Is it possible for a virus to come from a meteorite?

  • So I am not a true scientist and I was just wondering if an extraterrestrial rock from space can have some dangerous unidentified virus or bacteria that can be deadly and wipe out the Earth if it not quarantined. Is this science fiction?.



    P.S.: Note I said extraterrestrial rocks not extraterrestrial as in aliens.


    Is it possible to get hit in the balls by a meteorite when you were scoring the last goal of the world cup? sure it's possible.

    Love this question!

  • HDE 226868

    HDE 226868 Correct answer

    6 years ago

    There is, believe it or not, a scientific theory regarding this: panspermia.



    According to the panspermia hypothesis, microbes "hitch" a lift on bodies leaving a planet. They then travel through space and eventually land somewhere else.
    Panspermia involves three difficult phases of travel:




    • Launch (as well as the impact event)

    • Travel in the harsh environment of space

    • Atmospheric entry and landing, with high temperatures



    It's difficult to survive these. However, materials related to organic matter have been found that might be evidence of panspermia; see Bell et al. (2015) for one example.



    Panspermia is traditionally applied to bacteria known as extremophiles, which are accustomed to living in harsh environments. Space contains temperatures ranging from hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit to hundreds of degrees below zero, and any organism would have to survive those. This may be possible - bacteria have survived in conditions like there - but difficult.



    Viruses pose an additional challenge because they cannot survive long without a host organism on which to live. This means they would have to be carried along by an extremophilic bacteria. This also means that they might not be a huge harm to creatures on Earth. Viruses only attack certain bacteria because of proteins on their surfaces; extraterrestrial biology most likely differs from that on Earth, and these viruses might not be equipped to harm terrestrial organisms.


    what about the water bear there can survire a lot of wild temperatues and ems radations

    @HenryWHHack No; the two are completely different. That doesn't mean that viruses can't survive in space, though.

    So if a virus came form space will it be look at as an aliens because there space beings

    @HenryWHHack I don't understand what you mean, partly because of your grammar.

    Racemization of amino acids is a problem over the time it would take a rock to travel light years: http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~bcohen/publications/Cohen_Amino.pdf Cosmic rays are also likely to hit and damage DNA. However, we really don't have much in the way of good numbers as to how fast these processes act in space.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM