-leave-behind dept.

Moon 96

swestcott brings us a story from Space.com about the possibility of finding evidence for ancient Earth life on the moon. A team of scientists has published work confirming that meteorites originating from Earth could have remained sufficiently intact while colliding with the moon to allow the survival of biological evidence for life. Quoting: "Crawford and Baldwin's group simulated their meteors as cubes, and calculated pressures at 500 points on the surface of the cube as it impacted the lunar surface at a wide range of impact angles and velocities. In the most extreme case they tested (vertical impact at a speed of some 11,180 mph, or 5 kilometers per second), Crawford reports that 'some portions' of the simulated meteorite would have melted, but 'the bulk of the projectile, and especially the trailing half, was subjected to much lower pressures.'"

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First (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23977807)

Shit, I spent so much time thinking of something witty to put in here, I'm not first anymore!

Re:First (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23977825)

dUm8a55!

Re:First (3, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977841)

I spent so much time thinking of something witty

Don't be too hard on yourself.

At least you got halfway there.

That's no moon... (4, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977817)

It's a... oh, right.

Re:That's no moon... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23977893)

...ridiculous liberal myth?

Re:That's no moon... (1, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978583)

you mean like how meteorites are apparently square? Seriously, wtf was that. At least make it round. I've never seen a square anything in space in my life. But apparently all life carrying meteorites are square.

Re:That's no moon... (2, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978783)

I've never seen a square anything in space in my life.

Governor Tarkin?

Re:That's no moon... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978843)

you mean like how meteorites are apparently square? Seriously, wtf was that.

A cube is probably the least likely structure to carry surviving life. A sphere is the strongest, and therefore the most likely. A cube was probably therefore the best simple structure to simulate.

Re:That's no moan...that's a cube. (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23987163)

Four letters:
NaCl

Earth is full of it. And so are you.

Re:That's no moan...that's a cube. (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23988739)

Four letters:
NaCl

Earth is full of it. And so are you.

Do you want to engage in some kind of debate about this, or just resort to name calling? What about my statement do you think is wrong, and why?

Re:That's no moan...that's an NaCl cube. (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991757)

OK, Salty- no more name calling.

The NaCl crystal is cubic. A "square", if you will.

And you ARE full of it.
Luckily for you (perhaps unlucky for the rest of us) yours is in solution.


Re:That's no moon... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979585)

http://users.bigpond.net.au/dax/cube_FC.jpg [bigpond.net.au]

(and yes, whole earth are part of space.)

Re:That's no moon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23980089)

Neat compiz screenshot, but I find your wallpaper a bit confusing.

Re:That's no moon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23980541)

Oh, so Borg ships are suddenly not cubes?

Re:That's no moon... (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23988909)

It's more difficult to build something spherical than something cubic with nice right angles. Hence, the Borg ship is a cube, but, they still get the structural efficiency/stability of a sphere by circumscribing the ship in an imaginary sphere, then assimilating all the unfilled space in the sphere.

Seriously, though: since the Universe is only 6,000 years old, we know that any Earth "debris" on the Moon was just put there as a test of faith. ;)

My thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23980759)

Just bolow the fucking shit up, now that the ice on the poles is going to melt, the high tide caused by the moon would make us sink.
I mean, it's either that, or hurrying up with the creation of LHC-0001.
What could go wrong????

Let's start with the obvious (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977857)

Why the hell would you model an asteroid with some improbable shape like a cube?

Re:Let's start with the obvious (5, Funny)

reset_button (903303) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977913)

Physicist jokes...

A group of wealthy investors wanted to be able to predict the outcome of a horse race. So they hired a group of biologists, a group of statisticians, and a group of physicists. Each group was given a year to research the issue. After one year, the groups all reported to the investors. The biologists said that they could genetically engineer an unbeatable racehorse, but it would take 200 years and $100 billion. The statisticians reported next. They said that they could predict the outcome of any race, at a cost of $100 million per race, and they would only be right 10% of the time. Finally, the physicists reported that they could also predict the outcome of any race, and that their process was cheap and simple. The investors listened eagerly to this proposal. The head physicist reported, "We have made several simplifying assumptions... first, let each horse be a perfect rolling sphere..."

