DailyDirt: All Kinds Of Bugs Living In Outer Space?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Panspermia isn't a crazy idea, especially when we seem to keep finding extremophiles that can survive in very harsh environments. The components of life may be traveling between planets or solar systems at a non-zero rate, seeding the universe with living materials. That said, life is still relatively fragile, but there may be some optimism in finding living specimens elsewhere than Earth. (First, though, we have to make sure we're not the ones contaminating our own solar system.) Here are just a few links on various organisms that might survive a trip in space -- without a space ship. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: astrobiology, et, extremophiles, insects, iss, lithopanspermia, microbes, panspermia, plankton, space

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2014 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Some microbial life (some virii, for instance)

    Setting aside whether a virus is "life" or not... even if a virus were to survive travel to another solar system, once it got there it wouldn't have anything to infect, so it would remain dormant forever. I'm therefore going to say that a virus doesn't count. Even a "clump of chemicals" can be affected by the cold/heat/radiation/physical force/time involved in an interstellar trip followed by a crash landing.

    But the sheer distance involved means that even if something capable of surviving the trip is launched, the odds of actually hitting something are vanishingly low - everything is so far away that almost no paths will actually hit anything. According to the latest XKCD What If (which is about whether a beam of light will hit something) "89,999 times out of 90,000, your beam will pass right out of the galaxy without hitting anything. When it does hit something, it will almost always be the Sun or the Moon." "The odds of hitting one of Jupiter's moons, for example, are on the order of one in a trillion. Stars are even worse. Your odds of hitting any star at all on your way out of the galaxy are almost zero, even if you aim for the core."

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