The question of the emergence of life on Earth has tortured scientific minds for centuries. With the impressive advances in modern science, more and more studies start to unveil the mystery of our origins. Could life have started somewhere else in the universe after all?
The results of a new study at Princeton University in the U.S. confirm the theory of panspermia, according to which life on Earth came from space. Whenever the surface of a planet is hit by a large asteroid, many small and large pieces of soil and rocks are hurled into space (the same happens in very large volcanic eruptions).
The theory of panspermia is based on the hypothesis that on both planets of our solar system and planets in other solar systems there were microbial life forms located on pieces of soil thrown into space. The proponents of the theory argue that these microbes were so strong that they managed to survive even after such terrible collisions and explosions, and then in the extreme conditions of space.
So when a few billion years ago some of these space rocks fell to Earth, they brought these forms of life, which began to adapt and evolve in the terrestrial conditions.
The study conducted by the researchers of Princeton University shows that microbes could survive in a difficult and long journey through space despite their exposure to high levels of cosmic radiation.
“Our work is probably the first to show that panspermia is a very likely scenario. If this mechanism really works like this, it can be linked to life not only on Earth but throughout the universe,” says Edward Belbruno, who led the research team.
If the theory of panspermia gets confirmed, this would mean that life in the universe will have common characteristics with those of life on Earth. The results of the research were published in the Astrobiology journal.
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