Earth life may have traveled to Venus aboard sky-skimming asteroid

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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The report of phosphine detection in the atmosphere of Venus, kicked off a large amount of press lately. I did some digging into a number of reports on this important finding used to support astrobiology and the hypothesis of abiogenesis. Jupiter and Saturn are reported to contain phosphine or PH3 in their atmospheres too. Here is a report indicating that phosphine is known at Jupiter and Saturn. 'Phosphine on Jupiter and Saturn from Cassini/CIRS', https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009Icar..202..543F/abstract, August 2009
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Looks like this article touches on this topic: https://www.space.com/phosphine-venus-clouds-chemical-explained.html

"Phosphine is a chemical compound made up of one atom of phosphorus and three atoms of hydrogen, and scientists have also spotted it on Earth, Jupiter and Saturn. On the gas giants, it's quite prevalent in the atmospheres, both of which are rich in hydrogen. On Earth, where the atmosphere leans more toward oxygen compounds, it's much shorter-lived, and the same ought to be true on Venus. "
 
Sep 24, 2020
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The last time I checked, asteroids entering even the fringes of the atmosphere reach over 2k degrees F. It is hard to imagine any life surviving that.
I just checked the reference cited by the authors. It is a paper from 2004 by Napier, W. M. 2004, MNRAS, 348, 46 . Here is an excerpt:

Boulders more than 20 cm across, ejected from the topmost layers of an impact site, are probably never heated to more than 100◦C in their interiors during the few seconds’ flight time from ground to space, while bacteria seem able to survive the accelerations involved(Mastrapa et al. 2001). Thus bacteria within such boulders will survive ejection into space.

Ejected into space from impacts, not entering the atmosphere from space.
 
Dec 16, 2019
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Sep 21, 2020
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Ejected into space from impacts, not entering the atmosphere from space.
" Furtherwork is needed to investigate the existence and abun-dance of microbial life in the upper atmosphere, partic-ularly at the altitude considered here,∼85 km, at which Earth-grazing object would avoid significant heating. "

So, their argument hinges on the assertion that object grazing that high up would not get that hot. They argue that a porous object could graze very high up in the atmosphere, pickup any microbes up there in their pores, and in very deep pores >10cm where the temperatures may not get so high the microbes may survive.

The paper isn't peer reviewed and I'm personally not equipped to say if their reasoning is fully sound. It's a pretty short paper and pretty light on details. They are just pointing out that it's a a possiblity that needs further investigation.
 
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Sep 21, 2020
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What is the probability that an asteroid could have done this?

It seems highly improbable that an asteroid could skim earth's atmosphere pick up microbes, escape earth gravity, then end up in Venus' atmosphere.

From the paper: " The asteroid belthas been in steady-state for∼3.7 Gyr, implying that during this period,∼6e5 Earth-grazing asteroids of mass∼60 kg have impacted Venuswithin∼105yr of interacting with the Earth. "

But they don't try to quantify the chances of those asteroids picking-up microbes.
 
Dec 16, 2019
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From the paper: " The asteroid belthas been in steady-state for∼3.7 Gyr, implying that during this period,∼6e5 Earth-grazing asteroids of mass∼60 kg have impacted Venuswithin∼105yr of interacting with the Earth. "

But they don't try to quantify the chances of those asteroids picking-up microbes.
Yeah, it seems these asteroids need an arbitery trip through gravities to perform these feats, I'm unconvinced there are ANY such occurrences of these SuperRocks, and the paper is just rushed out to oppose the team who discovered the Phosphine .
 

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