‘We found a planet that shows us what the Earth will be like in five billion years’

‘we found a planet that shows us what the earth will be like in five billion years’

Astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger.

Lisa Kaltenegger is an Austrian astrophysicist who wants to be the first person to find life on a planet beyond our solar system. In 1995, when Michel Mayor and Didider Queloz discovered the first exoplanet (planets outside of the Solar System), Kaltenegger had just begun studying engineering and astrophysics at the university.

Nearly 30 years later, more than 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered; about 40 are comparable to the Earth’s size and may hold liquid water. Kaltenegger is now the director of the Karl Sagan Institute at Cornell University in New York, and is leading a project to study the only three exoplanets that can be observed in detail with the telescopes available today. In an interview at the recent Starmus VI festival in Armenia, Kaltenegger told us, “It’s fascinating to me that in our galaxy alone – the Milky Way – there may be 40 billion habitable planets. And the universe has billions of galaxies. I’m often asked whether there is other life in the universe, and with these kinds of numbers, it would a big surprise if we don’t find it.”

Question. What is the next big goal in the search for exoplanets?

Answer. We now have the James Webb Space Telescope, which can examine the chemical composition of the atmospheres of habitable rocky planets – other Earths. There are certain combinations of molecules that we call biomarkers, which could not exist if there were no life. If we find these biomarkers on a rocky planet, then there must unquestionably be life on that planet.

Q. What combinations are you looking for?

A. Oxygen and methane. Combined together, they become carbon dioxide and water. Methane can come from geological sources. But if there are also large amounts of oxygen, this can only come from living things.

Q. Is it just a matter of time?

A. Yes, but it’s going to take a while because the Webb telescope isn’t just focused on this one objective. Earth is the only life-supporting planet we know of right now. This planet has changed a lot throughout its existence. I ask my students on the first day of class what they would take with them if they could travel back in time. Many say a camera or a mobile phone. The truth is, the gases on Earth have changed so much that if you traveled into the distant past, you would suffocate to death because you wouldn’t be able to breathe. This change in the gases that predominated on Earth can be observed in the light emitted by other planets. This is how we will be able to see planets that don’t have life right now, but may have life in the future if they follow the same course as the Earth.

Q. How can you know whether a planet will follow that course?

A. We develop models of what the Earth’s atmosphere was like at every stage from the time it was born until now. We want to develop these models for every object in our Solar System. We have also created a catalog of all the colors present in living things, which we use as an input in our searches for more than 100 species of microbes in many different ecosystems, deserts, glaciers, etc. This provides information about the kind of light they emit and what they would look like with a telescope. Imagine a planet entirely covered by water – an oceanic world. My telescope might be able to detect green or red algae similar to those found on Earth. Or think about some of the corals we have that emit fluorescent light when they absorb ultraviolet radiation. We might suddenly detect a flash of that kind of light on another exoplanet.

Q. Will the Webb telescope be able to see the surfaces of these Earth-like planets?

A. No. But some surface changes have impacts on the surrounding atmosphere. We’re seeing this on Earth with the accelerated melting of glaciers. The number of microbes that live on glacial surfaces becomes more concentrated, which decreases the amount of light reflected by the ice, which causes it to absorb more heat and melt faster. So if we detect a very cold planet with gases that may have organic origins, then it’s possible that the planet has living microbes as well.

Q. How long does it take to determine whether an exoplanet has oxygen or methane?

A. Using the Webb telescope, we were able to examine three of those 40 habitable exoplanets. It will take us about three years to determine whether there is water, oxygen and methane on these planets.

Q. If you do find them, what’s the next step?

A. First, we’ll have a big celebration. Then, before announcing anything, we will analyze our discovery thoroughly to conclusively rule any other explanation. Once confirmed, we would have to conduct more observations using all the available telescopes. We could also develop a telescope dedicated to studying a single planet so that we can capture the light reflected by its clouds and surface.

History books will mark a before and after the discovery of extraterrestrial life. It will change our place in the cosmos

Q. How do you think people would react to such a discovery?

A. I don’t think people would be that surprised. My first-year students were born in a world where the existence of exoplanets was already known. To them, it’s normal. Think about the next generation. There’s not going to be that much shock when we discover life. Many will think life on other planets, like Mars, had already been discovered. It’s not going to be so scary.

Q. Won’t our world change a lot?

A. Of course it will. It will change our place in the cosmos. History books will mark a before and after the discovery of extraterrestrial life, just like before and after Jesus Christ.

Q. Your team recently discovered a very strange Earth-like planet?

A. Yes. We found a solar system called Speculoos 2 with two planets. One is too hot, but the other is a world on the razor’s edge for supporting life, because it’s located in a place roughly comparable to somewhere between Venus and Earth. This planet is interesting to us because it provides clues as to what will happen in about five billion years when our Sun starts to die and get bigger, scorching the Earth. This planet can tell us the exact level of radiation that will trigger the evaporation of all the water on Earth. It’s like traveling five billion years into the Earth’s future.

