Super-Earth Unlikely Able to Transfer Life to Other Planets

While scientists believe conditions suitable for life might exist on the so-called “super-Earth” in the Gliese 581 system, it’s unlikely to be transferred to other planets within that solar system.

“One of the big scientific questions is how did life get started and how did it spread through the universe,” said Jay Melosh, distinguished professor of earth and atmospheric sciences. “That question used to be limited to just the Earth, but we now know in our solar system there is a lot of exchange that takes place, and it’s quite possible life started on Mars and came to Earth. There’s also been a great deal of discussion about the possible spread of life in the universe from star to star.”

Moon rocks and Mars meteorites have been found on Earth, which led Melosh to previously suggest living microbes could be exchanged among planets in a similar manner.

A Purdue research team has found that, in contrast to our own solar system, the exchange of living microbes between “super-Earth” and planets in that solar system is not likely to occur.

Laci Brock, a student studying interdisciplinary physics and planetary science, and Melosh will present those findings March 20 at the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.

Brock examined the Gliese 581 planetary system because Planet d, known as super-Earth, falls in a “habitable zone” where liquid water could possibly exist.

“Laci has found the somewhat surprising result that it is very difficult for materials to spread throughout that system in the same way it could take place in our solar system,” Melosh said.

All four planets found in Gliese 581 are within close proximity to their central star, which results in large orbital velocities, Brock said. However, the initial velocity of material leaving Planet d is not enough to allow exchanges among planets.

“Planet d would have a very small chance of transferring material to the other planets in the Gliese system and, thus, is far more isolated, biologically, than the inner planets of our own solar system,” Brock said. “It really shows us how unique our solar system is.”

Melosh said a more extended solar system would be needed for exchange of materials among planets.

“None of the solar systems that have been found so far would have opportunities for exchange of life among the different planets like what our own solar system offers,” he said.

The Opik-Arnold method was used to simulate 10,000 particles being ejected from Planet e and super-Earth. The velocity ranges of the particles were scaled from each of the planet’s orbital velocities, which is very high by solar system standards due to the close proximity to their central star.

“Ejections from Planet d have a low probability of impact on any other planet than itself, and most ejected particles would enter an initial hyperbolic orbit and be ejected from the planetary system,” Brock said.

Several members of Purdue’s planetary sciences department are attending the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, presenting research on possible biologic contamination of Mars’ moon Phobos by microbes from the surface of Mars; the formation of jets on comets; and gravity anomalies around large lunar craters.

“Purdue has quite a showing of different people at this conference to showcase their work,” Melosh said.

by Brian Peloza | Purdue University

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Scientists grow human tooth

Scientists in China say they have successfully grown a human tooth using stem cells taken from urine.

People Can See Sound. Here Is How!

People can actually see SOUND. Researchers have found out that, in some cases, when the part of the brain devoted to sight is small,...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Racial wounds rip open under a president with a history of exploiting them

President Donald Trump has spent much of his adult life building his brand around racial divisions.

Scientists grow human tooth

Scientists in China say they have successfully grown a human tooth using stem cells taken from urine.

Robert De Niro Says the U.S. Replaced Science With Ignorance. And He’s Right.

Climate change was on everyone’s mind at today’s World Government Summit in Dubai. It’s not hard to see why. American Samoa was being hit by a tropical storm....

Tesla Wants To Kill Gasoline

Tesla Wants To Kill Gasoline By Sharing Its Electric Car Technology With Everyone In an attempt to spur innovation, Tesla Motors says that it will...

Superbugs ‘will kill 10m a year more’ by 2050

Global leaders urged to act on superbugs that could devastate world’s most populous countries such as India and China Failure to tackle drug-resistant infections will...

Swiss government proposes paying everyone $2,400 a month whether they work or not in a bid to end poverty

Swiss residents are to vote on a countrywide referendum about a radical plan to pay every single adult a guaranteed income of $600 a...

Pioneering Grandma Building Tiny Sustainable Homes Out of Hemp

The DEA considers hemp to be a dangerous substance and it’s still classified as a schedule I drug, alongside heroin and ecstasy, even though the plant...

China detains 10 people over bird flu rumours

Death toll from new strain of virus rises to nine out of 31 confirmed cases as authorities act to prevent public panic Chinese police have...

This Highly Conscious Conversation Will Blow Your Mind

This is a very interesting clip from a movie made in 1981 called ”My Dinner With Andre”. The film is centered around a conversation between...