Recently in the Panspermia Category


Potential microbial contamination of Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, which can be brought about by transportation of Mars ejecta produced by meteoroid impacts on the Martian surface, has been comprehensively assessed in a statistical approach, based on the most probable history of recent major gigantic meteoroid collisions on the Martian surface.

Planet Seeding And Panspermia

The first detection of an interstellar asteroid/comet-like object visiting the solar system two years ago has sparked the ideas about the possibility of interstellar travel.

Time is arguably the key limiting factor for interstellar exploration. At high speeds, flyby missions to nearby stars by laser propelled wafersats taking 50-100 years would be feasible.

Galactic Panspermia

We present an analytic model to estimate the total number of rocky or icy objects that could be captured by planetary systems within the Milky Way galaxy and result in panspermia should they harbor life. We estimate the capture rate of objects ejected from planetary systems over the entire phase space as well as time.

As discoveries of multiple planets in the habitable zone of their parent star mount, developing analytical techniques to quantify extrasolar intra-system panspermia will become increasingly important.

We estimate the capture rate of interstellar objects by means of three-body gravitational interactions. We apply this model to the Sun-Jupiter system and the Alpha Centauri A\B binary system, and find that the radius of the largest captured object is a few tens of km and Earth-sized respectively.

With several short-period, Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone, the TRAPPIST-1 system potentially allows litho-panspermia to take place on very short timescales. We investigate the efficiency and speed of inter-planetary material transfer resulting from impacts onto the habitable zone planets.

We present a simple model for estimating the probability of interplanetary panspermia in the recently discovered system of seven planets orbiting the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, and find that panspermia is potentially orders of magnitude more likely to occur in the TRAPPIST-1 system compared to the Earth-to-Mars case.

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars.

A fundamental astrobiological question is whether life arose spontaneously on earth or was transported here from an extrasolar system.