Space Dust Brings Water and Organics to Planets Simultaneously

space dust planets

Space dust is a mover and shaper of the solar system.

Researchers have discovered a surprising characteristic of interplanetary space dust; it seeds planets with necessary components for life. Interplanetary dust particles found in space allows water and organic compounds (containing carbon) to be delivered to the Earth and other planets. The researchers made the discovery by using a very high powered transmission electron microscope to directly view space dust, as well as the water created through the reaction of dust and solar wind. The research team’s members came from many different universities and laboratories, including the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and University of California – Berkeley.

interplanetary space dust close up

A particle of interplanetary space dust.

The discovery marks the first time scientists have been able to prove that water and organics can be delivered to planets simultaneously. The water and organics transported by interplanetary space dust make up all that is needed for life as we know it to thrive and eventually evolve into complex organisms.

Related Article: New Ecosystem Discovered: Glacier Mice

Space dust originates from comets, asteroids, and the leftover elements from the creation of the solar system (it’s a very messy and chaotic process). All planets in our solar system, including our own, are constantly being bathed in this space dust. Before the dust mixes with our atmosphere though it is bombarded by hydrogen ions found in solar wind. The ion attack knocks around the atoms composing the silicate minerals of the interplanetary space dust. This leaves behind free floating oxygen that readily bonds with hydrogen to create H2O. In this way space water is crated.

Related Article: Water Droplets Now Used as Computers

Hope Ishii, new Associate Researcher in the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) at UH Mānoa’s SOEST and co-author of the study is very excited about the find, stating that,

It is a thrilling possibility that this influx of dust has acted as a continuous rainfall of little reaction vessels containing both the water and organics needed for the eventual origin of life on Earth and possibly Mars.

interplanetary space dust moon water

Celebrities pay top dollar for 12 ounces of moon water.

There’s no reason to believe that this process of solar rain is not taking place in other solar systems as well.

Another mystery this study may help solve concerns our closest celestial neighbor, the moon. Because the moon contains a great deal of silicate material that is directly bombarded by interplanetary space dust and solar wind, this study may explain how OH and ice water formed and continue to be found on the moon. The researchers are very clear however that this study does not account for all of the water found on Earth. Ishi states that,

In no way do we suggest that it was sufficient to form oceans, for example. However, the relevance of our work is not the origin of the Earth’s oceans but that we have shown continuous, co-delivery of water and organics intimately intermixed.

The researchers are planning further studies which will estimate the amount of water delivered to Earth by interplanetary space dust.

Related Article: Titan’s Atmosphere Can Make DNA

Solar wind, solar dust, solar rain: these terms give life to the solar system as a whole and present the Earth as a single hill or knoll in an incredibly expansive solar ecosystem. I hope one day we are able to leave our hill and pioneer into the greater galactic jungle.



Mars, The First Frontier?!

In science news lately there has been quite a bustle about life on Mars. Not now, or rather, not about there being life on Mars right now, but about the likelihood of life on Earth originating from Mars. That’s right, our red brother could be responsible for the habitability of our mother Earth.

According to biochemist Steven Benner of the Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida, life came from a meteorite that originated from Mars. In essence, Mars has been deemed our creator. Let’s be serious for a second though, this is quite a discovery. Benner says that Earth was originally completely covered in water and that there was no room for life because of the corrosive effect water has on RNA. Why RNA you say? Without RNA there is no DNA and thus no life. So this meteorite, whether sent intentionally or sent due to a cataclysm on Mars, carried some RNA that helped spawn life on Earth. A little far-fetched, yet not all too unrealistic. To skeptics and critics Benner simply says:

Related Article: Sign Me Up For Mars!

It’s lucky that we ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life, if our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell.

Now whether you are religious or you are completely for science in the explanation of human evolution/creation, this article still pertains to you! Is it so impossible to believe that maybe, just maybe we were created on Mars? That Mars, like Krypton, was in a state of panic and they sent out a ship to Earth to inhabit it? Or maybe we were expanding to Earth and some catastrophic events lead to the annihilation of life on Mars? Let us think about human history for a little; world wars, greed, power, resources, gain, want. We want and want and keep wanting, it is in our nature, and because of our wants and needs we destroy not only ourselves but everyone around us. Who says we aren’t just repeating some ancient history of ours that was completely forgotten due to complete, well almost complete, annihilation?

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Whew. Tangent. Anyway, you get the idea. For all the time Earth has been around and our universe has been around, we shouldn’t get conceded with the idea that our four thousand years of recorded history is all the life our universe has to offer. Open your minds, there is definitely life somewhere out there. In that ever expanding universe, somewhere, someone, or something, is waiting. Cheers to intelligent life!

Related Article: Life, It’s All Over the Place



Wikipedia: Steven Benner

Science Now: Earth Life Likely Came from Mars, Study Suggests

Wikipedia: Krypton

The Fall of Atlantis

Wondergressive: Sign Me Up For Mars!

Wondergressive: Imminent Western Intervention in Syria

2800 Year Old Lake Life Survives in Complete Isolation

Scientists have discovered thriving bacteria living in Lake Vida in East Antarctica, a lake that is seven times as salty as the sea, pitch black, and 13 degrees below freezing.  Most interestingly, it has been buried for over 2800 years under 20 meters of ice.

The scientists believe that the bacteria, shut off from sunlight for 1000’s of years, evolved to be able to  survive by metabolising hydrogen and oxides of nitrogen that Vida’s salty, oxygen-free water has been found to contain.

The team hopes this will reveal information about potential life living under and within ice on other planets and moons.

Peter Doran of the University of Illinois, Chicago explains that:

Lake Vida is a model of what happens when you try to freeze a lake solid, and this is the same fate that any lakes on Mars would have gone through as the planet turned colder from a watery past.  Any Martian water bodies that did form would have gone through this Vida stage before freezing solid, entombing the evidence of the past ecosystem.

The team’s next expedition, which started on November 25th, will be drilling into Lake Ellsworth, also situated in Antarctica.  It is 3 km deep. If they do find living bacteria in Ellsworth too, I think it’s safe to begin preparing for the Martian greeting ceremony.

Life is everywhere!



New Scientist: Lake life survives in total isolation for 3000 years

Lake Ellsworth Antarctica