Meteoroids, according to Wikipedia, are fragments of material that wander through space and have a size that varies between smaller than an asteroid and larger than stardust. However, this insignificance is reversed in light of the hypothesis that these bodies were responsible for taking up phosphine molecules into Venus’ atmosphere.
Venus’s sulfur-containing clouds appear artificially colored blue in the image taken by the Galileo spacecraft in February 1990. (NASA / JPL / Disclosure)
Phosphine, a molecule made up of one phosphorus and three hydrogen atoms, is found in microbes that live in animals. Last week it was found in the upper layers of the neighboring planet, where the temperature and pressure are comparable to those of sea level on Earth.
The hypothesis arose from a memory of two Harvard University researchers, famed astrophysicist Abraham (Avi) Loeb, who heads the department, and his graduate student Amir Siraj. The memory is of the roughly 60 kilogram meteorite that crossed the Australian sky in July 2017, flew through Earth’s upper atmosphere and scared half a land, then returned to Deep Space.
In April, Loeb and Siraj published an article claiming that it was possible that these meteoroids (which occasionally traverse the upper parts of our atmosphere) act like panthermic agents, with panspermy hypothesizing that life moves from one world to another. the other jumps. carried by celestial objects such as meteoroids, meteors and comets throughout the universe – Loeb is a big fan of this idea.
“The total number of objects [potentially life-bearing] captured by exoplanetary systems over the life of the solar system is 100 million to 10 billion. Each of them has the potential to carry 10 to 1,000 living microbes in their passage through the Earth’s atmosphere, ” Siraj and Loeb wrote in the study published in April this year in the science journal Life.
According to Siraj and Loeb, the July 2017 meteoroid, following its passage through Earth’s atmosphere, took about 10,000 microbial colonies to accompany it on its journey through space.