Re:Let's start with the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978795)

Why butcher a good joke - it should have been the mob, not just wealthy investors who are trying to hire the scientists to do this.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (3, Funny)

Roliel (1119283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23980467)

The investor responded: "Why would we do that? Its not a sphere, its a horse!" To which the physicist responded "Have you ever tried to integrate over a horse?"

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977915)

so that you can do the calulations

Re:Let's start with the obvious (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23977917)

A cube is pretty much the worst shape possible when it comes to distributing the force of an impact evenly across the entire object. So simulations show that cubes can survive crashing into the moon, then its fairly safe to say that other shapes can survive too.

Krypton (2, Funny)

ink (4325) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978365)

A cube is pretty much the worst shape possible when it comes to distributing the force of an impact evenly across the entire object

Not true; What about those crystalline spacecraft that the Kryptonians use to send their infants to Earth in? They have all sorts of jutting and produding suraces.

Re:Krypton (4, Funny)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978427)

A cube is pretty much the worst shape possible when it comes to distributing the force of an impact evenly across the entire object

Not true; What about those crystalline spacecraft that the Kryptonians use to send their infants to Earth in? They have all sorts of jutting and produding suraces.

Crumple zone, duh!

Re:Let's start with the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978675)

Isn't this the other way around? If the force of the impact is not distributed evenly, it should be more probable that some parts of the meteorite containing signs of life are not destroyed. Therefore cubical meteorites are a good case, not the worst case.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

JehCt (879940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978995)

The Borg implant their technology in your brain. You now prefer cubes.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23990145)

its obvious they used a cube - of 'cheese'!!

if its 'blue cheese' then that would explain the little bugs.

personally, I prefer cheddar.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978025)

Why the hell would you model an asteroid with some improbable shape like a cube?

Tetris killed the dinos!
   

Re:Let's start with the obvious (2, Funny)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978027)

Because you have to model it as *something*.

and then make it laden with diabolical traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978041)

and on top of that, why would you partition it into 1000s of cubical rooms with diabolical traps like acid jets and razor wire?!? who knows how that happened?!?!? Blame the corporate machine!

Re:and then make it laden with diabolical traps (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978363)

Blame Canada.

Re:and then make it laden with diabolical traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982127)

Cube was absolutely horrible. I only watched it because my friend made me.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978053)

Because they had to do something with the Borg ship they confiscated from the trekkie undergrad.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (4, Insightful)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978233)

some improbable shape like a cube?

why is cube improbable? That's like saying, an asteroid looks more like a baseball than a lego brick. I would say, sphere is more improbable than cube.

To find a perfect model for an irregular shaped object, cube is as good as any. Sphere would be the least likely and desirable shape to model after.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978955)

How desirable a shape is bears no relevance, and since when is a cube a more likely shape for a stellar object? These objects are almost always roundish. The bigger the objects is the more perfect it's spherical shape tends to be as observed from a distance. This is because collisions or in the case of massive object like planets - gravity, usually produces an object of spherical shape. A cube is a far easier shape to do mathematical calculations on, true, but these calculations will be of no real world use until applied to the more probable shape.

A shape with no gravity usually has, as you say, an irregular shape but 9 times out of 10 it's more "roundish" than "cubic".

I'm no expert - just trying to apply some common sense here.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23997243)

since when is a cube a more likely shape for a stellar object?

Since perfect sphere is even less likely shape for a stellar object than cube.

A shape with no gravity usually has, as you say, an irregular shape but 9 times out of 10 it's more "roundish" than "cubic".

Would you be more agreeable if the model was a potato shape? Idaho or Dakota potato? Personally I like Idaho.

Imagine if you are trying to find trajectory of two objects on a pool table after a collision. They, both are on a collision path. Both are "roundish", not perfect sphere (we already established that asteroids are NEVER PERFECT SPHERE). Tell me all the possible outcome for an object sampled with 10 billion different center of mass which may result in 10 zillion different result depending on which way it was traveling and rotating (IF AT ALL!!!). Now tell me how much money, time, computational power will it take to solve the problem your way.

Like you said, common sense tells me cube is as good as any.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979101)

mmm, round like planets, moons, or other bits of mass that gather into spherical shapes in zero-g?

I do get your point though, they had to pick something. But perhaps they should have picked several somethings and gone with a few random shapes?

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982853)

Planets and moons are only round because their gravity is strong enough to form them into spheres. Many asteroids aren't spheres because they are too small.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978279)

Why the hell would you model an asteroid with some improbable shape like a cube?

Why the hell wouldn't you, unless you're one of those cubeless [timecube.com] stupids?

Re:Let's start with the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978475)

You really haven't watched 2001: Space Odyssey, have you? OK, granted that the ancient piece found on the moon was a monolith with a 1:4:9 ratio, so it wasn't exactly a cube, but still...

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

mkosmul (673296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979003)

Why the hell would you model an asteroid with some improbable shape like a cube?

They must have been inspired by the last level of Doom II.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

fredrik70 (161208) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979021)

maybe secret fans of the borgs?

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979237)

Perhaps the government-funded effort didn't have access to a 3D tool like BRL-CAD.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23981741)

Why the hell would you model an asteroid with some improbable shape like a cube?

Borg.

Re:Let's start with the obvious (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24005281)

Why the hell would you model an asteroid with some improbable shape like a cube?

In the vacuum of space, aerodynamics don't matter.

Looking for a reason... (4, Interesting)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977865)

Here's a good reason to go back to the moon if there ever was one. Or at the very least a better excuse than we've had so far.

Though the survival of the species is always a good reason...

Re:Looking for a reason... (1)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978367)

I agree, "I wonder..." has always been a good enough reason in my opinion. Without it humanity would still be living in caves without fire. For all the flaws the human species possesses being insanely inquisitive is not one of them.

It's just such a shame that kids in school are considered "uncool" if they show this wonderful trait.

Hidden on the "moon" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23977891)

Pieces of carrots, bananas, summer sausages and yes even dildos may be hidden up your ASS.

Re:Hidden on the "moon" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978043)

may be hidden up your ASS.

This makes me ponder fellow AC: if Neil Armstrong did a dump on the moon and there was no atmosphere, so no-one could smell it, is it still a dump? And wouldn't that big, perma-frozen turd count as an ancient peice of earth?

Also, there are giant mutant asparagus living on the moon. And these asparagus are soon going to want green cards, so they can come here and steal our jobs! Call me vegetablist, but ever since my wife ran off with a giant piece of mutant asparagus, I've wanted to eat all those evil swine alive. Even if it does make my wee smell awful.

Re:Hidden on the "moon" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23981291)

Pieces of carrots, bananas, summer sausages and yes even dildos may be hidden up your ASS.


Which reminds me of the Apple fanboy who went to the proctologist complaining of a pain in the ass. The doctor dilated the AMD fanboy's anus and extracted from there a carrot, a banana, a summer sausage, and a dildo. Finally, he plunged his whole arm inside and pulled a bunch of roses.


-"Hey, what's this?", he asked.


-"Ohh, that's for *you*, honey!"

The next planetary scandal (3, Interesting)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977929)

Can just see the reaction to this. Life can't survive elsewhere in the solar system. It's all pieces of Earth that got blown out.

Re:The next planetary scandal (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978013)

Can just see the reaction to this. Life can't survive elsewhere in the solar system. It's all pieces of Earth that got blown out.

That's why a study of the DNA etc. is important if life is found on another body. If the basic "alphabet" of the newly-discovered life matches that of Earth's, then most likely its a form of contamination from a central source.

We wouldn't necessarily be able to tell where the original source is if such was the case. Other bodies in the solar system were stable while Earth was still smoldering such that perhaps life formed on a different body that cooled faster and then spread to Earth after it cooled. Identifying the original "seed body" may be tricky.

Re:The next planetary scandal (5, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978167)

Given there are multiple solutions to the DNA unwinding problem (but on Earth only one was used) and given that life on Earth has tended to convert symbiotic organisms into organelles with minimal DNA (or nothing) and migrate the rest into the nucleus (ie: a monolithic design, which isn't necessarly the only design nature could have opted for), and given there are other factors that probably became selected because of the specific prevailing conditions on Earth, if the contamination was far enough back, we'd be able to tell by the divergence. Earth had very specific conditions, and there are multiple solutions to many microbiological problems. Organisms on Earth may have tried several and adopted the one that suited Earth conditions best, or Earth conditions may have made multiple experiments impossible.

