A team of scientists has found a new and advanced method of detecting oxygen on distant planets. Experts believe that space agencies like NASA can make use of this technique to discover potential alien life that might be harbouring in the deep nooks of the universe.
As per space scientists, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope could use this technique and can sniff oxygen, widely considered as a vital ingredient of life.
Oxygen: An indication of extraterrestrial life
Detecting oxygen on distant planets could be a strong indication that those space bodies are harbouring alien life. In earth, oxygen is formed when living beings convert sunlight into chemical energy and experts speculate that the same might happen in other space bodies too.
The new technique proposed by scientists could help them to spot signals of oxygen coming from other planets, and successfully spotting these signals could be the first step to discover alien life. Details of this milestone advancement are published in the latest edition of journal Nature Astronomy.
"Before our work, oxygen at similar levels as on Earth was thought to be undetectable with Webb. This oxygen signal is known since the early 1980s from Earth's atmospheric studies but has never been studied for exoplanet research," said Thomas Fauchez, a researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and lead author of the study in a recent statement.
However, sceptics believe that the presence of oxygen on distant planets cannot be considered as conclusive evidence of alien existence.
Alien life on exoplanets or on Mars?
As the search for alien life is going on vigorously on exoplanets using advanced telescopes, a section of space experts believe that extraterrestrials will be discovered within the solar system. A few months back, NASA chief scientist Dr Jim Green had predicted that alien life will be discovered on Mars within 2021.
As per Jim Green, the alien life that will be discovered will not be those humanoids as depicted in Hollywood movies, but it will be sometimes in microbial form. He also made it clear that humans are not ready to accept the facts surrounding extraterrestrial existence.