Nasa has just discovered a planet with strong life signs
NASA’s James Webb telescope has made a groundbreaking discovery that may indicate the existence of life on another planet.
Launched in December 2021, the telescope specializes in infrared astronomy and has now detected potential signs of life beyond Earth.
The planet in question, named ‘K2-18 b’, was first identified in 2015, but further details have been uncovered since the deployment of the James Webb.
Located approximately 120 light years away, scientists have identified the presence of methane and carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere, suggesting it may be a ‘Hycean’ planet—a planet covered in an ocean with a hydrogen-rich atmosphere.
Researchers have also detected a molecule called dimethyl sulphide (DMS), typically only produced by living organisms on Earth.
Despite not existing in our solar system, sub-Neptunes like K2-18 b are the most common type of known planets in the galaxy.
The discovery of the planet’s detailed spectrum has allowed scientists to determine the molecular composition of its atmosphere. This breakthrough holds great significance as it brings us closer to identifying life on a habitable exoplanet, which would revolutionize our understanding of our place in the universe.
The findings provide a promising step forward in our quest to comprehend Hycean worlds. While the discovery elicits a mix of excitement and trepidation, some experts are even more optimistic, with one predicting that strong evidence for a biosignature on an exoplanet will soon emerge.