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Sep 11, 2013 06:12 AM EDT

British Scientists Collect Evidence of Alien Life from Stratosphere

Polar stratospheric clouds lit from below near Kiruna, in Sweden.
(Photo : Reuters) Polar stratospheric clouds lit from below near Kiruna, in Sweden.

Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, a 74-year-old astrobiologist and his team from the University of Sheffield believe to have found evidence of alien life after sending a balloon 27 km into the stratosphere. The specifically designed balloon was sent into the atmosphere above Chester during the annual Perseid meteor shower.

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On its way back to Earth, the balloon captured small biological organisms on the sterile microscope slides. The scientist's stated that they represent alien life forms and could have arrived only from space.

Wickramasinghe claims that the 'seeds of life' have been transported from one planet to the other by meteors which in turn suggest that life exists in other areas of the galaxy as well.

The findings were published in a paper during the Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology conference in San Diego, U.S. in August. At the conference, the team said that the seeds are continuously transported between planets by asteroids, comets, and other cosmic wanderers.

"Biological entities of this nature have not previously been reported occurring in the stratosphere. The entities varied from a presumptive colony of ultra-small bacteria to two unusual individual organisms - part of a diatom frustule and a 200 micron-sized particle mass interlaced with biofilm and biological filaments," Wickramasinghe said.

He said that discovery of microscopic aquatic algae now support the theory of 'cometary panspermia'. Panspermia is Greek for 'seeds everywhere'.

The theory states that the 'seeds of life' are present all over the Universe and travel through space from one planet to another. Meteor blasts from a planet's surface act as transport mediums for dispersal of biological material from one planet to another.

Further, the theory also states that life on Earth might have developed through this process and neither through the product of a divine prime mover nor biopoesis.

However, certain people claim that bacteria-like life forms could have passed into the higher atmosphere from Earth and not from space.

"The biological entities found are particles of relatively large size and mass. By our current understanding of the means by which such particles can be transferred from Earth to the stratosphere they could not - in the absence of a violent volcanic eruption occurring within a day of the sampling event - make such a journey," Wickramasinghe said.

"If there is no mechanism by which these biological entities could be elevated from Earth to the stratosphere then it must have arrived from above the stratosphere and have been incoming to Earth."

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