A team of astrobiologists has invented a method of research that could identify life on other planets. Unfortunately, there’s just one problem, the telescope that will allow obtaining this information will be ready only in 2018.
Today, astronomers is look for planets with a heavy atmosphere which prevents water from drifting off planet and into space, thus providing conditions similar to those on Earth.
Researchers at Washington University, led by astronomer Amit Misra, announces that they thought a new method that allows detection not only water but even life on other planets.
The new method will detect identical molecules (dimers) or molecules that have coupled together, in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. Misra and his his team are interested in particular of oxygen dimers, an oxygen which is actually comprises of four oxygen (O2-O2). These molecules are only detectable in a pressurized atmosphere and well-oxygenated, therefore, the atmosphere of a planet where life exists.
But currently, there is no space missions that can perform this new method of detection of O2-O2 molecules, device that can do that is the successor to Hubble, the James Webb telescope, which will be launched in October 2018.
The method invented by Amit Misra’s team was published in the journal Astrobiology.