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Space dust may transport life between worlds

Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:19 pm

Life on our planet might have originated from biological particles brought to Earth in streams of space dust, a study suggests.

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.

The research from the University of Edinburgh calculated how powerful flows of space dust – which can move at up to 70 km a second – could collide with particles in our atmospheric system.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:35 pm



Life on our planet might have originated from biological particles brought to Earth in streams of space dust, a study suggests.

 
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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:38 pm

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Image credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA and S. Smartt (Queen's University Belfast)

Although a spiral shape is still just about visible in this close-up shot, overall NGC 428’s spiral structure appears to be quite distorted and warped, thought to be a result of a collision between two galaxies. There also appears to be a substantial amount of star formation occurring within NGC 428 — another telltale sign of a merger. When galaxies collide their clouds of gas can merge, creating intense shocks and hot pockets of gas, and often triggering new waves of star formation.

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