Indications That an Exoplanet Might Potentially Have Life Discovered by NASA’s James Webb Telescope
The James Webb Telescope of NASA may have detected a molecule called dimethyl sulfide, which on Earth is produced solely by living organisms like phytoplankton. However, researchers emphasize to the BBC that the detection on the planet, which is located 120 light-years away, is not strong, and more data will be available in about a year.
Nevertheless, they have also identified methane and carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere, which are stronger indicators than dimethyl sulfide. The detection of these gases could imply that the planet, named K2-18b, has a water ocean.
However, as experts point out, even if a planet has the right conditions for life to exist, it doesn’t necessarily mean it does.
This is, nonetheless, the first time astronomers have detected the possibility of dimethyl sulfide on a planet orbiting a distant star.
Typically, such remarkable claims are met with reservations. In 2020, researchers claimed to have found the molecule phosphine, which could be produced by living organisms, in the clouds of Venus, but this finding was not confirmed.