In a major breakthrough, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has discovered micro-life, not known to exist on earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, internationally acclaimed astrophysicist Jayant Vishnu Narlikar disclosed here on Wednesday.
Delivering a lecture on “the search for micro-life in the earth’s atmosphere” at Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University here, Mr Narlikar, the founder-director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCCA), referred to two successful balloon tests done in 2001 and 2005 under the guidance of the Isro. He said air samples collected by releasing the balloons up to a height of 41 km in 2005 had confirmed the presence of micro-organisms not known otherwise on earth.
Air was pumped into stainless steel tubes 41 km from earth’s surface. A thorough research on the contents was carried out in testing laboratories at Cardiff in UK and in India.
“The scientists found a total of 12 bacteria of which three were not belonging to planet earth. The new bacteria were immune to bombardment by ultraviolet rays, unlike bacteria found on earth’s surface,” Mr Narlikar revealed.
According to him, the new bacteria, two of which were named after Indian astronomer Aryabhatt and Isro, could have slipped into earth’s atmosphere, after coming into contact with the tail of a comettravelling through the space.
“These new life forms could have been trapped into the comet’s tail as they travelled through space and found their way into earth’s atmosphere when they passed alongside,” he said.
He suggested the moon be scanned for micro-organism in its environment, especially in areas where traces of water have been found. Asian Age