Search for alien life gets boost from new NASA project

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The ability to detect life on distant worlds still eludes us, but a new project coordinated by NASA now takes us a significant step closer to achieving that goal.

Six new papers published in the science journal Astrobiology are providing a launching point for scientists on the hunt for signs of life on planets outside our Solar System. The new papers outline various ways in which extraterrestrial “biosignatures” could be detected using current and future technologies, and what scientists should be looking for in the data. Encouragingly, the scientists say it’s entirely possible that we’ll detect atmospheric biosignatures of potentially habitable planets by the year 2030.

This project [is] called Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science, or NExSS.

The point of the project and the six new papers is to provide a comprehensive overview of what we know so far about life and how it gets started in the Universe, as well as how we might be able to detect biosignatures from Earth using current and future technologies.

Related article:  Discovery of ancient finger in Saudi Arabia suggests humans left Africa 20,000 years earlier than assumed

Scientists are finally formalizing the search for extraterrestrial life, while providing entry points for scientists from different fields to come together. The strategies proposed in these papers require rigorous due process and sound science, but not at the expense of allowing scientists to think creatively about what other kinds of life might exist elsewhere.

Read full, original post: A New NASA-Led Project Means the Search for Aliens Is Heating Up

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