Theoretically, something as trivial as dust is capable of transporting life from one planet to the other. As per a new study, fast-paced dust can kick out the microbes, which hover around a planet's atmosphere, into deep space and this way they can also send off the bugs to take a trip to some other planet, even the one that belongs to a completely different star system.
"The proposition that space-dust collisions could propel organisms over enormous distances between planets raises some exciting prospects of how life and the atmospheres of planets originated. The streaming of fast space dust is found throughout planetary systems and could be a common factor in proliferating life," said Arjun Berera, the author of the study and a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, in a statement.
However, he is not the first one to have proposed the theory of organisms jumping from one world to the other. Essentially this concept is called panspermia and it's been there since the ancient times. People have developed a renewed interest in this idea recently.
As per the reports, scientists have also conducted several experiments and verified that certain organisms, like some bacteria and tardigrades, a kind of micro-animals, are capable of surviving an extended period of time in space.
Generally, researchers conclude that simple life-form, such as the likes of bacteria, can only travel to space as a result of asteroid or comet impacts. So, it's also possible that some comet or asteroid impacts have carried simpler life forms of other planets to Earth. Several scientists have discovered a lot of meteorites on our planet, which were once a part of Mars. ALH84001 is one such meteorite, which, according to some experts, contains signs of primordial lives of the Red Planet.
While conducting the recent study, Berera has analysed what is likely to happen when interplanetary dust particles strike molecules of Earth's atmosphere. Space dust particles shower down upon our planet on a regular basis and hit Earth at a speed between 36,000 and 253,000 km per hour.
Berera calculated the numbers and concluded that theoretically, the tiny particles in Earth's atmosphere, that float around 150 kilometers above the planet's surface, can be kicked into deep space by these drifting space dust. However, it is still uncertain if microbes are capable of surviving such aggressive crashes, wrote Berera in his study paper.