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Astronomers are particularly interested in finding oxygen because the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere is continuously replenished, through photosynthesis, by plant life. Were all life to cease on Earth, our atmosphere would quickly become devoid of oxygen, which would dissolve in the oceans and oxidize the surface. Thus, the presence of large quantities of oxygen in the atmosphere of a distant planet would signal the likely presence of life there.
Why are we fixated on oxygen having to be known for an alien? If we are unaware of any ET life anywhere, why do they have to breath oxygen??
Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by muSSang
No you misunderstood me.....I never stated life is anywhere. High probability? Yes......But I am saying why does oxygen have to be present to establish alien life can exist there?
What if they are made to breath a different way, and not use oxygen to breathe? I am just throwing that out there...