Scientists have just made a huge finding in space that could permanently change our search for alien life.
Scientists have discovered something big about 40 light years away, something that could completely change the search for alien life. An exoplanet that is orbiting a red dwarf star may be the best place to look for signs of life outside our solar system, according to a statement from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysis.
Scientists used ESO’s HARPS instrument at LaSilla and linked it with telescopes around the world to discover this so-called “super-Earth” orbiting in the star’s habitable zone. The planet is much more massive than Earth, and it likely still has an atmosphere, a key ingredient for any planet to host life.
It’s certainly one of the most exciting finds in modern astronomy, and it will make a big target for future studies that will likely focus on its atmosphere: how thick it is, what it’s composed of, and the like. The findings were published in the April 20 issue of the journal Nature.
“This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade,” said lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science − searching for evidence of life beyond Earth.”