Dust from the great beyond

Interstellar grains seen by the Cassini spacecraft lend support to the old panspermia hypothesis.
By Dirk Schulze-Makuch
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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If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens … WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens … WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life

by Stephen Webb

In a 1950 conversation at Los Alamos, four world-class scientists generally agreed, given the size of the Universe, that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations must be present. But one of the four, Enrico Fermi, asked, “If these civilizations do exist, where is everybody?” Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 million stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 million galaxies in the Universe, it stands to reason that somewhere out there, in the 14 billion-year-old cosmos, there is or once was a civilization at least as advanced as our own. Webb discusses in detail the 50 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi’s famous paradox.

A few real reviews for the book on Amazon:
Science and science fiction collide to pose answers to a fundamental question about our universe

If the universe is so old and so big, shouldn’t there have been ample opportunities for other solar systems, planets, life forms, intelligence, and technology to form? Some these civilizations must be millions of years older than us on Earth, so surely should have developed the capability to communicate and travel through from star to star and galaxy to galaxy. But we haven’t heard from or seen anybody else. Where is everybody?
This a big and provocative question that has scientific, philosophical, and religious implications. Webb breaks the question down by posing 50 possible solutions to this paradox. He brings in concepts from physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, history, geology, science fiction, sociology, cognition, and engineering. To think about this question involves the combination of so many disciplines, and that’s why it’s so very intriguing. Not only that, our best answers are at the frontiers of most of these fields of knowledge. So, in this book you get a whirlwind tour of the biggest thinking, cutting edge, and open questions in so many different areas. I recommend this book to science lovers and science fiction lovers.

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Polonnaruwa – Hard evidence of panspermia, or bad science?

Sounds exciting, but we’re skeptical so far.

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.