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Can spores survive in interstellar space?


Inactivation of spores (Bacillus subtilis) has been investigated for the first time in the laboratory by vacuum ultraviolet radiation in simulated interstellar conditions. Remarkably, damage produced at the normal interstellar particle temperature of 10 K is less than at higher temperatures, the major damage being produced by radiation in the 2,000–3,000 Å range. Our results place constraints on the panspermia hypothesis.

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Weber, P., Greenberg, J. Can spores survive in interstellar space?. Nature 316, 403–407 (1985).

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