Has Earth Seeded Life on Other Planets?
Ancient asteroid strikes may have carried life on Earth to another planet, say astronomers. They say it could have happened when the Earth was forming around our sun some 4 billion years ago.
What's the Latest Development?
New astronomical data suggest that life on Earth may have been carried to foreign planets as a result of ancient asteroid strikes. "The idea is if a planet has life, like Earth, and if you hit it with an asteroid, it will create debris, some of which will escape into space," said astronomer Mauri Valtonen of the University of Turku in Finland. Astronomers theorize that life would have been most easily carried to other planets some 4 billion years ago when our sun existed among thousands of nearby baby stars and their planets, which were just beginning to form.
What's the Big Idea?
To search for foreign star systems where Earth's brand of life might currently exist, Valtonen is now looking for stars that may have been born in the same nursery as our sun. So far, he has found two stars, which given their current trajectory and distance from the sun, may be its cousins. Were an asteroid strike to have thrown some Earthly amino acids into space, they could have been shielded in a piece of debris just one meter across for millions of years, until that debris landed someplace. "If it happens to land on a planet with suitable conditions," said Valtonen, "life can start there."
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.