Alien life riddle of red rain

An exploding meteor has showered the Earth with particles of alien life, say scientists.
The blast, high in the atmosphere, happened when our planet ran into a chunk from a passing comet.
Within days, showers of red rain were reported to be falling over parts of India.
Now scientists who have examined the water say they contained particles like red blood cells.
The conclusions by two scientists at the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, India, are sparking a wave of controversy among astronomers.
Reports of blood-coloured rain began in the Indian state of Kerala in July, 2001. Most came in the first ten days but further red rain fell for another two months across hundreds of miles of countryside.
The two researchers, Dr Godfrey Louis and Dr Santhosh Kumarat, have spent years analysing samples of the water under electron microscopes.
In a paper just published by the journal Astrophysics and Space Science they say: “These particles have no similarity with usual desert dust. They are not possibly of terrestrial origin.”
The scientists say that at least five tons of the alien particles, containing carbon and oxygen, fell in the red rain. And they say their analysis proves it cannot have come from a dust storm.
They say: “Study of the red particles shows fine cell structure indicating their biological cell like nature” – but they add that DNA, a vital part of Earthly life, is not present in the cells.
“It appears that these particles may have originated from the atmospheric disintegration of cometary meteor fragments. Are these cell like particles a kind of alternate life from space?”
The discovery is a boost for a theory championed by some scientists called panspermia that life and viruses inclusing flu epidemics were brought to Earth by comets.
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, director of Cardiff University’s Centre for Astrobiology, said yesterday: “I think more careful examination of the red rain material is needed, but there seems to be a strong case at first glance to suggest that this may be correct.”

© Paul Sutherland. Unauthorised reproduction forbidden.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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