... and after the diamonds we have red rain ...

2 Sep 2010

At http://arxiv4.library.cornell.edu/abs/1008.4960v1 - an interesting post sent in by Gary Gilligan that moves seamlessly into juxtaposition  to the extraterrestrial impact debate - and red rain clearly has analogies with the Biblical Exodus event which was decyphered by Velikovsky as derived from a comet passing relatively close to the earth. The authors of the paper, Rajkumar Gangappa (University of Glamorgan), Chandra Wickramasinghe (Cardiff University), Milton Wainwright (Sheffield University), S. Kumar (Cochin University in India) and Godfrey Louis (also of Cochin University) and it was submitted on 29th August 2010 - bang up to date. The same story is also available at www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/09/mystery-of-indias-red-rain-of-2001-points-to-extraterrestrial-origin/ on September 1st, which begins 'new evidence has been discovered that reinforces the panspermia theory that the red rain which fell over a two month period in Kerala contained cells unlike any found on earth'. In 2001 red rain fell over a two month period in Kerala and Godfrey Louis, a physicist at the nearby Cochin University, collected samples of red rain to find out what caused the contamination, expecting it to be sand or dust from a distant desert. Under the microscope he found the rain water was full of red cells - but there was no sign of DNA. His results were published in Astrophysics and Space in 2006 along with a suggestion they might have an extraterrestrial origin - perhaps from a meteor or comet. A meteor was seen shortly before the red rain episode occurred. Since 2006, Louis has continued his research with others such as Wickramasinghe, Kumar, and Gangappa etc. It has been found the cells reproduce themselves at temperatures of 121 degrees Celcius. In contrast, the cells remain inert at room temperature. Hence, the red cells would reproduce during an entry episode as they came into contact with the atmosphere - and very rapidly so. However, this subject has attracted the usual bout of detraction and first point made is that Louis was guilty of not looking properly at what he saw in his microscope. The Wikipedia entry claims the red cells were airborne spores from local algae after analysis by a different laboratory - therefore they were terrestrial and did not come from outer space. This is of course the establishment with the finger in a hole in the dyke but it does illustrate the theory is far from acceptable to science at large. The big problem is that the red rain persisted for two months, long after the meteorite was seen. Why?