Q. The discovery of extraterrestrial life could cause incongruities in religious beliefs. Do you think there will still be room for God?

A. I don’t see any conflict between religion and science. One is based on data and the other on beliefs. Christianity, like any other religion, is based on writings by human ancestors in the context of their own times. That is why they wrote that the apostles were all male, which is hard to believe these days. I think that the most important thing is to not take those writings at face value. I believe in something, but I don’t know what. It’s possible that God is just something that existed before the “Big Bang,” and then the laws of physics and evolution took over.

News Related


France counting on Rabiot to play starring World Cup role

France’s Adrien Rabiot celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, ... Read more »

Police: 16-year-old stabbed by another teen during dispute inside Staten Island Mall

A 16-year-old was stabbed by another teen after a verbal dispute inside the Staten Island Mall on Friday. The victim was stabbed in the abdomen just before 8 p.m. by ... Read more »

Apache historian questions official narratives: ‘How is it possible that 120 soldiers cut off the feet of 8,000 of our brave Indigenous people?’

Alfonso Borrego poses for a picture in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on November 13, 2022. Alfonso Borrego is the great-grandson of Geronimo, a prominent leader and medicine man from the ... Read more »

Camavinga: “Benzema is a very important person in my life”

Camavinga: “Benzema is a very important person in my life” Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga talked in an interview with Le Parisien and shared his feelings about some of his ... Read more »

Porsha Williams & Simon Guobadia Tied The Knot In Style At Traditional Nigerian Ceremony, The First Of Two Weddings

As we shared earlier, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star Porsha Williams, 41, and her fiancé Simon Guobadia, 57, have officially tied the knot — and they did so in style ... Read more »

Hornets' Gordon Hayward diagnosed with fractured left shoulder

Hornets' Gordon Hayward diagnosed with fractured left shoulder Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward has been diagnosed with a fractured left shoulder and his timeline for a return will be on ... Read more »

Trump Doubles Down on Defending Meeting With Kanye, Nick Fuentes

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 13: Nicholas Fuentes holds up a cross while speaking to people associated with the far-right group America First attend an anti-vaccine protest in front of ... Read more »

Thanksgiving miracle as man rescued from Gulf of Mexico 32 hours after cruise ship fall

The passenger on board the Carnival Valor cruise ship went missing around 2.30pm local time on Wednesday, and - in a Thanksgiving miracle - was not hoisted out of the water until Thursday evening. He has been taken in for treatment, while his family remain on their holiday. Read more »

‘The Kingdom Exodus’ Is Lars von Trier’s Trippy, Bizarro Masterpiece

MUBI Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom—whose first two seasons aired in 1994 and 1997—was an absolutely bonkers Danish blend of hospital drama and otherworldly thriller that gave David Lynch’s Twin ... Read more »

After shock World Cup win, Japanese players leave dressing room "spotless"

QATAR-DOHA-2022 WORLD CUP-GROUP E-GER VS JPN Japan’s 2-1 comeback victory over powerhouse Germany at the Qatar World Cup Wednesday shocked the soccer world, but its win was not the only ... Read more »

Video: Police officers, good Samaritan pull man from subway tracks as train nears station

Two police officers and a Good Samaritan saved a man who had fallen off of a subway platform and down onto the tracks on Thanksgiving Day in Manhattan. The officers ... Read more »

RHOA's Porsha Williams Marries Simon Guobadia

Porsha Williams got her happy ending. The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum, 41, has married entrepreneur Simon Guobadia, 57, her rep confirms to E! News. According to People, the couple ... Read more »

No. 18 UCLA uses late knockout punch to defeat Cal and reach nine wins

BERKELEY —  The play is called peanut punch, something UCLA practices repeatedly each week while teaching defenders how to smack the ball out of a player’s hands. For much of Friday ... Read more »

Macau Gives Existing Casinos New Licenses as Genting Loses Out

Pedestrians pass the Wynn Macau casino resort, operated by Wynn Resorts Ltd., and a lion statue stands outside the MGM Cotai casino resort, developed by MGM China Holdings Ltd., in ... Read more »

College football world reacts to insane Florida State touchdown

Jordan Travis Florida State The latest rendition of one of the most storied rivalries in college football took place on Friday between the Florida State Seminoles and the Florida Gators. ... Read more »

These 61 US Airports Have Lost Nonstop Atlanta Flights Since 2005

These 61 US Airports Have Lost Nonstop Atlanta Flights Since 2005 As everyone knows, Atlanta is the world’s busiest airport for passengers. While it doesn’t win the award for the ... Read more »

Gunman in Virginia Walmart shooting legally purchased firearm that day: What we know

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The man accused of fatally shooting six people and wounding multiple others at a Walmart in Virginia late Tuesday legally purchased the gun that morning, police said Friday. ... Read more »

Discover Christmas Around the World: 25 Books for Children

Last updated on November 19th, 2022 at 09:39 pm Last updated on November 19th, 2022 at 09:39 pm Moms and dads (and teachers), here are 25 books all about Christmas ... Read more »

University Lab ends Arch Manning's high school football career, Isidore Newman's season

The 5-star Texas Longhorns commit left late in the fourth quarter of Newman’s lopsided loss Arch Manning’s storied high school football career ended Friday night at the hands of University ... Read more »

Macron to become first French president in more than 45 years to visit New Orleans

Macron to become first French president in more than 45 years to visit New Orleans French President Emmanuel Macron will visit New Orleans next week during his brief trip to ... Read more »

What are Houston schools facing when it comes to chronically truant students?

