Tuesday February 25, 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

Samsung Unveils Galaxy M31 Smartphone in India

Samsung launches Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs. 15,999

0
Samsung Galaxy M31
Samsung on Tuesday launched its new smartphone Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs 15,999. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung on Tuesday launched its new smartphone Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs 15,999. This is the latest science and technology news.

Galaxy M31 is the newest addition to the popular Galaxy M series. Till date, the company has launched six models – Galaxy M10, M20, M30, M40, M10s and M30s – under the M series in 2019.

“We now bring Galaxy M31 keeping in mind the needs and aspirations of our young millennial consumers,” Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India said in a statement.

Samsung Galaxy M31
Samsung on Tuesday launched its new smartphone Galaxy M31 in India starting from Rs 15,999. (Representational Image). Pixabay

The smartphone will come in two memory variants, 6/64GB priced at Rs 15,999 as well as 6/128GB for Rs 16,999 and will be available at Amazon.in, Samsung.com along with select retail stores from March 5, 12 noon.

The phone is equipped with 6.4-inch super AMOLED display and features quad-camera setup — 64MP Main Lens, 8MP Ultra-Wide Lens, 5MP Macro Lens and 5MP depth lens. There is also a 32MP front camera.

Also Read- Microsoft Introduces New Features to Xbox Series X

The device is powered with the Exynos 9611 upto 2.3GHz Octa Core processor and will run on Android 10 out of the box with Samsung’s new One UI 2.0.

Additionally, the phone houses a 6000mAh battery with an in-box Type C 15W fast charger. (IANS)