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He discovered a gas that only living organisms produce

He discovered a gas that only living organisms produce

An exciting discovery may be closer than ever, and capable of completely changing our view of the universe: Proving the existence of life outside Earth. Universe K2-18BThe planet, located 120 light-years away in the constellation Leo, appears to be a very promising candidate when it comes to searching for extraterrestrial biological signs. Although the planet was discovered nearly ten years ago, investigations are still ongoing, which may be truly surprising. In particular, it exists Dimethyl sulfideIt was discovered last year, sparking excitement among scientists: a gas believed to be “produced only by life.” A new monitoring session is scheduled for today that could provide the necessary confirmations.

Universe

K2-18b, which was discovered in 2015, attracted the attention of the international scientific community especially after 2019, when the presence of water vapor in its atmosphere was detected. Additional observations by the James Webb Space Telescope revealed traces of carbon dioxide and methane, but it was the potential presence of dimethyl sulfide that sparked the curiosity and excitement of the international scientific community. K2-18b is classified as A Super TerraLarger than our planet but much smaller than gas giants like Neptune. Their size and composition suggest a water-rich environment, although scientists prefer to err on the side of caution, given the possibility that these oceans are very warm or even composed of lava.

Dimethyl sulfide

DMS is an organic compound known on Earth to be produced only by life. In fact, their presence is mainly attributed to the degradation of dimethylsulfoniopropionate, a metabolite of some marine algae, but also to the conversion of dimethyl sulfoxide by some bacteria. Since there are no currently known geological or chemical processes that could generate DMS without a biological presence, its discovery may be evidence that K2-18b hosts some form of life.

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The shocking discovery

The possible existence of this compound was first suggested during initial observations by the James Webb Space Telescope, but with only 50% certainty. Dr Niku Madhusudan from the University of Cambridge, who conducted the research, reported the shocking discovery: «It was a real shock» He said, revealing that he used to stay up all night every time.

Affirmations

The new probation session scheduled for today with James Webb will last eight hours. These observations aim to conclusively confirm the existence of the DMS, which could represent a landmark moment in the search for habitable environments outside our solar system. However, even if the observations were completed today, data analysis would require months of careful work before final results could be announced. The exoplanet is expected to be studied further by the ARIEL space telescope, which will be launched in 2028. The ARIEL telescope, like the James Webb Telescope, will be equipped with instruments designed to determine the composition of exoplanet atmospheres.

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