How did life begin on planet Earth? Japanese scientists have revitalized the idea of panspermia or Mars is the seed for all life on Earth.
This idea says that life on Earth came from the void of space. Specifically, it is a bacteria that was carried by asteroids over long distances to reach the solar system. So, Mars might play a big role in this hypothesis as it was once a thriving habitat with a large expanse of water.
One of the greatest paradoxes is how living bacteria survive the journey. Since, the expanse will be interplanetary or trans-galactic that involves light-years, reported CBC.
Getting answers to those questions will be done by scientists of the Japanese space agency, JAXA. The experiments were conducted on the International Space Station (ISS).
Scientists determined one of the possible answers in a study published that it is possible that there is some sort of shielding present on the bacteria in the void of space can resist ultraviolet radiation for 10- years
What are these shields?
The experiment on the ISS uses Deinococcal bacteria which has good resistance to radiation sources. Assembled as aggregates in degrees of varying thickness were installed on panels that held them in the station's exterior, for one, two, and three years that began in 2015.
In 2017, the results of the experiment were examined with surprising results. The top layer of the aggregates dies but acted like a barrier to keep the lower layer alive. Though despite the cover of the dead layer, if the lower layers live more than a year is under question.
One finding of the experiment is that aggregates that are thicker than 0.5 mm will survive under the top layer.
Another suggestion is that if the bacteria colony is thicker than one- millimeter, it will live up to eight years in the galactic void. Should a large colony be protected by rock, right after slamming into Mars, it might get deflected to Earth in 10 years' time.
According to Akihiko Yamagishi from Tokyo University, who is the main scientist in the ISS experiment on the durability of microorganisms, the results of the test show microbes are resistant enough from a Martian journey with sufficient protection during the trip. He added that it is proven and is not merely based on pure guesswork.
A common perception is that life is a rare occurrence in the big cosmos. Another is that it is widespread and rampant. This is with a suitable home world, so the panspermia is in every habitable part of the universe.
If the orbits of both Earth and Mars are at their closest, then the phenomena could happen. Transference of bacteria and the RNA World theory says that it came from Mars and seeded Earth. It led to life on the planet as we know it.
Several experiments were done to see if bacteria can live in space, but not all are as successful as this one in 2017.
The case for panspermia is not resolved and the exploration is just starting with probes sent to Mars.
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