The only thing which lets living creatures survive on planet Earth is its habitable atmosphere. The atmosphere includes seasonal changes which make life favourable on the Earth. So just like Earth, any other planet having a potentially habitable atmosphere will surely shelter different life forms.
There are many planets discovered by scientists outside of our Solar System, having the same orbiting property like the Earth. It could be possible to trace extraterrestrial life on such planets by looking at the atmosphere and studying the seasonal changes taking place in the planets.
According to new research, it is unlikely for humans to go on a visit to the exoplanets anytime in the future and so, the search to discover the existence of life in such planets should be carried out by looking at the atmosphere there.
The scientists believe that study can be carried out by detecting atmospheric fingerprints, called as biosignatures, using next-gen telescopes. The scientists will use these telescopes to measure and analyse the composition of gases which surround the planets that are light years away.
However, the study also points out that the biosignatures obtained on single measurements may be incorrect or perhaps even misleading. So to avoid such an error, the scientists have come up with a solution. They are now designing and developing a first quantitative framework based on Earth’s seasonal and atmospheric seasons which will be able to detect dynamic biosignatures. This method can also effectively help to seek alien life. The method will be funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the scientists of the University of California and Riverside’s Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center.
The research titled Atmospheric Seasonality As An Exoplanet Biosignature was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The lead author of the study is Stephanie Olson, from the University of California.