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James Webb Space Telescope Just Proved It’s Value in the Search for Alien Life

TRAPPIST-1e is a rocky exoplanet in the habitable zone of a star 39 light-years from Earth and may have water and clouds, as depicted in this artist’s impression. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

To search for alien life, astronomers will search for clues in the atmospheres of distant planets – and NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion."” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>NASA’s James Webb Space TelescopeThe James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) is an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope. It covers longer wavelengths of light, with greatly improved sensitivity, allowing it to see inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today as well as looking further back in time to observe the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>James Webb Space Telescope just proved it’s possible to do so.

The ingredients necessary for life are spread throughout the universe. While Earth is the only known place with life in the universe, detecting life beyond our planet is a major goal of modern astronomy and planetary science.

We are two researchers who study exoplanets and astrobiology. Thanks in large part to powerful next-generation telescopes like James Webb, scientists like us will soon be able to measure the chemical makeup of atmospheres of planets orbiting around other stars. It is hoped that we will detect a chemical signature of life on one or more of these exoplanets.

Source: SciTechDaily