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Came life from space?

Erich Schwarz schwarze.ccomail at starbase1.caltech.edu
Thu Oct 12 23:35:44 EST 1995


Sean Eddy wrote:

> Not that the hypothesis is testable, mind you.

    Well, maybe it is.  Given the Hubble Telescope and suchlike
instruments, you might *just* be able to detect blue planets around
something like Tau Ceti.

    If you find *any* planet with a strong oxygen signal in its spectrum,
that's pretty strong evidence for life right then and there -- free oxygen
being as chemically unstable as it is.

    The chief question then, I imagine, would be the age of the sun around
which the planet was orbiting.  If it's (say) 2 Gy older than ours, you've
got at least a vaguely plausible source from which microbes might have
arisen.


--Erich Schwarz



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