(The cell itself probably post-dates the first 'true' life by a few hundred million years - long enough for any Earth fragments to be blasted onto nearby worlds - and the cell is only one way of building structured life. Assuming you have structured life. Pre-cellular life might be fine for some worlds, and mono-cellular life could potentially do much better than multi-cellular life in the atmosphere of a gas giant. You don't want complexity under harsh conditions.)

However, this leads to a major problem. Given that the bases that exist on Earth probably are the bases that would be used elsewhere, anything that is too simple cannot be distinguished from a parallel line of evolution. Given the level of sophistication you can pack onto a tiny space probe, the level of sophistication you can distinguish at in practical terms is far greater than the level that you could distinguish at in textbook theory.

Re:The next planetary scandal (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979871)

I had thought that the moon is mostly composed of material from the earth anyway? I know it's just a hypothesis but it seems pretty sensible. It could have been before any forms of life had started developing though, I don't know my time periods for when life is projected to have begun.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon [wikipedia.org] )

Giant Impact hypothesis
        The prevailing hypothesis today is that the Earthâ"Moon system formed as a result of a giant impact. A Mars-sized body (labelled "Theia") is believed to have hit the proto-Earth, blasting sufficient material into orbit around the proto-Earth to form the Moon through accretion.[6] As accretion is the process by which all planetary bodies are believed to have formed, giant impacts are thought to have affected most if not all planets. Computer simulations modelling a giant impact are consistent with measurements of the angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system, as well as the small size of the lunar core.[41] Unresolved questions regarding this theory concern the determination of the relative sizes of the proto-Earth and Theia and of how much material from these two bodies formed the Moon.

Re:The next planetary scandal (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991701)

I had thought that the moon is mostly composed of material from the earth anyway?


The Giant Impact studies done a few years back by Robin Canup (SWRI, Colorado) and others (whose names escape me ; I'm at work) showed that most of the core of a likely impactor ended up in the (proto-)Earth's core, while the debris ring consisted of similar amounts of the impactor ("Theia" in your cite) and the (proto-)Earth. The debris ring then segregated to form orbiter(s) and to re-impact.
The impact process would have liberated enough energy to melt the Earth's entire mantle - several thousand kilometres depth of rock - as well as vaporising large volumes of rock to produce a silicate atmosphere. Those are conditions which are pretty incompatible with survival of carbon-based life forms. (Incidentally, they're also pretty imcompatible with the survival of "primordial hydrocarbons" in the mantle - one of the reasons I don't give Tom Gold's hypothesis about the origin of oil any credence.)

I know it's just a hypothesis but it seems pretty sensible. It could have been before any forms of life had started developing though, I don't know my time periods for when life is projected to have begun.

Some datum points :

  • origin of most meteorites is within spitting distance of 4564 million years ago. This is generally taken as the "origin" of the Solar System (SNIP caveats);
  • construction of the Solar System probably took a handful of dozens of millions of years (defining your end points - you could probably earn a PhD discussing just that question. It's one of the caveats to the previous point.) ;
  • Kelvin estimated the cooling time for the Earth to be on the order of 40 million years (this has been challenged, but by factors of 2~3, not 20~30, so saying between 20 and 80 million is likely to be right) ;
  • the oldest undisputed fossils on Earth are some 3200 million years old (well-layered stromatolites) ;
  • disputed (J.W.Schopf proposing, Martin Brasier challenging) fossils are claimed at 3500 million years ;
  • disputed geochemical evidence from graphite flakes in highly-altered sediments in the Acasta gneiss of SW Greenland has been interpreted as evidence for the presence of a biology-involving-carbon-cycle-with-similar-isotope-fractionating-properties-to-present-life-on-Earth around 3800 million years ago (the interpretation is disputed, and the implications are more like I've written than a headline-grabbing "3800 million year old fossil!!") ;
  • disputed isotope-geochemical evidence (Jack Hills metasediments, Australia; detrital zircon grains; analysed IIRC by Stephen Moorbath and colleagues) suggests the presence of a geochemical cycle on Earth involving liquid water as far back as 4000 million years, possibly 4100 million years


There is room between the datum points to have considerable "slop" over how long the Earth took to cool, how long it took to acquire a functional atmosphere, how long to develop interesting chemistry, and how long for that chemistry to become "life". Defining "life" in this context is probably fuel for a research institute or three, not a single PhD.
What evidence there is over the origin of life is not incompatible with reasonable scientific proposals for the origin of life, but doesn't really constrain choice of an origin of life scenario either.

