Alien Life Could be Found by Studying Atmospheres on Exoplanets Says New Study
Representational Image (Photo Credits: PTI)

The possibility of the existence of aliens cannot be ignored in this vast universe. Scientists have been studying different exoplanets (a planet outside our solar system that orbits a star) and the latest study suggests the atmospheric changes in these planets can help to understand their existence. The composition of the gases in the atmosphere of the exoplanets in different seasons can be researched upon and understand if it supports any life.

Some of the planets could be not too hot and not too cold to support liquid water on their surface. The existence of water is enough to support any kind of organic life on the Earth. A study outlining this procedure was published on May 9 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. It has come to fore that all this while the scientists may have been looking in the wrong way and the ability to detect alien life hiding in plain sight.

The scientists will now look for biosignatures and sources of light in the atmosphere and develop a quantitative framework to study the possibilities. Because an exoplanet with oxygen may not necessarily mean that alien life will present. "Atmospheric seasonality is a promising biosignature because it is biologically modulated on Earth and is likely to occur on other inhabited worlds," said study author Stephanie Olson from University of California-Riverside. Scientists will use spectroscopy, which is the study of how light interacts with matter. Oslon's team suggests it can be used to detect seasonal changes. They are developing a method for a more dynamic overview.

There are some shortcomings of this procedure as well. To study the ozone of an exoplanet, the telescopes would need ultraviolet capabilities. “It’s really important that we accurately model these kinds of scenarios now, so the space and ground-based telescopes of the future can be designed to identify the most promising biosignatures,”  said Edward Schwieterman co-author of the paper. But again there are about hundreds of exoplanets which have been discovered every year so studying them for seasonal changes will be a task and may not necessarily guarantee positive results.