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Scientists Reveal Signs Planets Could Be Alien Habitats – CNN Indonesia Article

CNN Indonesia

Monday, 19 Feb 2024 08:59 IWST

1. Scientists Reveal Signs Planets Could Be Alien Habitats 2. Map of the Road of Life

Illustration. Study reveals signs of the presence of water on other planets. (Photo: Nasa.gov web screenshot)

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia

A recent study revealed that a low carbon atmosphere could be a sign of the presence of water and life in planet terestrial other than Earth. Signs of life alien?

The research was carried out by a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Birmingham, and others.

In the study, they said terrestrial planets have much less carbon dioxide in their atmospheres compared to other planets in the same system, which could be a sign of the presence of water and possibly life on the planet’s surface.

Moreover, these signs are still being observed by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Although scientists have suggested other signs of the planet’s habitability, they are difficult, if not impossible, to measure with current technology.

The research team says this new signature, namely relatively little carbon dioxide, is the only sign of habitability that can be detected now.

“The main goal of exoplanet research is to search for habitable worlds and the presence of life, but all the features discussed so far are still beyond the reach of the latest observatories,” said Julien de Wit, assistant professor of planetary science at MIT.

“Now we have a way to find out whether there is liquid water on other planets. And that is something we can achieve in the next few years,” he added.

Beyond a glimmer of light

Astronomers have so far detected more than 5,200 worlds outside our solar system. With existing telescopes, astronomers can directly measure a planet’s distance to its star and the time it takes to complete its orbit.

These measurements can help scientists conclude whether a planet is in the habitable zone. However, there is no way to confirm directly whether a planet is indeed habitable, meaning that there is liquid water on its surface.

In our solar system, scientists can detect the presence of oceans by observing “sparkles” – flashes of sunlight reflected on the surface of liquids.

Flashes, or mirror reflections, have been observed, for example, on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, helping to confirm the moon’s large lakes.

Detecting similar light on distant planets is not possible with current technology. However, De Wit and his colleagues realized that there were other habitable features close to Earth that could be detected in distant places.

“We got the idea by looking at what was happening with the terrestrial planets in our system,” said Amaury Triaud of the University of Birmingham in England.

Venus, Earth and Mars have something in common, namely that they are all rocky and inhabit relatively temperate regions compared to the Sun.

Earth is the only planet among the three that currently hosts water. The team noted another obvious difference: Earth has less carbon dioxide in its atmosphere.

“We assume that these planets were created in the same way, and if we see one with much less carbon, then it must be gone.”

“The only process that can remove that much carbon from the atmosphere is a powerful water cycle involving oceans of liquid water.” Triaud said.

Findings from the Opportunity Rover Exploration Mission (Photo: CNN Indonesia/Fajrian)

Roadmap to life on the next page…

Road Map of Life


2024-02-19 01:59:51
#Scientists #Reveal #Signs #Planets #Alien #Habitats

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