The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), to be launched this October, could be the silver bullet for detecting life on other planets. The telescope will home on to six gas dwarf planets. It is expected that just after a few orbits,or as little as 60 hours potential signatures of life can be picked up. Gas dwarf planets have the potential to foster life.
Scientists struggle to determine if there are ammonia in the atmosphere and other possible signs of living things, since none of these Super-Earths or mini-Neptunes exist within our solar system.
But Caprice Phillips, a graduate student at The Ohio State University has made the brave assertion that " we may realistically find signs of life on other planets in the next 5 to 10 years".
Phillips will share the preliminary findings at a press conference during the 2021 APS April meeting. She and her team modelled how the JWST instrument would respond to different clouds and atmospheric conditions, then produced a list of locations where the telescope should search for life.
Phillips said that "Humankind has contemplated the questions, 'Are we alone? What is life? Is life elsewhere similar to us?'”
"My research suggests that for the first time, we have the scientific knowledge and technological capabilities to realistically begin to find the answers to these questions." She added.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has faced all the harsh conditions from rocket launch to space ahead of its October 2021 launch.
According to NASA, recent tests by Webb’s have confirmed that a fully assembled observatory will tolerate deafening noise, and that they will experience tremors, tingling, and vibrations during liftoff.
The telescope is the world's largest, most powerful, and complex space science telescope ever built.
It is designed to help unravel the mysteries of our solar system, beyond the distant worlds surrounding other stars, and investigate the mysterious structures and origins of our universe.