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Business News/ News / Trends/  Life on another planet, finally? James Webb Space Telescope to answer soon
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Life on another planet, finally? James Webb Space Telescope to answer soon

The scientists have found dimethyl sulphide (DMS) gas in the planet's atmosphere and it may have been produced by a ‘phytoplankton in marine environments’.

Spiral galaxy NGC 1512, located 30 million light-years away from Earth, is seen in an undated image from the James Webb Space Telescope (via REUTERS)Premium
Spiral galaxy NGC 1512, located 30 million light-years away from Earth, is seen in an undated image from the James Webb Space Telescope (via REUTERS)

Human's search for life outside its solar system may soon come to an end. The James Web Space Telescope, the biggest one ever to sent into space, is all set to gaze into another solar system after possible signs of emerged on one of the far-off planets there.

According to a report by The Times, scientists have discovered a gas in a planet's atmosphere which could be "only produced by life". The planet is called K2-18b and is located beneath a constellation Leo and on a star K2-18. K2-18 is believed to be roughly half the size of the Sun.

This planet is around 2.6 times bigger than the Earth.

The scientists, according to the report, have found dimethyl sulphide (DMS) gas in the planet's atmosphere and it may have been produced by a "phytoplankton in marine environments".

The researchers are more than 50 per cent confident that DMS is present in the planet's atmosphere. Scientists have been yet unable to prove that DMS could be produced in the absence of living beings. But it is not a "conclusive evidence".

Also read: Aliens ‘hitching rides’ on meteors to colonise Earth? Study says…

Where is K2-18b located?

K2-18b is located 124 light years away from the Earth, making the planet one of its close neighbours. To get to the planet, it would take around 2,175.44 years in human years for a probe travelling at the speed of the Voyager spacecraft. Voyager spacecraft travels at the speed of 38,000 mph.

James Webb Space Telescope's search for life

The telescope, which was launched from the Guiana Space Centre in 2021, conducts infrared astronomy. It has revealed several wonders since its launch, including the breathtaking pictures of the space it famously sends to NASA.

JWST was made at the cost of $10 billion and a 6.5-metre, gold-plated mirror and several complex instruments cooled to temperatures only a few degrees above zero.

Also read: Earth’s history: Should this phase be called the Anthropocene era?

It has discovered a planet Wasp-107b, 1,300 light years away from Earth. Then there was GJ1214, a planet with mass eight times that of our planet. It has also discovered the giant planets of the Orion Nebula

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Published: 27 Apr 2024, 05:58 PM IST
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