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Strong Evidence Life by Comets, Astronomers

Old 10-21-2011
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Default Strong Evidence Life by Comets, Astronomers

A dust cloud around a nearby star appears to be the debris from a collision between a giant comet and an Earth-like planet -- possibly a re-enactment of the comet barrage that struck Earth 4 billion years ago and presumably seeded our planet with water and other necessities for life as we know it.

Using NASA's Spitzer Space telescope, the astronomy team analyzed the warm dust surrounding Eta Corvi, a billion-year-old star 60 light years away from Earth in the constellation Corvus. Dust of this sort, which occurs in roughly 1 percent of stars, typically consists of the crushed-up rocks from a couple of asteroids smashing into each other.

However, Eta Corvi's dust proved to be extraordinary in that it contained signatures of water and carbon compounds, and researchers conclude that the dust is the remnants of a large comet in an upcoming paper in Astrophysical Journal.

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Attached Thumbnails Strong Evidence Life Spread by Comets, Astronomers-comet%2520impact%2520life.jpg  
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Old 10-21-2011
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That's a huge comet in the photo.
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Old 10-21-2011
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That image really is awesome. Let's hope that never happens in our lifetime!
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