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Space Dust Collisions as a Planetary Escape Mechanism

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1282
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017


It is observed that hypervelocity space dust, which is continuously bombarding Earth, creates immense momentum flows in the atmosphere. Some of this fast space dust inevitably will interact with the atmospheric system, transferring energy and moving particles around, with various possible consequences. This paper examines, with supporting estimates, the possibility that by way of collisions the Earth-grazing component of space dust can facilitate planetary escape of atmospheric particles, whether they are atoms and molecules that form the atmosphere or larger-sized particles. An interesting outcome of this collision scenario is that a variety of particles that contain telltale signs of Earth's organic story, including microbial life and life-essential molecules, may be afloat in Earth's atmosphere. The present study assesses the capability of this space dust collision mechanism to propel some of these biological constituents into space. Key Words: Hypervelocity space dustCollisionPlanetary escapeAtmospheric constituentsMicrobial life. Astrobiology 17, xxx-xxx.

    Research areas

  • Hypervelocity space dust, Collision, Planetary escape, Atmospheric constituents, Microbial life, COSMIC DUST, UPPER TROPOSPHERE, ACCRETION RATE, MICROORGANISMS, MESOSPHERE, PROTECTION, ATMOSPHERE, TURBULENCE, SURVIVAL, EJECTION

ID: 51582898