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Could dust have carried alien life to Earth ?


Posted on Monday, 20 November, 2017 | Comment icon 11 comments

Did cosmic dust carry life to Earth in the distant past ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists believe that interstellar dust streams might be able to transfer organisms between planets.
The idea that life can be transferred around the cosmos on comets and asteroids - a concept known as panspermia - has been around for years, but now researchers at the University of Edinburgh have put forward the idea that even the smallest of particles may be capable of carrying life to other worlds.

The study centers around the fact that the Earth's atmosphere is being bombarded on a constant basis by fast-flowing streams of interplanetary dust particles.

If these particles were to collide with particles in our own atmosphere at sufficient velocity, there is a chance that they could be propelled out in to space and off towards other planets.

It is also possible that microorganisms such as tardigrades, which are known to survive in space, could hitch a ride on these particles and make their way to other worlds.

There is even a chance that alien organisms might have reached our own planet the same way.

"The proposition that space dust collisions could propel organisms over enormous distances between planets raises some exciting prospects of how life and the atmospheres of planets originated," said Professor Arjun Berera from the University of Edinburgh's school of physics and astronomy.

"The streaming of fast space dust is found throughout planetary systems and could be a common factor in proliferating life."

Source: BBC News | Comments (11)

Tags: Dust, Life

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Eldorado on 20 November, 2017, 17:16
It would explain the Kardashians. Nah, I take that back.
Comment icon #3 Posted by ExpandMyMind on 20 November, 2017, 17:38
Might explain why the top of my fireplace seems to be mutating.
Comment icon #4 Posted by _KB_ on 20 November, 2017, 19:10
yes, and and so could have a meteorite a comet a planetary collision... basically anything moving through space... heck an alien corpse could have floated in to earths atmosphere for all we know, anything that can move in space can carry alien life, can't it?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Parsec on 20 November, 2017, 19:32
Yes, especially if inside a spacecraft.
Comment icon #6 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 20 November, 2017, 22:57
Has anyone watched the video for 'Blackstar' by David Bowie,   And the song 'Woodstock' tells us that "We are stardust, we are golden We are billion year old carbon "  
Comment icon #7 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 20 November, 2017, 23:12
Relating to this subject, I hope you find this article interesting. It's about an extra-solar asteroid that contains organic molecules https://www.theguardian.com/science/across-the-universe/2017/nov/20/interstellar-object-confirmed-to-be-from-another-solar-system
Comment icon #8 Posted by joc on 21 November, 2017, 5:16
Have you ever noticed how intelligent Life is?  All Life.  Even (if not especially) plant life. Ever noticed that next to your strawberry plants...there is some weed...that looks alot like a Strawberry Plant? I have noticed this alot...weeds congregating themselves around plants they look like.  You'd think all these spores are just blowing in the wind...are they? Or are some of them 'guiding' themselves through the air? And if some are 'guiding' themselves through the air...could not some of them be...guiding themselves through space?  Maybe we have the wrong idea of 'space ships'....maybe me... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Rolci on 21 November, 2017, 11:02
We have sent spacecraft outside our solar system. We are said to have visited the moon. Mars trips are just around the corner. As we expand into space with better and better tech it is easy to see how we will have colonised most of the solar system within the next 100 years, and how we will have visited strange new star systems by 3000, ever spreading the seeds of life in our cosmic neighbourhood. Life will have spread from Earth to hundreds of planets in a blink of an eye on a cosmic scale. If we were to look back in 5 such blinks of an eye from now, do you think it will be a true statement t... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by qxcontinuum on 24 November, 2017, 15:28
i don't see how dust can carry life on earth , a meteorite yes but dust particles with building blocks of live or bacteria in general cannot survive the friction with Earths atmosphere.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Erno86 on 24 November, 2017, 17:33
"What is the secret link between rocks and minerals, and every living thing on earth?" "Microbial life helped gave birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today." PBS NOVA video: Life's Rocky Start - http://www.pbs.org/video/nova-lifes-rocky-start-pro


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