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Study: Space dust may transport life between worlds

some of the coldest, darkest dust in space/ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech

One eventually gets used to science claims with a lot of “may”s in them. From ScienceDaily:

Fast-moving flows of interplanetary dust that continually bombard our planet’s atmosphere could deliver tiny organisms from far-off worlds, or send Earth-based organisms to other planets, according to the research.

The dust streams could collide with biological particles in Earth’s atmosphere with enough energy to knock them into space, a scientist has suggested.

Such an event could enable bacteria and other forms of life to make their way from one planet in the solar system to another and perhaps beyond.

The finding suggests that large asteroid impacts may not be the sole mechanism by which life could transfer between planets, as was previously thought.

Okay, but we don’t know about life anywhere apart from Earth. Even Mars research has seen a recent setback.

The researcher, Argun Berera, found that powerful flows of space dust — which can move at up to 70 km a second — could collide with particles in our atmospheric system and that “small particles existing at 150 km or higher above Earth’s surface could be knocked beyond the limit of Earth’s gravity by space dust and eventually reach other planets. The same mechanism could enable the exchange of atmospheric particles between distant planets.” Paper. (paywall) – Arjun Berera. Space Dust Collisions as a Planetary Escape Mechanism. Astrobiology, 2017; DOI: 10.1089/ast.2017.1662 More.

At present, it is a good premise for quality science fiction. That said, it might be testable in the foreseeable future, by experimental launches between Earth and the Moon.

See also: Pretty discouraging news from exoplanet research: We’re not sure what to look for And most don’t think life will be found on an exoplanet by 2040.

Researchers: Water flow on Mars turns out to be sand and dust Mars is so close to Earth that it benefits from some features that enable life on Earth. Dashed hopes for Mars probably reduce the chances for similar exoplanets in galactic habitable zones.

It has been known for many years Earth and Mars exchange about 100 kilograms of dust every year. There is bacteria that can travel the distance from Earth to Mars; survive the radiation, and when it gets there it can repair its genome and begin reproducing if the environment allows it... It's a matter of time before life is discovered on Mars... The problem with this is what claims are going to be made... Anybody would like to make a guess about the claims? J-Mac
So all I need to do is transform myself into space dust? Mung
Dust, including organic entities can be transported virtually anywhere based on the specific incident physics. This has as much relevance to the origin of life as the common proclamation "We are star stuff." Of course, so what. There is Earth based organic compounds or even organisms on the moon, Mars, Venus, possibly elsewhere. What is the intractable problem for naturalistic hypotheses is how did life form originally. qedlin
Every story like this is a tacit admission that materialist OOL is moribund. Why else look for OOL somewhere than here on good old Earth? Barry Arrington
Unicorns may exist in this universe. Especially if the multiverse is true. mike1962
Seems possible. Think of fungal spores roiling around in the jet stream, gaining an electric charge. Dust of opposite charge zips through, spore hitches a ride. polistra

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