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A team of Dutch astronomers has shown that with a new type of telescope it might be possible to find signs of extraterrestrial life within the next 25 years.
Certain gases exhaled by organisms can, in principle, be observed in the atmospheres of exoplanets – planets orbiting stars other than our sun.
About 20% of our earth's atmosphere consists of oxygen. This gas is only present in our atmosphere because plants produce enormous quantities of it via photosynthesis. Without this biological process, the oxygen in the atmosphere would rapidly disappear due to oxidation.