My 2 minor units of currency : I simply don't know. But I've left out the "late heavy bombardment" (of meteorites) because of the imprecision of it's dating, not because I don't think it unimportant.

That should provide you plenty of grist for Google ; I may have slipped a little on some of the dates and names because I'm at work, on a work computer, and don't have access to my normal library.

Pieces of Ancient Moon May Be Hidden On the Earth (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977931)

If you believe the collision theory. Five theories [utk.edu]

Another theory is that Moon was tugged into place to stabilize Earth.

Re:Pieces of Ancient Moon May Be Hidden On the Ear (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978005)

The collision theory is pretty much universally accepted by now. I'm not sure it requires a complete breakup of the planetoid that hit earth.

ALso, looking at that site... the first theory... "The present Pacific Ocean basin is the most popular site for the part of the Earth from which the Moon came." I can't think of any reason why this is even remotely valid given plate tectonics and several billion years.

Re:Pieces of Ancient Moon May Be Hidden On the Ear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978263)

If you believe the collision theory.

Or if you bother to look up at its crater-covered surface...

Re:Pieces of Ancient Moon May Be Hidden On the Ear (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979721)

There was a great collision and the Moon was formed from the Earth, so the Moon is the Ancient Earth.
Right ?

Did you actually read it? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979839)

Directly from the page you apparantly googled (since you don't seem to have read it):

A detailed comparison of the properties of Lunar and Earth rock samples has placed very strong constraints on the possible validity of these hypotheses. For example, if the Moon came from material that once made up the Earth, then Lunar and Terrestrial rocks should be much more similar in composition than if the Moon was formed somewhere else and only later was captured by the Earth.
These analyses indicate that the abundances of elements in Lunar and Terrestrial material are sufficiently different to make it unlikely that the Moon formed directly from the Earth. Generally, work over the last 10 years has essentially ruled out the first two explanations and made the third one rather unlikely. At present the fifth hypothesis, that the Moon was formed from a ring of matter ejected by collision of a large object with the Earth, is the favored hypothesis; however, the question is not completely settled and many details remain to the accounted for.

Emphasis mine, and as it says the most likely theory is the collision theory. It fits all the known data and computer models show how plausible it is compared to the other theories.

"Hidden" on the Moon? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977959)

So aliens must exist! If they didn't exist the meteorites would be lying on the ground, not "hidden".

Re:"Hidden" on the Moon? (1)

stevedmc (1065590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978049)

That is how the monolith got there.

Re:"Hidden" on the Moon? (1, Troll)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979079)

FSM may have hidden them there to test our faith.

Groening has the argument against (3, Funny)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977977)

We're whalers on the Moon

We carry a harpoon

But there ain't no whales

So we tell tall tales

And sing our whaling tune

Re:Groening has the argument against (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23979349)

I think /. is getting to me, I expected that to end "Burma Shave". Shudders.

Good (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23977987)

Tax the little buggers up there!

Fossils from the moon. (2, Funny)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978035)

I can confirm that there are pieces of the Earth in the moon. Somewhere in the back of my closet, I keep a fossil of a ancient platypus that astronauts brought down from the moon a few decades ago. Looks an awful lot like Hexley [faq-mac.com] .

Timecube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978037)

Its a sign. Timecube.

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978075)

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Is there oil on the Moon? (-1, Troll)

Venik (915777) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978113)

Why don't these scientists do something useful for a change and tell us where to drill! I just bought my Hummer and now I can't afford the gas.

Re:Is there oil on the Moon? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978187)

Why don't these scientists do something useful for a change and tell us where to drill! I just bought my Hummer and now I can't afford the gas.

