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New Technique to aid Discovery of Life on Exo-Planets

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posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 10:01 AM
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A new technique to detect atmospheric oxygen on worlds orbiting other stars will come online as early as 2018. The James Webb space telescope, set to be launched that year will be the first telescope to be able to use this technique. The presence of oxygen is believed to be a reliable sign of life, wherever it is found.
io9.com...
edit on 10-3-2014 by Ross 54 because: corrected link address




posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by Ross 54
 


It says the webpage is unavailable.

Seems promising, though.

Although I must point out that not all life forms on Earth need oxygen to prosper.

S&F nonetheless!



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 10:12 AM
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Link to webpage now working. The more complex forms of life we know about all seem to produce and/or consume oxygen. Oxygen without life seems to be virtually ruled out. As far as we know, nothing else produces it in substantial quantities on a sustaining basis.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 10:22 AM
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Ross 54
Link to webpage now working.


Indeed it does.

From the link:


When a planet passes in front of its star, starlight shines through the planet's atmosphere and continues through space until it reaches us. Dimers in the atmosphere absorb light like a color filter on a camera lens, creating anomalies detectable once the pressure of the planet is at least 0.25 bars—high enough to hold down liquid water.


Good find, mate.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by Ross 54
 


I was wondering whatever happened to the Webb telescope.
Heard about plans for it almost a decade ago, then nothing.
Funding probably went to invading other countries.
I'll wait until it's in space doing its job before I get too excited.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 12:05 PM
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Ross 54
...The presence of oxygen is believed to be a reliable sign of life, wherever it is found...

This is true, but it should also be pointed out that even the atmosphere of the early Earth lacked free oxygen, but there was still life -- life that did not require free oxygen in the atmosphere. Granted, that early life is what is thought to have given the Earth's atmosphere its O2, but the life existed prior to that.

So the early Earth is an example of a planet that had life, but practically no O2 in the atmosphere. Although the case of the early earth is also an example of how, as you pointed out, finding atmospheric O2 may be an indicator of life-as-we-know-it processes.


edit on 3/10/2014 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 03:20 AM
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Ross 54
A new technique to detect atmospheric oxygen on worlds orbiting other stars will come online as early as 2018. The James Webb space telescope, set to be launched that year will be the first telescope to be able to use this technique. The presence of oxygen is believed to be a reliable sign of life, wherever it is found.
io9.com...
edit on 10-3-2014 by Ross 54 because: corrected link address


I know those people at the University of Washington (my school). They are doing so groundbreaking work in the field of exoplanets and astrobiology. Well worth keeping an eye on them.


James Webb may have been over budget and delayed but it is on track and considered a high priority item by NASA, the Congress and the Administration (thank goodness!) so it will fly. I'm following the development of it pretty closely so if anyone has a question about it feel free to ask.




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