Life as we know now might have derived its origin from the particles that were brought to Earth along with space dust. According to previous speculations, large asteroids falling towards Earth was the only mechanism which introduced new life from one planet to the other. The new study reveals that there might just be another route which contributed to the presence of life on Earth. The space dust carries tiny life forms that act as the base for life which survived the harsh space condition and managed to reach Earth’s surface. The same mechanism could also introduce Earth-based particles to other planets.
According to the research, the fast movement of interplanetary dust brought tiny organisms along with it to the Earth’s atmosphere. These dust streams have the potential to collide with Earth-based biological particles which when paired with enough energy could knock them into space making a pathway to different sections of the endless space. The research was conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Edinburgh. This study calculated the average speed of space dust, which was around 70km/second, which held the potential to collide with Earth’s atmosphere and associated particles.
According to Professor Arjun Berera, study author, small particles that exist around 150km above the Earth’s surface can easily get knocked past Earth’s gravity enabling it to reach a projectile pathway to get to other planets. This also enabled the interchange of biological as well as atmospherical particles between different planets. The tardigrades are a section of organisms that can survive the harsh conditions of space. Various species of bacteria, plants as well as some little animals form the term tardigrades. In cases where these tardigrades are found in the upper atmospheric zone of the planet, they could easily be carried to another one via the space dust. The journal Astrobiology carried the findings of this study.
This provides evidence which is enough to state that millions of years ago, micro-organisms that hunched a ride along with space dust fell into the earth’s surface and contributed to the ecosystem of our blue planet. This term is known as panspermia, which means, the life that evolved in Earth after Space dust brought in the building blocks of life could also be found somewhere else in the Solar System. This certainly raises questions for the alien life we have been searching for centuries. It could so happen that we are the aliens we have been attempting to make contact with as the panspermia theory suggests that the organisms that led to the formation of our ecosystem could have been a part of some other planet.
This study might provide insights into the fundamental functionalities of possible life on other planets if they derive the same molecular base such as amino acid. However, there has been no evidence as of now to suggest that the particles that colonized life on Earth might have survived on other planets as well. No proof has been derived to conclude that these molecular life structures could survive the harsh effects of Space like radiation, lack of atmosphere and much more. This study provides a whole new perspective to look at any potential extra-terrestrial life beyond the boundaries of Earth.