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Can spores survive in interstellar space?Experimental evidence is presented for the effects of very low temperature and UV radiation, characteristic of the interstellar medium, on the survival of bacteria. In the most general space environment, 10 percent survival times are only of the order of hundreds of years, too short for panspermia to work. In a substantial fraction of space within dark clouds, however, it is shown that, even with conservative figures, survival times as long as millions to tens of millions of years are attainable. In such conditions, clouds could transport organisms from one solar system to another in times significantly shorter than the mean survival time. This occurs with significant probability.
Document ID
19850062238
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Weber, P. (Leiden Univ. Netherlands)
Greenberg, J. M. (Leiden Rijksuniversiteit, Netherlands)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 316
ISSN: 0028-0836
Subject Category
SPACE BIOLOGY
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NGR-33-018-148
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other