• LughOPMA
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    1021 days ago

    This is an interesting idea with a lot of merit. It centers around the idea of panspermia. That is, rocks and dust ejected from planets in asteroid impacts could carry the spores of simple life to other planets, perhaps even in other solar systems.

    These life forms may not have the biochemistry we expect. We think of oxygen atmospheres as a reliable biosignature, but there may be thriving life that doesn’t produce or need that.

    But they would have “something” in common, and it would be clustered around the orbits and dispersal of the ejecta that colonized these different worlds via panspermia. What this proposal is suggesting is to look for clusters of exoplanets with any common characteristics in these dispersal patterns, and zero in on them for closer examination.

    • @sbv@sh.itjust.works
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      521 days ago

      Let’s do this.

      It does assume life is capable of spreading via lithopanspermia. In all of the worlds we’ve examined (earth, Mars, the moon, maybe Venus if you’re feeling charitable), we have not seen evidence that lithopanspermia spreads life.

      But maybe it works elsewhere.