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Has life from Earth spread to distant worlds ?

By T.K. Randall
January 29, 2020 · Comment icon 14 comments

Could it be that life from Earth has made it to a distant planet ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL
It is often suggested that alien life could have reached Earth on a comet, but what about the other way around ?
Scientists have long speculated over what processes might have given rise to life on other worlds.

One such process, which is known as panspermia, involves life from one planet being transported to another on asteroids and comets that have come into contact with an inhabited world.

While this theory is often put forward as an answer to how life on our own planet first emerged, comparatively little thought is given to the idea that this may have happened the other way around.

Could ancient microbes from Earth have hitched a ride to a planet in some distant solar system ?
According to astrophysicists Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb, such a scenario is actually possible.

The pair theorize that in Earth's distant past, a large, fast-moving comet could have grazed our planet's atmosphere, picking up microbes that became embedded deep within its surface.

If any of these managed to survive for thousands or even millions of years of travel through space, it is not inconceivable that they could have ended up deposited on a planet in a distant solar system.

It suggests that there could be another world out there inhabited by life seeded from Earth.

"It's a brand new field of science," said Siraj.

Source: Live Science | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
There is a big difference between a high school student's essay and a scientific paper which provides in depth factual and mathematical analysis. It's the difference between knowledge and guessing. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by AllPossible 4 years ago
Ya I think about distances to other stars & cant even begin to imagine. Then I think of galaxies distance to each other & I get a full blown headache
Comment icon #7 Posted by Hazzard 4 years ago
You are thinking about this all wrong. There has been life on Earth for billions of years. An asteroid impact back then could have thrown tons of materials (with life) into space ... plenty of time to reach another starsystem, and crash into a planet. Panspermia, dude!
Comment icon #8 Posted by joc 4 years ago that didn't happen.   How do I know that didn't happen you might ask.  I know that didn't happen because Life happened on Earth as a result of an Established Atmosphere already being in place.   With the atmosphere in place and the gravity of Earth being what it is...and was then as well...there is no chance an asteroid hit the Earth and blew Life up and out of the atmosphere.  It takes a tremendous force to exit our atmosphere.  No way blow back from an asteroid hitting the Earth would have that force. Thanks but Panspermia...not so much.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Hazzard 4 years ago
Would you like to hang up and try again?   The new study holds that the Chicxulub impact also launched 70 billion kilograms of rock into space...   Very welcome, dude.
Comment icon #10 Posted by joc 4 years ago
I think that is an unproven theory.  But thanks.  I'll go with what I said.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Hazzard 4 years ago
Of course its unproven that it actually sent rocks from Earth seeded with life to other planets. But I dont se anyone protesting the fact that a meteor can eject tons of material in to space...with our atmosphere as it were. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by joc 4 years ago
I am protesting it.  Didn't happen.
Comment icon #13 Posted by joc 4 years ago
I will concur that it is a possibility that debris was launched into outer space by the asteroid you speak of. I will also concur that it is possible that some microbes did Escape Earth's atmosphere. We don't actually know that happened but it is a possibility. So I will give you that! Happy? :-)
Comment icon #14 Posted by MissJatti 4 years ago
I had a dream once, where human from a far distant past, went to space, and their descendants recently visit Earth, there body has change/evolved, and look like grey Aliens today.

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