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Scientists Detect Water On Exoplanet, Opening New Chapter In Search For Alien Life

RATE THIS! +28
Posted in Science on 27th Feb, 2014 12:11 AM by AlexMuller

How many alien worlds have water, and do any host extraterrestrial life? No answers to those questions just yet. But astronomers using a new infrared technique say they've discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of a nearby gas giant planet called "tau Boötis b."

 
The finding suggests that the technique may play an important role in identifying which exoplanets might be hospitable for life.
 
"By developing new techniques that examine the atmospheres of these planets in infrared light, it's becoming possible to examine many other worlds for water vapor in their atmospheres," Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., told The Huffington Post in an email.
 
"That would clue us in to how common it is for planets to have oceans, where chemicals can slosh around, meet up, and maybe, just maybe, produce some biology. Looking for water on exoplanets is the next step in learning whether life is unusual or as common as crabgrass."

Tags: spacelifealienwaterSETIexoplanet

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-27
+3
Indeed, this seems a very important and logical step. Water is the key indicator and an important component that would suggest the possibility of life or habitable conditions for humans - it would be great to see how many exoplanets have water
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-27
+1
It seems that this new method for finding water has limitations. For now, it can be used only on hot gas planets that are large and orbit close to a bright host star- the information will also be limited Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-27
+3
Well, they say in the article that there is a hope for new telescopes that will enable to examine much cooler planets that are more distant from their host stars and where liquid water is more likely to exist- I hope this works out- exciting! Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-27
+2
It was discussed recently that life on other planets could be far more widespread. One team challenged the traditional “habitable zone” or “Goldilocks zone”, the area of space around a star that can support life, by taking into consideration life living deep below the ground. Interesting Reply


 

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