Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Ancient Plant Fragments Preserved By Meteorite Impact Glass

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (UPI) — Meteorites have the potential to cause widespread ecological damage. But a new study suggests that “impact glass” from an asteroid collision can also help preserve ecological history — trapping bits of organic material and offering geologists a snapshot of ancient plant life.

A team of researchers at Brown University have located fragments of leaves and organic compounds preserved inside the impact glass from several ancient meteorite collision sites in Argentina. Impact glass is the rock formed via shock metamorphism, a result of the extreme heat and high pressure of impact events.

The scientists involved on the study say their findings are counterintuitive, as one would expect plant material to be carbonized at such high temperatures. But when attempting to replicate shock metamorphism in the lab, researchers were able to show that traces of plant material are preserved when rocks are formed at above 1,500 degrees Celsius.

“I was surprised to find the amount of plant matter preserved,” Kathie Thomas-Keprta — a researcher at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston — told BBC News.

The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Geology this week, say their discovery demonstrates how meteorite fragments could hold the key to finding evidence of alien life.

“Next we need to evaluate if microbes can also be preserved by this mechanism,” Thomas-Keptra said. “Then, we need to collect the appropriate samples on Mars.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Ancient Plant Fragments Preserved By Meteorite Impact Glass”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.