Wednesday January 22, 2020
Home Environment Scientists De...

Scientists Develop New Method to Detect Oxygen on Exoplanet Atmospheres

New method to detect oxygen on exoplanets developed

0
//
oxygen
Scientists have developed a new method for detecting oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres. Pixabay

In a bid to accelerate the search for life in outer space, scientists have developed a new method for detecting oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres.

The team at University of California Riverside developed the new technique, which will use NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to detect a strong signal that O² molecules produce when they collide.

This signal could help scientists distinguish between living and nonliving planets.

Since exoplanets, which orbit stars other than our sun, are so far away, scientists cannot look for signs of life by visiting these distant worlds.

Instead, they must use a cutting-edge telescope like Webb to see what’s inside the atmospheres of exoplanets.

Oxygen molecule
This technique will allow us to find oxygen molecules in planets both living and dead. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“Before our work, O² at similar levels as on Earth was thought to be undetectable with Webb,” said Thomas Fauchez of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and lead author of the study.

“This oxygen signal is known since the early 1980s from Earth’s atmospheric studies but has never been studied for exoplanet research,” he added in the journal Nature Astronomy.

When oxygen molecules collide with each other, they block parts of the infrared light spectrum from being seen by a telescope. By examining patterns in that light, scientists can detect the composition of the planet’s atmosphere.

UC Riverside astrobiologist Edward Schwieterman originally proposed a similar way of detecting high concentrations of oxygen from nonliving processes and was a member of the team that developed this technique.

“This technique will allow us to find O² in planets both living and dead,” Schwieterman said.

Schwieterman helped the NASA team calculate how much light would be blocked by these oxygen collisions.

If an exoplanet is too close to its host star or receives too much star light, the atmosphere becomes very warm and saturated with water vapour from evaporating oceans.

Also Read- Facebook to Tackle the Problem of Manipulated Media on its Platform

Over time, this process may cause entire oceans to be lost while building up a thick oxygen atmosphere — more even, than could be made by life.

“So, abundant O² in an exoplanet’s atmosphere may not necessarily mean abundant life but may instead indicate a history of water loss,” the authors wrote. (IANS)

Next Story

Digital Transactions in Delhi-NCR Grew by 235% Last Year: Razorpay

Online transactions in Delhi-NCR grew 235% in 2019

0
Online Transactions
Online transactions in Delhi-NCR grew by 235 per cent in 2019 and it was the third most digitized region in 2019. Pixabay

Digital transactions in Delhi-NCR grew by 235 per cent from 2018 (January-December) to 2019 (January-December) and the region was the third most digitised state in 2019, thus, contributing 13.05 per cent in 2019 (up from 10.9 per cent in 2018), said a new report by full-stack financial services company Razorpay on Tuesday.

“The last year has been buzzing for the fintech sector in Delhi, with the adoption of new digital payment modes and bringing the digital currency to the mainstream. The last six months saw a tremendous shift in the consumption patterns of businesses and consumer preferences of digital payments in the region.

“With UPI growing by a whopping 442 per cent in Delhi, I am certain that this payment method will overtake cards by at least 20 per cent in the next 12 months,” Harshil Mathur, CEO and co-founder of Razorpay, said in a statement.

Online Transactions
Credit and Debit cards contributed 46 per cent in digital transactions. Pixabay

In 2019, Karnataka saw the highest adoption of digital payments (26.64 per cent) followed by Maharashtra (15.92 per cent) and Delhi NCR (13.01 per cent).

While the usage of cards (46 per cent) and netbanking (11 per cent) saw a decline in 2019, down from 56 per cent and 23 per cent for cards and netbanking, respectively in 2018, UPI (38 per cent) went up from 17 per cent in 2018.

Amazon Pay was the most preferred wallet among consumers (33 per cent), followed by Ola Money (17 per cent) in 2019.

Also Read- India Witnesses Fall in the Number of Cyber Threats in 2019: Kaspersky

The top three sectors in digital payment adoption for 2019 were food and beverage (26 per cent), financial services (12.5 per cent) and transportation (8 per cent).

Among UPI, Google Pay contributed 59 per cent, PhonePe contributed 26 per cent, followed by Paytm (7 per cent) and BHIM (6 per cent) in digital transactions in 2019. (IANS)