In recent weeks, major anomalies have emerged regarding the scientific discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope, which claims to have discovered life in an alien star system, but this is either being kept under wraps or covered up until the next big announcement.
The James Webb is an engineering marvel of immense complexity, both historically and technically, the most advanced and most capable telescope in human civilization. Its construction was delayed by a decade and a half, and has been operating under NASA authority since the end of 2022, revealing the oldest known galaxies and stars, while taking better-than-ever images of the solar system's planets. It is also used to discover planets orbiting other stars.
Before explaining what kind of life Webb did or did not discover, it is worth looking at the origins of current existence.
Sources of confusion are famous British scientists,
Among them is YouTuber Becky Smethurst, known as Dr. Becky. Dr. Becky said this in one of her speeches “Her bingo card indicates that in 2024 there will be an announcement that serious evidence of life has been found on an exoplanet.”. It wasn't hard to get it wrong, so it worked out. Not long after Viewer In her article, she did mention ophthalmology at the local level, although the woman later pointed out that she found it a bit strange how her words had been twisted. Naturally, all of this made serious waves on the online platforms used by British astronomers.
We haven't found aliens, but if we did, it would be very important to everyone, from the scientific public to those who believe in alien spaceships and followers of the Back Force, lizard-spectrum worldview. The fact that this could happen in 2024 means we could be very close.
As many people have pointed out, we may have already discovered extraterrestrial life, but we can't be sure.
We found something somewhere
As mentioned, James Webb discovered carbon-containing compounds associated with life on the exoplanet K2-18b located 120 light-years away. The presence of methane and dimethyl sulfide was detected – the latter is known in our country as a metabolic product of bacteria and as a substance that causes the smell of sulfur in corn and cabbage.
In addition, according to calculations, the planet is covered with a liquid ocean, but since the mass of the celestial body is 8.6 times the mass of the Earth, the gravity is much stronger. However, the planet may be too hot for life, and its oceans are likely constantly boiling.
Water and carbon are so common in the universe that they prove nothing on their own. In a volcanic environment, life thrives even in hot water. This is not because we leave this feeling behind, but because despite James Webb's amazing technology, we still don't know enough. On the one hand, they analyzed the light of a distant star as it reflected through the planet's atmosphere – it was already known at the first announcement that this was an effective but new method (the James Webb Space Telescope tried it a second time), so the measurement had to be repeated several times.
There is also a cautionary example: Venus, which is not a distant star, but a neighboring planet. Venus is a half-thousand-degree hellish world where it rains sulfur, yet phosphine gas was found in its atmosphere in 2020. Phosphine was also evaluated as a biological tracer, but only a few years later, when astronomers modeled the existence of existing life forms. On sulfur, it turns out that phosphine cannot come from living organisms. This case demonstrates that the environment and chemistry of each world are always unique and exotic, and the methodology that evaluates biological signals must be highly engaged to keep up with these challenges.
If there is no tangible radio signal from a technical civilization by then, the best candidate is still K2-18b, since most exoplanets are either gas giants, orbit close to their star, or both. We will be able to learn more about the planet with the help of a new instrument, the Grace Roman Space Telescope, scheduled to be operational from 2027, with which distant planets will be directly visible through so-called coronagraph measurements.