Look on the bright side. You might not be able to aford to drive it but at least your dick's bigger.

Slashdot Slashdoted? (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978249)

I'm having problems accessing /. homepage and I'm posting this from coral cache. oh! ..Wait.. I for one welcome our Chinese ddos overlords?

Re:Slashdot Slashdoted? (0, Offtopic)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978277)

Wait a second, I was on the coral cache but I wasn't logged in when I posted Parent.. I was posting as a lazy AC .. now I come here and the post have my name? How this happened? *shivers*

Deja Vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978315)

Was it the same cat?

Re:Slashdot Slashdoted? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978973)

You can't post from the cache. When you clicked the 'submit' button, your request went to slashdot rather than the cache, and therefore was associated with your normal login details.

Pieces of Ancient Earth May Be Hidden On the Moon (2, Funny)

rasantel (845097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978253)

My granma's spectacles!

Grasping at straws again... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978379)

A team of scientists has published work confirming that meteorites originating from Earth could have remained sufficiently intact while colliding with the moon to allow the survival of biological evidence for life.

Wow, another article where scientists say something *could* have happened but obviously provide no evidence stating definitively that it did. I can take guesses too. They are grasping at straws, again.

Lies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23978531)

The dead biomatter is really alien lifeforms and the gov't is feeding the press this cover story about how the stuff they found is from "ancient earth" so they don't drive the populace into a panic by saying they found alien life and risking the loss of control over their various theocracies. And Roswell really happened and the alien autopsy video was totally not faked. It's all a conspiracy, dude! See you at Area51.

Any clue on how to find them? (1)

paratiritis (1282164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978667)

If not, it is not of much use knowing they could exist. After all the article says the meteorites would be small, fractured and covered by dust and later impacts. IMO expecting to stumble on them by accident on a return trip to the moon, as it says, is way too optimistic.

Re:Any clue on how to find them? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979929)

IMO expecting to stumble on them by accident on a return trip to the moon, as it says, is way too optimistic.

It's a small world.. err.. moon, after all. It's amazing what you can bump into when you're not expecting it :p Send a few 'nauts up on holiday and they'll be sure to run into some pre-historic neighbours.

Re:Any clue on how to find them? (1)

paratiritis (1282164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983221)

It's a small world.. err.. moon, after all.

About the size of Africa. That's like saying you can drop by parachute in a random place in Africa, walk around a few miles, and find one or two diamonds. Except there are FAR FEWER diamonds than in real Afica.

Just because it looks small in the sky, it doesn't mean it's that small.

Re:Any clue on how to find them? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23989453)

It's a song/phrase. "It's a small world after all". I was basically just joking, but also pointing out that random meetings of people who know each other and end up meeting each other on holiday in a different country or an obscure part of their own country (even though they didn't know the other family was going there) do happen. Whenever that happens people tend to say "It's a small world" despite the fact that the world is not physically very small.

Molten Planet Sends First Life To Moon! (0)

descil (119554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978777)

This study is trying to tell us that if we find life on the moon, we can still be the center of the universe. But 3800 million years ago, our planet was still mostly a molten rock. This is evidenced by all the dating methods we have (IE, there are no rocks older than 3800 million years).

How does a molten rock have life to spew onto its moon?

If we find some tiny bit of life on the moon, make no mistake: it means life is not from here. And why should anyone be surprised?

Evolution feels pretty weak these days. Intelligent design (without the "I know who God is" part) is a much better model. Look I'm a programmer: I like models. The one that is the best reflection of reality wins, regardless of its origin. I don't like the Church any more than you do, but DNA is too much like a computer program for me to ignore.

And to think it developed here, spontaneously!? Look at all the instructions it is capable of: brains, lungs, socialization? Did you know DNA is what makes a lot of the choices in your brain? Right, in every neuron, every time it fires, messages go into the nucleus (that's the dna's housing and equipment) and get translated by RNA and DNA... the resulting parts of the neuron that fire are due to the response from the DNA!

We use this same thing to make RNA computers that can do massive calculations in a fraction of the time it would take our current PCs to do it (well, the setup takes a while, yuk yuk.) This building blocks of life, which came about in a cave as the world cooled off from its volcanic eruptions, just randomly have supercomputing ability?!

