Astronomers could have new clues of extraterrestrial life thanks to the James Webb telescope

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Ever since man discovered that he could explore much more than just Earth, he has been dreaming of the infinity of things he could find in space, and one of the most talked about is life on other planets. And although there are currently indications that could lead to knowing more about it, thanks to the power of the space telescope james webb it will be an easier task since you can identify some determining factors in this matter.

Recently, the space telescope managed to demonstrate its great capacity by presenting a series of full-color images of different cosmic formations, which can be observed in greater detail compared to those offered by the Hubble telescope. And it is precisely this advantage that astronomers plan to use to be able to identify more quickly and effectively if a celestial body has any signs of life.

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According to an article written by astronomy professors Daniel Apai and Chris Impey, new technology from this powerful machine could help experts measure the chemical composition of the atmospheres of planets around other stars, which could result in some of them having a chemical signature indicating signs of life of some kind.

For this, they explained that through the images of the James Webb telescope they will study the light of the stars that have interaction with the surface or the atmosphere of a planet. If these have any signs of life, the light can be a clue, called a “biosignature.”

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The professors explain that these changes in light can be extremely subtle, to the point that it would be very difficult to interpret even with the power of NASA’s new acquisition. However, they point out that the James Webb Telescope is setting a great standard as with other earlier instruments it was virtually impossible to detect the brightness needed for these investigations.

On the other hand, they also pointed out that this was not designed to search for life, so the telescope can only examine some of the closest potentially habitable worlds. Furthermore, it can only detect changes in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. While certain combinations of these gases can suggest life, Webb is unable to detect the presence of unbound oxygen, which is the strongest sign of life.

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