Scientists have long been speculating about what processes on other worlds might have given rise to life, reports livescience.com.
One such process, known as panspermia, involves the transportation of life from one planet to another on asteroids and comets that have come in contact with an inhabited world.
While this hypothesis is often put forward as an explanation to how life first began on our own world, the suggestion that this might have occurred the other way around is given relatively little consideration.
Can ancient Earth microbes have migrated to a planet in a distant solar system?
Such a scenario is actually possible according to the astrophysicists Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb.
The two hypothesize that a large, fast-moving comet might have grazed the atmosphere of our planet in the distant past of Earth, picking up microbes that got embedded deep within its surface.
If any of these managed to survive space traveling for thousands or even millions of years, it is not inconceivable that they could have ended up depositing on a planet in a distant solar system.
This means another planet out there could be inhabited by life seeded from Earth.
“It’s a brand new field of science,” said Siraj.