Everyone seems to be double-extra-cautiously optimistic about this finding, so don't go running out to your telescope tonight looking for greetings from friendly space creatures.
But in work reported today in Nature, astronomers say they used the Hubble Space Telescope's infrared imager to pick up signs of methane in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a star some 63 million light years from Earth. And methane, an organic molecule, is an indicator of the possible presence of life.
The bad news, for ET fans, is that the planet is probably too close to its host star to support the kind of life we're all really looking for. The good news is that the very presence of methane, and water, in the planet's atmosphere could be evidence that some form of life may be out there, either on this planet or others. Methane is key to the formation of amino acids, the basic building blocks of organisms.
Another key takeaway from this work, scientists say, is that astronomers have now moved from simply finding these planets—a not-so-simple job in and of itself—to exploring them chemically.
DID YOU KNOW THAT METHANE EQUALS TO
CH4 + 2O2 → CO2 + 2H2O
I just wonder how do they get the Hubble Telescope to see such
Hydroline - They took an infra-red spectrum while the planet was in front of the star. Then, they looked for methane and H20 absorption lines in that spectrum. To verify these results, they waited for the the planet to move out of the star's line of sight, and noted that these absorption lines disappeared.
Sorry people i went there and i couldn't resist eating one of their bean burritos(just joking)
This is a interesting topic though im going to keep taps on this planet
Anything with energy applied to it, which is everything, can be sensed in whatever spectrum of energy it is applied to, humans can only see the spectrum of shade, and white light - colour, not gamma, infared or cyan, just the wavelengths that existed in out environment, but technology can see what we understand and what we understand we incorperate into technology to increase our understanding. Mabye methane can reflect a certain wavelength of energy but i would say imaduck is probably correct
But why do people assume that if a planet is to hose intelligent life that said intelligent life needs to be like us?
Perhaps there are methane entities there :-p
The article said,"methane, an organic molecule, is an indicator of the possible presence of life." It didn't say there couldn't be life because of methane. The probability of no life is due to the closeness of the planet's sun.
This is really cool. I think it's great that scientists can detect what's in a planet's atmosphere from so far away.
I was just injecting a note of caution on a prior page I was looking at regarding the composite imaging project, where I reminded of the vast physical distances involved, and the possibility for skewed data collection due to interference of near infinite possible sources, and that this is a new frontier for imaging and analysis. We won't ever know if our composite is correct till we visit an imaged place. In another solar system, in a nebula, or quasar, another galaxy. Even then, we cannot be positive that a given material is what it appears to be, or that a given scenario is what we interpret it to be. A mistake could prove very costly, as it comes to spacecraft equipment.
but what if intelligent life was not just like us, what if they were able withstand such heat and luminosity? Cause i don't remember if we are looking for human-like life (the kind of life to goto war at age 30, to drool at age 3, and to name themselves (vlog and blog; internet name) cheesemanx013 at age 14, sorry couldn't resist stating that FACT) or intelligent life, but i'd rather look for both (but we could be looking for that too, i can't remember)
Perhaps methane-based (instead of carbon-based) life forms could exist...
so what's their stargate address?
..........MY GOD !!! It's full of cows !......