Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is another image of planets orbiting another star, this time taken with infrared radiation:
These three planets are orbiting the star HR 8799.
NASA has an ambitious plan to search for Earth-sized, or even Earth-like planets. The hope is to be able to directly image Earth-sized planets (the above image shows Jupiter-sized worlds) and to be able to analyze the light reflected from these bodies. This should tell us if the atmospheres of these Earth-sized planets contain oxygen, water, and ozone, which would indicate the existence of photosynthesis.
“Such a discovery would at last provide convincing evidence that we are not alone.”
Only if one considers the bacterial slime to be enough to say “we are not alone.”
Grace and Peace