Are we alone in the Universe? Is there life outside our solar system?
“We can find life outside the solar system in 25 years,” researcher Sasha Quanz says.
“New instruments are currently being developed that will supercharge our search for life across the Milky Way galaxy.”
Life on Mars hasn’t been found yet, but Sasha Quanz, an astrophysicist at Switzerland’s federal technology institute ETH Zurich, believes we might be able to detect evidence of it on planets outside of the solar system within the following 25 years, as he remarked at a recent opening of the university’s new Center for the Origin and Prevalence of Life.
Astronomers believe that each of the more than 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy has at least one companion planet.
“That makes for an enormous number of exoplanets, many of which”, Quanz added, “are just like Earth and at the right distance from their host stars to enable conditions for life, such as the presence of liquid water.”
We haven’t found life on Mars yet, but one researcher believes we might be able to detect evidence of it on planets outside of the solar system within the next quarter of a century.
Sasha Quanz, an astrophysicist at Switzerland’s federal technology institute ETH Zurich, made those remarks at a recent opening of the university’s new Center for the Origin and Prevalence of Life.
“In 1995, my colleague [and Noble Prize laureate] Didier Queloz discovered the first planet outside our solar system,” Quanz said during the briefing. “Today, more than 5,000 exoplanets are known and we are discovering them on a daily basis.”
“To qualify as potentially life-friendly, a planet must be relatively small (and therefore rocky) and orbit in the “habitable zone” of its star, which is loosely defined as a location where water can exist in liquid form on a world’s surface. When telescope technology improves, other factors will be considered as well, such as the planet‘s atmospheric composition and how active its parent star is.”
Top 10 exoplanets most likely to be habitable – ranked by distance from Earth