Our latest balloon-lofted sampler was launched into the stratosphere above Fort Laramie, Wyoming, USA (launched by Sent into Space.com around the time of the recent solar eclipse).
The sampler was opened at a height of 32K and the balloon traversed 46K before the sampler was closed at a height of 38K. The images below show three examples of essentially the same type of biological entity which has no obvious Earth analogues. Note the absence of fungal spores, pollen and importantly (because of the location above the Wyoming grasslands) no grass shards. The images show flat objects with a definite edge which are in various degrees of folding They are all around 20 plus microns in diameter (when unfolded) and therefore exceed the theoretical size limit (6microns) relating to the maximum particle size for transfer from Earth to the sampling heights in the stratosphere. The entities have an EDX signature of C and N and Ca and Na (but are clearly not inorganic crystals). This signature plus the size of the entities and the fact that they are associated on the sample stubs with Earth-derived particles leads us to suggest that, yet again, we have sampled biological entities, from the high stratosphere, which are incoming to Earth from space.