For decades we have been in search of life on other planets. However, the researchers at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Southern Queensland have got something that calls for the dire attention of all the space lovers.
An ongoing study has identified more than hundred giant planets that are predicted to host the moons which may have life on them. The future endeavors of the research lie in guiding the telescopes to locate such moons and search for the tell-tale signs of life existing in their atmospheres. The tell-tale signs of life are called as biosignatures.
The NASA’s Kepler Telescope marks 2009 as the year for its launch. The telescope was successful in tracing the existence of about thousands of planets located out of our solar system. Such planets later came to be known as the exoplanets. The primary objective behind the launch of the Kepler telescope was the planet identification in the habitable zones of their stars. The presence of the planet in the habitable zones of their stars means that they are neither too hot nor too cold for life to exist.
The terrestrial planets resemble the Earth both geologically as well as atmospherically. It is for this resemblance that the terrestrial planets make a perfect target for the zest to explore the life existence. Another one which excites the nerves of the astronomers in their mission to hunt for life existence is the gas giant. There are multiples of the gas giants marking their presence in the space. They were identified during the Kepler mission. One of the possibilities of life existence is being predicted at the surface of the exomoons. These exomoons are the rocky moons harboring in the habitable zones of Jupiter-like planets and are expected to sustain life.
Stephen Kane says, “There are currently 175 known moons orbiting the eight planets in our solar system. While most of these moons orbit Saturn and Jupiter, which are outside the Sun’s habitable zone, that may not be the case in other solar systems. Including rocky exomoons in our search for life in space will greatly expand the places we can look.” Stephen Kane is an associate professor of planetary astrophysics. Kane is also a member of the UCR’s Alternative Earth’s Biology Center.