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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2003 > Dec > Dec 15

Inter-World Life Transport Argued

From: William Scott Scherk <wss@uniserve.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 00:37:31 -0800
Fwd Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 16:18:37 -0500
Subject: Inter-World Life Transport Argued

Source: BBC News Online


Wednesday, 10 December, 2003

Inter-world life transport argued

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor

Life could quickly spread throughout the galaxy Astronomers may
have shown how microbes from Earth could be spread throughout
the galaxy taking life to other worlds.

Scientists at Armagh Observatory and Cardiff University say
bacteria could get into space on rocks blasted off the planet by
an asteroid or comet impact.

Their calculations then indicate the microbes would eventually
leak out of our Solar System to seed other regions.

The work is reported in two independent papers published in the
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The implication of the papers is that life could be widespread
throughout the galaxy and may not have originated on our planet.

Plenty enough for life

The research advances the case for modern-day panspermia - the
controversial idea that life started elsewhere in space and came
to Earth when it was young.

Dr Max Wallis and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of Cardiff
University calculate how debris from Earth, thrown into space as
a result of a giant impact, would become incorporated in the
frozen outer layers of comets.

Possible fossil microbes have been identified in Martian
meteorites Eventually, after hundreds of millions of years, some
of these comets would reach the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt - a region
inhabited by small worlds made of rock and ice.

Because comets gradually leak into interstellar space from this
region, some would eventually reach clouds of gas and dust that
are new planetary systems in formation.

In these systems, the trapped microbes would be liberated and,
if the conditions were right, introduce life on to the surfaces
of primitive planets.

Wallis and Wickramasinghe are encouraged in their belief that
microbes can survive on such a journey for hundreds of millions,
if not billions, of years, by recent discoveries of microbes
that have survived for similar periods encased in rock in the

Their detailed calculations suggest that between a few kilograms
and perhaps a tonne of material containing microbes could be
passed from our Solar System to others.

They say that one kg of "spore-bearing material is plenty for
seeding a new planetary system with life". Full text: