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View Full Version : NASA Refines Criteria for Life Signs on Exoplanets



Ross 54
2014-Sep-13, 05:00 PM
NASA scientists have been running a large number of computer simulations of exoplanet atmospheres. They conclude that the detection any single gas is inadequate to establish that a planet hosts life. Such a gas may be produced by non-living processes. A combination of certain gases, such as oxygen and methane, will be necessary to determine that extraterrestrial life has been discovered. Details are given in the article, linked below:
http://phys.org/news/2014-09-nasa-guideline-future-alien-life.html

Hypmotoad
2014-Oct-17, 01:15 AM
I bet those same NASA scientists would run babbling into the streets if they should discover an exoplanets' atmosphere contained a significant amount of oxygen.

Ross 54
2014-Oct-17, 03:50 PM
We'd certainly hear about it. The possible connection to life would figure prominently in any such announcement, no doubt. I still suspect they'd want other confirming evidence, such as methane, before making a positive declaration that extraterrestrial life had been found, though. They would undoubtedly begin looking very hard for such evidence.

eburacum45
2014-Oct-17, 10:35 PM
I bet those same NASA scientists would run babbling into the streets if they should discover an exoplanets' atmosphere contained a significant amount of oxygen.

Yes, but there are many ways that a lifeless planet could have oxygen in its atmosphere, so they would be babbling for no good reason.

Hypmotoad
2014-Oct-17, 11:14 PM
Yes, but there are many ways that a lifeless planet could have oxygen in its atmosphere, so they would be babbling for no good reason.

I'd be willing to bet that with such a discovery, there would be a few babblers, reason or no, lol.

There would also be headlines from such exalted sources of news such as FOX NEWS, "Life detected in outer space: Despite Obama's best efforts to quash this story."

Reading deeper I might find that the announcement of life beyond earth was a bit premature, but they got me to stick around through the commercials which is the really important part.

Sorry if was accidentally humorous.

Swift
2014-Oct-19, 09:13 PM
There would also be headlines from such exalted sources of news such as FOX NEWS, "Life detected in outer space: Despite Obama's best efforts to quash this story."
...

Sorry if was accidentally humorous.
Hypmotoad,

It wasn't accidentally humorous at all. It was needlessly provocative and borderline politics and just seemed designed to cause trouble.

Since this post was only recently reported to us, I'm only going to give you a warning, but I am more than tired of your trouble-making. Next time you get a suspension.

Githyanki
2014-Oct-22, 06:01 PM
I am a bit confused; why is it that a Jovian world, in a torch orbit, that has O2 and methane, a host for life?

iquestor
2014-Oct-22, 10:36 PM
I am a bit confused; why is it that a Jovian world, in a torch orbit, that has O2 and methane, a host for life?

where did that come from? A jovian world in a "torch" orbit that showed spectra for both Oxygen and methane would be very interesting indeed -- since Oxygen+methane is an extremely strong indicator for life. possible if it was tidally locked, such life might live in some temperate zone?

Otherwise, it doesn't seem possible.

Ross 54
2014-Oct-23, 02:02 PM
I believe that the intention was to apply the criteria for life detection, such as the combined presence of oxygen and methane, to essentially Earth-like planets, not to ones as different from Earth as Jovian planets are.