NASA’s James Webb Telescope Can Detect Alien Biosignatures in 60 Hours
New technology may help scientists discover extraterrestrial life on other planets in just days.
Scientists at the Ohio State University have just announced that by using the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch this fall, they may be able to detect biosignatures on gas dwarf planets. These biosignatures, such as ammonia, could be a sign of life and with new technology, they may be able to make this distinction in as few as 60 hours. But what exactly do they mean by life?
What's Sending These Mystery Signals From 4,000 Lightyears Away?
A mysterious repeating radio signal from space has been detected that scientists have not seen before. What or who is sending this signal?
Scientists have detected a radio signal from somewhere out in deep space some 4,000 light-years away.
The signal pulsed every 18 minutes and 18 seconds, for 30 to 60 seconds — every time, 18 minutes and 18 seconds. It did this for three months then it stopped. Scientists assume it is a naturally occurring rotating object that, like a lighthouse shining its beacon, will send what appears to be a repeating signal.
But Natasha Hurley-Walker, whose study into this repeating signal was recently published in the journal Nature told Vice, “[T]here are no models that produce such bright radio emission from two objects in orbit with each other, with such precision, and any that would produce any kind of radio waves would also produce X-ray emission, which we don’t see.”
Some think this might be coming from a highly magnetized star called a magnetar. So what does this all mean? Astronomer and Gaia News contributor Marc D’Antonio weighed in on the subject.
“Maybe this strange signal is some weird kind of magnetar that is rotating, but we’re not used to seeing it rotate every 18 minutes, that means a rather slow rotation. So, this is kind of weird, it’s something that doesn’t match any model that we know, and I think it takes us down a new research path to try to figure out just what it is we’re looking at,” D’Antonio said.