Dust from the great beyond

Interstellar grains seen by the Cassini spacecraft lend support to the old panspermia hypothesis.
By Dirk Schulze-Makuch
airspacemag.com
April 21, 2016

After analyzing ten years of data from the Cassini spacecraft that’s been orbiting Saturn since 2004, a team of scientists led by Nicolas Altobelli of the European Space Agency in Madrid, Spain, reports finding dust that came from outside our solar system. Along with millions of ice-rich dust particles shed by Saturn’s moons, Cassini’s Cosmic Dust Analyzer detected a grand total of 36 grains that the scientists could trace back to the local interstellar cloud. That cloud is an almost empty bubble of gas through which our solar system is currently moving.
The small interstellar dust grains were zipping past Saturn at speeds of over 72,000 kilometers per hour (44,000 mph), which explains how they avoided becoming gravitationally trapped by the sun. This marks the first time scientists have been able to analyze material from outside our solar system. Intriguingly, the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer saw the same kind of chemical and mineralogical make-up in the interstellar grains as it did in the local dust.
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Polonnaruwa – Hard evidence of panspermia, or bad science?

Sounds exciting, but we’re skeptical so far.

POLONNARUWA METEORITE WITH EVIDENCE OF LIFE FROM OUTER SPACE DESCRIBED THE MOST IMPORTANT FIND IN 500 YEARS
Posted on January 13th, 2013
by Walter Jayawardhana

A meteorite that Landed recently, close to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka has been described as the most important scientific discovery in the last 500 years as it carried “compelling evidence of life” from outer space.

The scientists who discovered the contents of the meteorite said, “we report here the first compelling evidence for life existing outside the earth.’

Following extensive lab work in the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka four scientists in a paper said , “We report the discovery for the first time of fossilized diatoms in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell on 29 December 2012”. Diatoms are a variety of algae.

They very firmly said contamination, a hazard scientists face when examining things fallen from the sky on the ground is excluded in the meteorite they have named Polonnaruwa.
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We’ll keep looking out for follow-up on this and further support by the scientists, one of whom is Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, the only scientist testifying for the defense of creationism and against evolution at the scientific/creationist trial in Arkansas.

Evidence grows on extraterrestrial origins of Earth life.

Still more compelling evidence:
Other than its unfortunate headline, “We’re all aliens… how humans began life in outer space“, this new article from Steve Connor at The Independent is a compendium of a few of the highlights of our favorite subject here at CosmicSeed.  Rather than being an announcement about 1 particular new discovery, it presents a well-rounded but all-to-brief overview of scientist’s opinions focusing on ammonia, nitrogen, and organic molecules from meteorites.

Charles Darwin solved the mystery of life’s wondrous diversity with his theory of natural selection. But even he was flummoxed by the ultimate mystery of mysteries: what led to the origin of life itself?

In trying to answer the problem, scientists have turned to the stars, or at least the “builders’ rubble” of meteorites and comets left over from the formation of our solar system some five billion years ago. These space rocks, they believe, could help to explain why life began here on Earth.

In fact, a growing body of evidence is now pointing to deep space as the possible source of the raw materials that formed the building blocks of life. The latest study, which focused on a class of meteorites that fell on to the Antarctic ice sheet, also suggests that life’s origins may have been extraterrestrial.

An analysis of the meteorites has revealed that these rocks can be induced, under high pressures and temperatures, to emit nitrogen-containing ammonia, a vital ingredient for the first self-replicating molecules that eventually led to DNA, the molecule at the heart of all life.

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