Podcast: Astrobiology with Cosmic Rays
Our “BlueSciCon” podcast for July features a conversation with Dr. Dimitra Atri titled “Astrobiology with Cosmic Rays“.
The sun provides the primary energy source for life on Earth, and biologists have also speculated that geothermal heat near oceanic vents may have also provided energy for early forms of life. But could life survive on other forms of energy? Galactic cosmic rays are charged particles with origins from outside our solar system, and Dr. Atri suggests that these cosmic rays could be enough to keep a microbial ecosystem alive. This could provide ways for cold icy worlds, or even rogue planets floating in space, to harbor enough energy to maintain conditions that allow the persistence of life.