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James Webb Space Telescope Poised To Investigate Possible Signs Of Life In Distant Solar System

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(CTN News) – The quest for extraterrestrial life beyond our solar system may be on the brink of a breakthrough.

The James Webb Space Telescope, heralded as the largest ever sent into space, is poised to peer into another solar system following the emergence of potential signs on one of its distant planets.

As per a report from The Times, scientists have detected a gas in the atmosphere of a planet that could possibly be “solely produced by life.

” This planet, named K2-18b, resides within the constellation Leo orbiting a star known as K2-18, estimated to be roughly half the size of our Sun.

K2-18b dwarfs Earth, measuring approximately 2.6 times its size. Researchers have identified dimethyl sulphide (DMS) gas in its atmosphere, suggesting a tantalizing possibility of its origin being linked to phytoplankton in marine environments.

Although scientists express over 50 percent confidence in the presence of DMS in the planet’s atmosphere, definitive proof linking it to biological activity remains elusive.

The inability to conclusively demonstrate that DMS can be generated in the absence of living organisms underscores the complexities of this ongoing investigation.

WEBB Space Telescope

Where is K2-18b located?

K2-18b resides 124 light years away from Earth, marking it as one of our relatively close celestial neighbors.

To reach this distant planet, a probe traveling at the velocity of the Voyager spacecraft, which moves at 38,000 mph, would require approximately 2,175.44 years in human terms.

James Webb Space Telescope’s quest for life

Launched from the Guiana Space Centre in 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) specializes in infrared astronomy. Since its deployment, it has unveiled a plethora of cosmic marvels, including the awe-inspiring imagery it routinely transmits to NASA.

Constructed at a staggering cost of $10 billion, JWST features a 6.5-meter, gold-plated mirror and a suite of sophisticated instruments cooled to temperatures just a few degrees above absolute zero.

Among its discoveries are Wasp-107b, situated 1,300 light years away from Earth, and GJ1214, a planet boasting a mass eight times that of our own.

Furthermore, JWST has identified the massive planets within the Orion Nebula, expanding our understanding of the universe’s vast diversity.

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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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