We have obtained x-ray spectral data and secondary/backscatter electron images of a suite of complex forms that we interpret as microfossils in several CI (Alais, Orgueil, and Tagish Lake) and CO3 (Rainbow and Dar al Gani 749) carbonaceous meteorites using the Field Emission and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopes. Many of these embedded and lithified or carbonized forms are similar to photoautrophs (cyanobacteria or purple nonsulfur bacteria) or extinct phytoplankton (acritarchs and hystrichospheres) that are not considered likely post-arrival contaminants and therefore we interpret them as indigenous microfossils. We discuss the meteorites and provide images of several biogenic forms found embedded in freshly fractured meteorite matrix.
This paper was published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5163
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VII, Richard B. Hoover; Alexei Y. Rozanov, Editors, pp.7-22