Traces of extraterrestrial life hidden in the dust?

Dust ejected by other planets after collisions could carry traces of extraterrestrial life, a scientist has estimated in a new article published on Wednesday in theInternational Journal of Astrobiology the Cambridge.

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“I propose that we study well-preserved grains ejected from other worlds for potential signs of life,” said paper author Tomonori Totani, a researcher at the University of Tokyo. […] If there are signs of life in the specks of dust, not only could we be sure, but we could find out soon.”

In a big collision in space, parts of planets are propelled and can traverse vast distances over an enormous period of time, reported The Independant.

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If the larger chunks normally fall back to the planet or join another planet’s orbit, and the undersized chunks are unlikely to contain traces of life, some medium sized chunks might find some life, according to the researcher.

These chunks of dust would be one micrometer in size and therefore large enough to hold a cell, but small enough to leave their own solar system. By comparison, there are a million micrometers in a meter.

According to his calculations, about 100,000 grains could complete their trajectory on Earth each year.

“This estimate could be too high or too low, but the means to explore it already exist, so it seems like a worthwhile pursuit,” he concluded, according to the English media.