Has an extraterrestrial life form really been discovered? The scale that NASA researchers envisioned could help us better understand it. because, while “While our generation may be the one that will discover life beyond Earth, with this potential comes a certain responsibility.”
a form ofwas discovered. We are all waiting for this announcement. Maybe a little more sometimes. To the extent of turning our dreams into reality. Certainly, humanity has never been so close to finding evidence that life could exist anywhere other than on Earth. But beware of the sensational sirens. from researchers Call today for the opening of a dialogue aimed at better preparation in the field.
In an article published in, they propose the establishment of a scale at seven levels, which symbolizes the complexity of the task and leads to the answer to the question: “are we alone? “ this ladder, they named it Confidence of Life Detection or cold scale, for “The Degree of Confidence to Explore Life”. And he envisioned it a bit like the second scale used at NASA, which allows engineers to gauge how ready a technology is. So Mars Helicopter As a simple idea, starting at the bottom of the ladder. Then the project came to life with rigorously tested components and a machine capable of flying on the surface of Mars.
NSNASA thus seeks to break out of the double vision of the problem that seems to have settled in the public’s mind. “We pretended that there were only two options: this is life or this is not life. This led to many accusations of finding life which later turned out to be hasty”, Mary Voytek, Program Manager for . telling At NASA, a . In . “The reality is that each of our findings is based on the previous one. In a non-fixed context in which false leads are part of the process.” On finding evidence of water flowing on Mars, it is found that Can support life once. without necessarily implying that a form of life has actually been there. This is what researchers need to convince the public, take them on their long journey and more precisely share the excitement of their discoveries.
In the words of Carl Sagan, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
— NASA Astrobiology: The Search for Life in the Universe (@NASAAstrobio) October 27, 2021
life on Mars?
Level 1 of the scale proposed by NASA researchers may thus correspond to the search for signs of a signature of life. As if a possible life-related molecule has been found on Mars. To move up to Level 2, scientists must ensure that detection is not affected by potentially contaminated equipment on Earth. Level 3 can only be achieved if the quest is done in a suitable environment, such as an ancient river or lake bed. slightly like Jezero crater in whichon the surface of Mars.
Advances to Level 6 will require different teams to be able to validate evidence with different tools. This can be done with samples taken from Mars.Once they are brought back to earth. But it would not be possible to reach level 7 without sending an additional mission to the Red Planet in search of confirmation. Since “Achieving the highest level of trust requires the involvement of the scientific community at large”NASA researchers say.
What about traces of life outside the Solar System?
The scale is also intended to serve as a framework for the search for life on planets outside of us.. Astronomers reveal what could be the first step to discover? in l of an exoplanet. But geological processes may also be at the root of the formation of oxygen. So to get to level 2 of the scale, researchers have to show that the signal is not corrupted. Rejects the geological explanation by the Earth on the one hand and the deep study of the chemistry of the atmosphere on the other. Detecting both oxygen and methane allows us to set ourselves up at level 4. Because, without a biological source, both will cancel each other.
In the end, NASA astronomers insist it’s not a “Race to the Top”, but an invitation to consolidate basic work before announcing the detection of a form of life elsewhere other than Earth. “With each measurement, we learn more about biological and non-biological planetary processes, says Mary Voytek. The search for life beyond Earth requires widespread participation from the scientific community and a variety of observations and experiments. Together we can be stronger in our efforts to find clues that we are not alone”.
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