On the possibility of microbiota transfer from Venus to Earth
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- Wickramasinghe, N.C. & Wickramasinghe, J.T. Astrophys Space Sci (2008) 317: 133. doi:10.1007/s10509-008-9851-2
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The possibility of the clouds of Venus providing habitats for extremophilic microorganisms has been discussed for several decades. We show here that the action of the solar wind leads to erosion of parts of the atmosphere laden with aerosols and putative microorganisms, forming a comet-like tail in the antisolar direction. During inferior conjunctions that coincide with transits of the planet Venus this comet-like tail intersects the Earth’s magnetopause and injects aerosol particles. Data from ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft and from SOHO are used to discuss the ingress of bacteria from Venus into the Earth’s atmosphere, which we estimate as ∼1011–1013 cells for each transit event.