Combining different lines of evidence will help provide context for findings related to the search for life, the group said.
NASA scientists are seeking new structures in the search for alien life.
The agency recounted the contents of a new article published in Nature on Wednesday. The article was led by NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green.
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the group said Creating a scale for evaluating and combining different lines of evidence would help provide context for conclusions related to the search for life.
In addition, scientists A sample scale offered As a starting point for discussion among anyone who will use it – however they envision one informed by decades of experience in astrophysics.
The scale presented has seven levels that NASA says are “a reflection of the winding, intricate staircase that will lead scientists to declare that they have found life beyond Earth.”
Green and team used NASA’s Technology Readiness Level Scale as an example.
“Having a scale like this will help us better understand where we are in terms of searching for life in particular places, and in terms of the capabilities of the missions and technologies that help us in that search,” Green said in a statement. Huh.”
On the first level of the scale, scientists will report the signs of life. Next, they would ensure that the detection was compromised or was affected by equipment being contaminated on Earth. For the tertiary stage, scientists will show how a biological signal is detected in an analogous environment.
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Early detection will be supplemented with information on whether the environment in question can support life and rule out non-biological sources at level four and that additional and independent detection will be required to reach level five. .
The authors state that level six includes future observations that reject alternative hypotheses proposed after the original announcement.
Level seven, the highest level on the scale, will include independent follow-up observations of the predicted biological behavior in the environment in question.
“With each measurement, we learn more about planetary processes, both organic and non-biological,” said co-author and head of NASA’s Astrobiology Program Mary Voytek. “The search for life beyond Earth requires widespread participation from the scientific community and a wide variety of observations and experiments. Together, we can be strong in our efforts to look for signs that we are not alone.”
One goal of the agency’s presence on Mars this year is to search for signs of ancient microbial life, and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory announced Astronomers this week found evidence of what would be the first planet to pass a star outside the Milky Way.
NASA noted that all science is a process, including astrobiology, and added that scientists can create and improve the techniques needed to find signs of life from Earth.
“So far, we’ve tricked the public into thinking that there are only two options: it’s life or it’s not life,” Voytek said. “We need a better way to share the excitement of our discoveries, and demonstrate how each discovery builds on the next, so that we can bring the public and other scientists on the journey.”
NASA’s upcoming missions include the Europa Clipper orbiter and the Dragonfly octocopter that will explore Saturn’s moon Titan.