Astrophysics and Space Science

, 363:244 | Cite as

Comets, Enceladus and panspermia

  • N. C. Wickramasinghe
  • Dayal T. WickramasingheEmail author
  • Edward J. Steele


A growing body of evidence suggests the operation of life and life processes in comets as well in larger icy bodies in the solar system including Enceladus. Attempts to interpret such data without invoking active biology are beginning to look weak and flawed. The emerging new paradigm is that life is a cosmic phenomenon as proposed by Hoyle and Wickramasinghe (Lifecloud: the Origin of Life in the Galaxy, 1978) and first supported by astronomical spectroscopy (Wickramasinghe and Allen, Nature 287:518, 1980; Allen and Wickramasinghe, Nature 294:239, 1981; Wickramasinghe and Allen, Nature 323:44, 1986). Comets are the transporters and amplifiers of microbial life throughout the Universe and are also, according to this point of view, the carriers of viruses that contribute to the continued evolution of life. Comets brought life to Earth 4.2 billion years ago and they continue to do so. Space extrapolations of comets, Enceladus and possibly Pluto supports this point of view. Impacts of asteroids and comets on the Earth as well as on other planetary bodies leads to the ejection of life-bearing dust and rocks and a mixing of microbiota on a planetary scale and on an even wider galactic scale. It appears inevitable that the entire galaxy will be a single connected biosphere.


Enceladus Comets Interstellar dust 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. C. Wickramasinghe
    • 4
    • 5
    • 1
  • Dayal T. Wickramasinghe
    • 4
    • 2
    Email author
  • Edward J. Steele
    • 4
    • 3
  1. 1.Buckingham Centre for AstrobiologyUniversity of BuckinghamBuckinghamUK
  2. 2.College of Physical and Mathematical SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.5CY O’Connor ERADE Village FoundationPiara WatersAustralia
  4. 4.Centre for AstrobiologyUniversity of RuhunaMataraSri Lanka
  5. 5.Institute for the Study of Panspermia and AstrobiologyGifuJapan

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