Astronomers discovered stars that are ejected from our galaxy at speeds up to 30% of the speed of light. Can these stars spread life throughout the universe?
There is a black hole at the center of each galaxy. Astronomically speaking, it often happens that galaxies merge. Several dwarf galaxies are currently being swallowed up by our galaxy. The black holes of these galaxies also merge. Black holes that merge with each other eventually reach speeds close to the speed of light just before merging. Usually stars revolve around these black holes. In our own galaxy, this is, for example, the star S2. Dynamic simulations show that in such situations these stars can be thrown away at very high speeds. Indeed, several of these stars have been discovered, leaving our galaxy at percentages the speed of light. Probably these stars were launched by such a mechanism. Since many stars have a planetary system, it is not inconceivable that some of these stars are surrounded by planets with life. When such a star is captured by another galaxy, life is transported from one galaxy to another.
What is panpermia?
Life appeared relatively quickly after the earth became fit for life. To give an impression: the earth is officially only 4.55 billion years old, and the first traces of living are almost 4 billion years old. Relatively speaking, that is quite short, after the Earth had cooled enough to form oceans. Reason for the supporters of the panspermia theory, to assume that life is common in the universe and spreads between planets. The word panspermia is made up of 2 classical Greek words: πᾶν (pan), everything, and σπέρμα (sperm), in the original Greek sense, seed in general.
If this mechanism does exist, it would mean that life spread over great distances quite shortly after the creation of the universe. Of course, this theory stands or falls with the presence of chemical elements from which life could develop. There are 6 of them: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. These may have formed from explosions of the very first, very large, stars. Especially in the centers of galaxies, a gas mixture rich in these elements will have formed early on. However, this life must have led a very precarious existence, given the extreme circumstances immediately after the creation of the universe. Therefore, this discovery may be of more importance to our descendants than to us. They can use these types of very fast-traveling stars to travel from one galaxy to another.