Hunting for Alien Life on Exoplanets, A New Biosignal to Look For

We have already discovered thousands of exoplanets, over 2000 to be precise. The more interesting thing, however is, some of these planets may have favorable conditions to sustain life.

Scientists have been eavesdropping on possible aliens with massive telescopes for decades. Our eyes and ears are at work round the clock on both the surface of the earth and deep in cosmos.

A group of scientists at MIT have now suggested to look for a new hydrocarbon. A chemical that can confidently tell someone is definitely breathing out there.

alien life new hydrocarbon mit

So far, 4,375 exoplanets have been confirmed in 3,247 different star systems . Another nearly 6 thousand are waiting to be checked. Many of these alien world candidates have been found with the TESS telescope . Which of them have favorable conditions for life? Here, more research is needed.

Scientists have been postulating for some time how we should study the atmospheres of alien worlds in terms of biosignatures. New research by MIT specialists assumes that among them should be a hydrocarbon called isoprene (C5H8). Why this particular relationship?

Isoprene is an organic molecule that is produced as a secondary metabolite by various species living on Earth. These are deciduous trees, but not only that. The compound is also produced by bacteria and animals.

Isoprene should be abundant in those exoplanets that are in their early life formation stages. On Earth, it happened about 4-2.5 billion years ago. Soon humanity will have a tool that will allow us to more accurately check the atmosphere of foreign worlds. This is the James Webb Space Telescope .

The James Webb Space Telescope has been in development for years. NASA plans to launch it into space this fall. Then we will be able to peek into the atmosphere of exoplanets.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *