Astronomers are inventing new ways to detect life on planets in the universe. As of now, they have not found any habitable land outside of the Earth.
Stars near the Earth are millions of miles away, which makes it hard to detect the planets in orbit around them. Even with the use of large telescopes, it is still challenging to see planets that are close to their parent star because these stars are at least a billion times brighter.
To avoid these barriers, scientists must use indirect methods to search for planets. One method tracks irregularities in the orbit of the star that might be caused by the gravitational pull of its orbiting planets. Astronomers study the spectrum of light that is emitted by the star to look for small changes in wavelength that might be a result of the gravitational pull of orbiting planets. This method was successfully used recently to observe a crop of extrasolar planets which are planets outside the sun’s solar system.
Roger Angel and Neville Woolf of the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona have suggested a new method to search for orbiting planets: the “space interferometer”, a device that would block out light from the parent star to reveal the planets orbiting around it.
According to astrobiologists, another way to potentially identify extraterrestrial life would be to train a radio telescope on a planet to listen for TV signals. However, it could be easy to miss creatures that do not have the same technology.
Astronomers have been working tirelessly to build advanced technology to help them find signs of life on smaller planets farther from their parent stars. Ultimately, these tools will help people understand what lies in the universe and how alone human beings truly are.
[Source: Secrets of the Universe]]