THERE is one tell-tale sign of extraterrestial life that all alien hunters should know.
It’s called a chemical signature.
Living organisms leave tiny trails of gases – also known as chemical signatures – which can be spotted on planets orbiting stars, scientists in the US have revealed.
Microbes, fungi, algae and plants are all forms of life which create chemical signatures that can be traced from space.
Researchers from the American Astronomical Society earlier this week announced that the gases in the atmospheres of exoplanets are the key to finding life beyond what’s here on Earth.
Light passing through the atmospheres of planets in distant solar systems could reveal life-affirming compounds.
That is what the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is for.
The $10billion telescope, built by Nasa in collaboration with the European Space Agency, has been sent on a mission to photograph our universe.
Its main goal is to help scientists on Earth figure out the evolution of our solar system.
But in providing researchers on the ground with the most detailed images of space yet, the telescope is laying the groundwork for finding hints of alien life out there.
Scientists can examine the gases in images and data received from JWST to detect extraterrestrial organisms.
The chemicals scientists are watching out for are called methylated gases – and not Earth’s most common sign of life: Oxygen.
Methylated gases are what organisms such as fungi and plants emit when they purify nearby toxic materials like chlorine or bromine.
Unfortunately, many gases released in space have nothing to do with life at all.
Oxygen gases can gather in space when a hot star warms a planet’s oceans, creating steam.
Which means Earth’s alien hunters can be sent on a wild goose chase around the universe in search for what could very likely be a volcano – or simply a sterile rock.
Best Phone and Gadget tips and hacks
Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find those secret features within social media apps? We have you covered…
Get all the latest WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other tech gadget stories here.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at email@example.com
Click Here For More Tech News