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Transmission Spectrum Of Inhabited Planet Identified

Researchers from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias examined the transmissions spectrum of Earth's atmosphere. During a recent eclipse, conditions were perfect for using the William Herschel Telescope on Le Palma and the Nordic Optical Telescope.

The spectrum not only contained signs of life but these signs were unmistakably strong. It also contained unexpected molecular bands and the signature of the earth ionosphere.

Enric Palle, lead author of the paper, from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, said, "Now we know what the transmission spectrum of a inhabited planet looks like, we have a much better idea of how to find and recognize Earth like planets outside our solar system where life may be thriving. The information in this spectrum shows us that this is a very effective way to gather information about the biological processes that may be taking place on a planet."

Fans of the original series of Star Trek have been eagerly awaiting long range sensor scans that can detect inhabited planets for so long that we even restarted the series with younger actors hoping to get a time extension.


(Spock long range sensor scan)

Via io9.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/16/2009)

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