A bug found feeding off radioactive uranium has opened the possibility to scientists that alien life could survive on a diet of cosmic rays and not require light, oxygen and carbon - believed to be the building blocks of life here on Earth.
Desulforudis audaxviator survives off sulfur and water molecules in it’s surrounding rock which are broken up by the radiation. The study theorized that instead of feeding off radioactive materials beneath the planet, microbes could instead be supplied by galactic cosmic rays that are spewed by supernovas.
The study found that underground life on the moon could theoretically survive on the cosmic rays they are exposed too, if water and a heat source were available. Atri next plans to study how cosmic radiation levels similar to those found on Mars would affect Desulforudis audaxviator.