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Dynamical and Biological Panspermia Constraints Within Multiplanet Exosystems

Presentation #1004 in the session “Open Engagement Session A”.

Published onMar 17, 2021
Dynamical and Biological Panspermia Constraints Within Multiplanet Exosystems

As discoveries of multiple planets in the habitable zone of their parent star mount, developing analytical techniques to quantify extrasolar intra-system panspermia will become increasingly important. Here, we provide user-friendly prescriptions that describe the asteroid impact characteristics which would be necessary to transport life both inwards and outwards within these systems within a single framework. Our focus is on projectile generation and delivery, and our expressions are algebraic, eliminating the need for the solution of differential equations. We derive a probability distribution function for life-bearing debris to reach a planetary orbit and describe the survival of microorganisms during planetary ejection, their journey through interplanetary space, and atmospheric entry.

This work is based on the published Astrobiology journal article:

Veras et al. (2018, Astrobiology, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp.1106-1122)

For example, this figure illustrates how the kick direction from the panspermia-generated collision affects the inclination of the ejecta orbit.

This figure illustrates the probability of life-bearing ejecta intersecting the orbits of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system:

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