American Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2019, Pages: 1-9
Received: May 9, 2019;
Accepted: Jun. 12, 2019;
Published: Jul. 1, 2019
Views 577 Downloads 111
Martin Beech, Campion College, Department of Astronomy, The University of Regina, Regina, Canada; Department of Physics, The University of Regina, Regina, Canada
Mark Comte, Department of Physics, The University of Regina, Regina, Canada
Ian Coulson, Department of Geology, The University of Regina, Regina, Canada
The conditions under which terrestrial, impact-derived ejecta can be launched into cis-lunar space is studied. A numerical code is developed in order to follow the ablation and deceleration conditions of material ejected from the Earth’s surface and outwards through the atmosphere. The deceleration filtering-effect imposed by Earth’s atmosphere results in multi-meter-sized, 5 to 20 meters across, fragments escaping into cis-lunar space being favored. Smaller fragments tend to be more rapidly decelerated than larger ones and are re-accreted by the Earth. The conditions under which Earth-ejected material might impact upon the Moon is additionally considered. It is found that for encounter speeds smaller than some 7 km/s, terrestrial meteorites might be expected to survive upon impact (that is they will not undergo shock melting) when encountering the Moon’s regolith. It is argued that terrestrial meteorites may well survive, with identifiable features (fusion crust and mineralogy), for long periods of time within the lunar regolith (a result recently vindicated through the discovery of terrestrial material – launched during the late heavy bombardment – contained within a lunar impact breccia #14321, collected during the Apollo 14 Moon landing mission). Further to this, the important role that terrestrial meteorites must have played in transporting microbial life to other potentially habitable locations within the solar system is discussed.
The Production of Terrestrial Meteorites – Moon Accretion and Lithopanspermia, American Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Vol. 7, No. 1,
2019, pp. 1-9.
H. J. Melosh 1989. Impact Cratering – a geological process. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
M. Beech, I. M. Coulson, and M. Comte 2018. Lithopanspermia – the terrestrial input during the past 550 million years. American Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 6(3), 81-90.
Earth Impact Database: http://www.passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase/.
B. M. Simonson, and P. G. Glass 2004. Spherule layers-records of ancient impacts throughout Earth’s history. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science, 32, 329-361.
I. A. Crawford, et al. 2008. On the survivability and detectability of Terrestrial Meteorites on the Moon. Astrobiology, 8, 242-252.
D. Schultze-Makuch and I. A. Crawford 2018. Was there an early habitable window for Earth’s Moon? Astrobiology, 18, 1-4.
J. J. Bellucci, et al. 2019. Terrestrial-like zircon in a clast from an Apollo 14 breccia. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 510, 173-185.
L. E. Nyquist et al. 2001. Ages and geological histories of Martian meteorites. In Chronology and Evolution of Mars, 96, 105-164.
F. M. McCubbin, and T. J. McCoy 2016. Expected geochemical and mineralogical properties of meteorites from Mercury: inferences from MESSENGER data. The 79th Annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society. 6242.pdf.
H. Lammer, et al. 2018. Origin and evolution of the atmospheres of early Venus, Earth and Mars. Astronomy and Astrophysics Review, 26:2.
M. Beech 2008. Meteors over the Moon. WGN, the Journal of the IMO. 36:2, 33-36.
M. Beech, and M. Comte 2018. The Chant meteor Procession of 1913 – towards a descriptive model. American Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 6 (2), 31-38.
G. G. Schaber et al. 1992. Geology and distribution of impact craters on Venus: what are they telling us? JGR Planets, 97 E8, 13257-13301.
A. M. Vickery and H. J. Melosh 1987. The large crater origin of SNC meteorites. Science, 237, 738-743.
H. J. Melosh. 1988 The rocky road to panspermia. Nature, 332, 687-688.
N. Artemieva and B. Ivanov 2004. Launch of Martian meteorites in oblique impacts. Icarus, 171, 84-101.
D. S. McKay et al. 2006. Observation and analysis of in situ carbonaceous matter in Nakhla. Lunar and Planetary Science meeting XXXVII, 2251.pdf.
L. M. White, E. K. Gibson, K. L. Thomas-Keprta, S. J. Clemett and D. S. McKay 2014. Putative indigenous carbon-bearing alteration features in Martian meteorite Yamato 000593. Astrobiology, 14, 170-181.