... come on. It's incredible. That means unbelievable. Don't believe it. They're feeding you lies. Look behind the lies, look to the motivation.

Re:Molten Planet Sends First Life To Moon! (2, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978939)

Did you know DNA is what makes a lot of the choices in your brain? Right, in every neuron, every time it fires, messages go into the nucleus (that's the dna's housing and equipment) and get translated by RNA and DNA... the resulting parts of the neuron that fire are due to the response from the DNA!

Erm... not really, no. Most "firing" of neurons (generation of action potential) happens on a purely electrical basis. There is chemical modulation of this based on quantities of neurotransmitters that are produced by the nucleus, but this only takes place on a very long term scale (think minutes, not the milliseconds it takes for an action potential to propogate).

Besides, so what if it does? DNA is responsible for governing _every reaction that goes on in our body_ by determining what new substances are to be produced based on the quantities present of other substances. That's simply how life works.

We use this same thing to make RNA computers that can do massive calculations in a fraction of the time it would take our current PCs to do it (well, the setup takes a while, yuk yuk.) This building blocks of life, which came about in a cave as the world cooled off from its volcanic eruptions, just randomly have supercomputing ability?!

The stimulus/response mechanism provided by RNA is an important part of life because it allows it to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances. But (1) it isn't really a "supercomputing ability". At least not until a lot of it has accumulated in the same place. Early RNA was probably extremely simple compared to what we see today. And (2) it didn't have to occur randomly in a form anything like as complex as RNA. Current theories of the origin of life include a few alternatives, including a much simpler system called PNA that might have evolved into RNA, and the possibility of "metabolism-first" abiogenesis which allows for a self-perpetuating cycle to exist and evolve without the complexity of a self-replicating information store. It then evolves such a store and begins replicating.

Re:Molten Planet Sends First Life To Moon! (0)

descil (119554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979023)

Cool, thank you for clearing up the DNA in the brain thing, wasn't quite sure how that worked. Very clever, makes perfect sense.

Hm, yeah, I don't really buy those alternative origin theories though. The PNA system or something like it seems more plausible than DNA randomly appearing on earth, but still needs a long leap, as does the other solution. See, they both need each other - nucleic acids don't just reproduce themselves, and metabolic systems aren't typically self-perpetuating. More like self-destroying. Entropy anyone? Even if such a metabolic system somehow existed, it would ALSO have to be sensitive to PNA or some form of information store, AND said information store would have to contain instructions for replication. Come on now... isn't this stretching things a bit. Science is supposed to be what about what we KNOW.

About this stuff possibly forming in the ocean... the essential structure of DNA at least is hydrophobic... Hydrophobic and it came together in the deep ocean? Um. Maybe I just don't know enough, I am after all not a biologist, just a wikipedia reader (like you :P lol)

Re:Molten Planet Sends First Life To Moon! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23980029)

Come on now... isn't this stretching things a bit. Science is supposed to be what about what we KNOW.

I used to think like that about evolution 10 years ago but now I think there is enough evidence to support it. I was a fairly fundamental Christian up until the last couple of years too, now I'm not sure what to believe, but what you are suggesting is just the "God of the Gaps" idea where you have to use God to explain everything you think is too amazing. I still believe there could be some greater intelligence/power than our own though, if only because another race could have evolved before ours in our own universe before this cycle, or in another part of a multiverse, whatever. You then have to try to explain how they got started, etc, and it just never ends. A man could drive himself mad wondering just why everything even is. I probably say that too much but it's just because it's the only thing that truly confuses me :P It's good to concentrate on what we can learn and know rather than waste time, but it's also true that people just ignore that 'something' must have always existed. I know aren't really capable of understanding anything with a lack of reference in time or space but to me it's unlikely that anything would exist, let alone a god, or some inanimate mass that would then develop into life. It's all pretty amazing.

