Has life from Earth spread to distant worlds ?
By T.K. Randall
January 29, 2020 · 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
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