D. S. McKay et al. 1996. Search for past life on Mars: possible relic biogenic activity in Martian meteorite ALH84001. Science, 273, 924-930.
R. A. Kerr 1998. Requiem for life on Mars? Support for microbes fades. Science, 282, 1398-1400.
K. L. Thomas-Keprta, S. J. Clemett, D. S. McKay, E. K. Gibson, and S. J. Wentworth 2009. Origins of magnetite nanocrystals in Martian meteorite ALH84001. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 6631-6677.
G. S. Collins, H. J. Melosh, and R. A. Marcus 2005. Impact effects program. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 40, 817-840.
W. I. Newman, E. M. D. Symbalisty, T J. Ahens, and E. M. Jones 1999. Impact erosion of planetary atmospheres: some surprising results. Icarus, 138, 224-240.
H. J. Melosh. 1990. Vapor plumes: a neglected aspect of impact cratering. Meteoritics, 25, 386.
H. J. Melosh, and A. M. Vickery 1989. Impact erosion of the primordial atmosphere of Mars. Nature, 338, 487-489.
R. R. Vondrak 1974. Creation of an artificial lunar atmosphere. Nature, 248, 657-659.
E. N. Slyuta 2014. Physical and Mechanical Properties of the Lunar Soil (A review). Solar System Research. 48, 330-353.
Y. Syono, T. Goto, J-I. Sato, and H. Takei 1981. Shock compression measurements of single‐crystal forsterite in the pressure range 15–93 GPa. Journal of Geophysical Research - solid Earth, 86, B7, 6181–6186.
J. L. Brown, et al. 2007. Shock response of dry sand. Sandia Report: SAND2007-3524.
H. Hiesinger and J. Head III 2006. New Views of lunar geoscience: an introduction and overview. In New Views of the Moon, B. Jolliff, M. Wieczorek, C. Shearer and C. Neal (Eds.). Mineralogical Society of America, Virginia. p. 28.
A. Mann 2018. Cataclysm’s End. Nature, 553, 393-395.
J. W. Schopf et al., 2017. SIMS analyses of the oldest known assemblage of microfossils document their taxon-correlated carbon isotope compositions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201718063 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1718063115.
M. J. Dodd, et al. 2017. Evidence for early life in Earth’s oldest hydrothermal vent precipitates. Nature, 543, 60-63.
G. Galletta, G. Bertoloni and M. D’Alessandro 2010. Bacterial survival in Martian conditions. https://arxiv.org/abs/1002.4077.
R. J. Worth, S. Sigurdsson, and C. H. House 2013. Seeding life on the Moons of the outer planets via lithopanspermia. Astrobiology, 13, 1155 – 1165.
A. K. Pavlov et al., 2016. Was Earth ever infected by Martian biota? Clues from radioresistant bacteria. Astrobiology, 6, 911-918.
D. Sloan, R. A. Batista and A. Loeb 2017. The resilience of life to astrophysical events. Nature, scientific reports, 7:5149.
H. Morowitz and C. Sagan 1967. Life in the clouds of Venus. Nature, 215, 1259-1260.
C. S. Cockell 1999. Life on Venus. Planetary and Space Science, 47, 1487-1501.
M. Reyes-Ruiz et al. 2012. Dynamics of escaping Earth ejecta and their collision probability with different solar system bodies. Icarus, 220, 777-786.
B. Gladman, L. Dones, H. Levison, and J. Burns 2005. Impact seeding and reseeding in the inner solar system. Astrobiology, 5, 483-496.
M. J. Simms 2011. Where are all the terrestrial meteorites. 74th Annual Meteoritical Society meeting, 5474. pdf.
B. Schmitz, M. Tassinari, and P. Peucker-Ehrenbrink 2001. A rain of ordinary chondrite meteorites in the early Ordovician. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 194, 1- 15.
P. R. Heck, et al. 2007. Cosmogenic and solar noble gasses in 470 Ma fossil meteorites and micrometeorites from the L-chondrite parent-body break-up. 70th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, 5027. pdf.
F. T. Kyte, 1998. A meteorite from the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. Nature, 396, 237-239.