Anyway as far as PNA and metabolisms go etc, I never studied biology (though I did study chemistry and physics), isn't the point that these systems didn't just appear one day, but they developed from simpler systems. Life is self-organising [slashdot.org] , and generally gets more organised over time. To say that RNA just appeared out of nowhere is pretty fantastic, but to say that some powerful intelligence appeared from nowhere to help it along is also pretty fantastic, so where do you draw the line? Urgh, I think that's enough random philosiphising for now, I'm off to play Battlefield: Bad Company. I wonder when computer game characters will start wondering who created them :P

Re:Molten Planet Sends First Life To Moon! (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 6 years ago | (#24006155)

Welcome to the "Curse of the Thinking Man". Question everything!

I think what really frees most peoples' thinking is when they realize that "there is no why". Either that, or the plan/"why" is so alien, so outside of what we call the human experience (3D space, unidirectional time, etc), so dependent on things outside our frame of reference, that we haven't a prayer (pun intended) of ever "seeing" it.

PS - The *last* group of folks I'd expect to be "right" are desert tribesmen from 2000 years ago who thought all sorts of wrong/atrocious things.

did anyone else read it as... (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23978937)

"Pieces of Ancient Middle Earth May Be Hidden On the Moon"

But what about how they got up there? (3, Insightful)

Peter Harris (98662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23979561)

Presumably the collision needed to splash a bit of rock off the Earth, through its atmosphere, up its gravity well to the moon would be at least 6 times as forceful as the collision with the moon.

They'd have to show that bits of organic material would survive both collisions to make it plausible.

Then explain how you would go looking for the few unlikely surviving chunks on something the size of the moon. Which by the way keeps getting hit all over with rocks from everywhere else, hence all the dust and craters.

Good luck with that.

Or is this just one of those things like string theory where you get to make up a hypothesis that you can't possibly actually falsify?

Re:But what about how they got up there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982451)

How did this cheeseball get modded +3? He just said some words and waved his hands around with nothing to back it up.

That does it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23980345)

Okay, I'm starting to freak out now. Today we have articles about one of the Poles melting, these new Neural Interface headbands, and now we're starting to talk about some seed of life that's related to our moon being formed. Plus, I just got finished watching Neon Genesis Evangelion. Are we about to experience the Second Impact? Maybe it's just the mind screw I've subjected myself to, but the pieces are fitting together WAY too much for this AC's mind to handle.

Take off? (2, Interesting)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23980461)

The article doesn't mention how these earth-originated asteroids become space-borne, except a brief mention of the "Late Heavy Bombardment." I would think that pieces of earth that are sent into space by other asteroids hitting earth, would be subject to *far* more stress, heat, and general voilence in being struck hard enough to reach escape velocity, than they would on a simple re-entry.

Surely the impact event and associated energy required to eject the matter from Earth's stronger gravity and much thicker atmosphere, would be far worse when compared to the landing on the moon, no? (I know it's not a direct comparison, but consider how much fuel the Apollo missions in the massive boosters used to get out of Earth's gravity, versus how little they used to decelerate down to the moon's surface, carried on board the relatively small lander.)

Re:Take off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991713)

There have been a lot of events that were strong enough to cause the event they are considering.

The asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs was large enough to send objects larger than a car into space intact. Probably several hundred (if not thousand) of them. Yes, most would be pulverized, but that is not a homogeneous process There will be some quite large chunks left intact. Fossils, even living bacteria might make it to the surface of the Moon or Mars intact. That is the basic mechanism of the old panspermia theory. The math says it would work.

This is not new. It was first proposed in the late 1950's, and the math with forces, etc. worked out in the early 1960's. (Hoyle and Wickramasinge at first, more folks later.) What is new here is that the Moon, with no atmosphere, and no plate tectonics would have saved some VERY OLD pieces of rock. Rock that on earth would have been reprocessed by plate tectonics.

Yes, it is a rare thing to find, but we have a few meteoric rocks that came from the moon, and that incorporated pieces of older earth rocks in them. No fossils yet. So far, the chunks we have are too small to give the kind of detail they want. So, the scientists want to go to the source and look a lot more. I would expect that it might take a decade or more to find the first load of 'pay dirt'.

Once we know what to look for, and where, it might become fairly common.

It would make for good science, if successful.

Real Estate Agent's Perspective (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983759)

Quiet, secluded location. Clear skies. Perfect for the adventurous. Ideal for your country estate or getaway. Some restrictive covenents; but they aren't being enforced. Possibility of well water on site. Bring all reasonable offers.

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