NASAs James Web Telescope detects signs of life

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Joined: 21 Feb 2011
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18 Sep 2023, 12:43 am


NASA's James Webb Telescope has possibly detected the presence of a molecule that could signal life as we know it on a distant exoplanet. ... stellation.

Dimethyl sulfate (DMS) was possibly detected on K2-18b which lies 120 light years from Earth in the Leo constellation. On Earth, this is only produced by life, primarily by phytoplankton in marine environments.

Methane and carbon dioxide are abundant in the atmosphere, with a scarcity of ammonia supporting a hypothesis that K2-18b has a water ocean.

It is the first time that astronomers have detected the possibility of DMS in a planet orbiting a distant star.