HOUSTON – As investigators combed through the life of the Robb Elementary school shooter, they discovered he was absent from school for hundreds of days before being “involuntarily withdrawn” from ... Read more »

Baja California trafficking ring moved meth, fentanyl, cocaine throughout U.S., prosecutors say

SAN DIEGO —  A San Diego mother of three was sentenced this week to nearly six years in federal prison for her role in a Baja California-based drug trafficking ring operated ... Read more »

Editorial: Bad bologna in O.C. jail should turn your stomach too

Reports of rotten food served in Orange County jails ought to make you sick. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve ever set foot in jail, or even the county for that ... Read more »

Police say man crashed car in Tri-Cities and then ran, abandoned his injured family

Nov. 25—A driver is in the Benton County jail after crashing his vehicle in Kennewick and then running away, leaving his own injured family members in the car, according to ... Read more »

Police searching for suspects in smash-and-grab burglaries at Southcenter Mall, surrounding area

Southcenter Mall in Tukwila was full of shoppers, and the parking lot was jammed with cars for Black Friday — a full house, despite the amount of crime the mall has seen ... Read more »

Albany survivor hopes new NYS law will empower others

Albany survivor hopes new NYS law will empower others Jennifer Crawford has many reasons to give up hope. “I’m a survivor of rape, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and childhood abuse.”  ... Read more »

Thief with blow torch attempts to steal from Ballard jewelry store

Thief with blow torch attempts to steal from Ballard jewelry store A thief used a blow torch to try to remove the armor plating around a door lock at a ... Read more »

Passenger on flight from JFK accused of bring razor on plane, holding it near woman's neck

A passenger at JFK Airport is accused of bringing a straight-edge razor on a plane and placing it near a woman’s neck. Merill Fackrell, 41, was arrested after the incident ... Read more »

Douglas County Sheriff's Office provides update about missing Omaha woman

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office provides update about missing Omaha woman OMAHA, Neb. (FOX42KPTM) – There’s a new update regarding a missing Omaha woman.  She was first reported missing this past ... Read more »

Court revives wrongful death claim in Ohio Walmart shooting

Court revives wrongful death claim in Ohio Walmart shooting An appeals court has revived a wrongful death claim against Walmart by the family of a Black man who was fatally ... Read more »

Tennessee ends Kansas' 17-game win streak dating to last season, captures Atlantis title

Tennessee ends Kansas' 17-game win streak dating to last season, captures Atlantis title PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Santiago Vescovi scored 20 points while No. 22 Tennessee locked down on third-ranked Kansas to ... Read more »

Bulls' Streak Snapped With OT Loss to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder

10 observations: Bulls’ streak snapped with OT loss to OKC originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago Following phenomenal victories over the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, the Chicago Bulls suffered ... Read more »

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Enters Lunar Orbit

The capsule and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit more than a week after launching on the $4 billion demo that's meant to pave the way for astronauts. Read more »

Adopted dog religiously peers out of window for one heartwarming reason

Austin, Texas – When the clock strikes 5:30 PM, Abby immediately knows where to find her dog, Harvey: in front of the window in the living room, where the canine ... Read more »

Photo Of Steph Curry Going Viral

A photo of Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry is going viral. The Golden State Warriors are hosting the Utah Jazz on Friday night in San Francisco. Before the game, ... Read more »

Elon Musk says he would support Ron DeSantis for president if he runs in 2024

Elon Musk said he voted for Trump over Biden in 2020, but would support DeSantis if he runs in 2024 Read more »

Cases of domestic violence increase during the holidays, expert says

The numbers nationally are hard to fathom and the effects are immeasurable, according to one expert. Read more »

From 'Blade Runner 2049' to 'Arrival': 10 Great ScI-Fi Movies That Are Actually Mysteries

From ‘Blade Runner 2049’ to ‘Arrival’: 10 Great ScI-Fi Movies That Are Actually Mysteries More than any other film genre, sci-fi can reshape and morph itself into different categories. While ... Read more »

Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ Nick Fuentes Before Meeting With Him: Reports

Former U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement of his plans to run for president in the 2024 U.S. presidential election at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. ... Read more »

Vikings could wrap up NFC North next Sunday

Vikings could wrap up NFC North next Sunday We’re still waiting for Week 12 to conclude in this National Football League season, and no teams have officially locked themselves into ... Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network