Exporting Terrestrial Life Out of the Solar System with Gravitational Slingshots of Earthgrazing Bodies

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Earth Grazing Asteroid

Exporting terrestrial life out of the Solar System requires a process that both embeds microbes in boulders and ejects those boulders out of the Solar System.

We explore the possibility that Earthgrazing long-period comets and interstellar objects could export life from Earth by collecting microbes from the atmosphere and receiving a gravitational slingshot effect from the Earth. We estimate the total number of exportation events over the lifetime of the Earth to be ∼1−10 for long-period comets and ∼1−50 for interstellar objects.

If life existed above an altitude of 100 km, then the number is dramatically increased up to ∼105 exportation events over Earth's lifetime.

Amir Siraj, Abraham Loeb
(Submitted on 14 Oct 2019)

Comments: 4 pages, 2 figures; submitted for publication
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1910.06414 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1910.06414v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Amir Siraj
[v1] Mon, 14 Oct 2019 20:44:11 UTC (152 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.06414
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