The current search for life on planets outside our own solar system consists of analyzing the chemical signatures in their atmospheres, transmitted via the light from the planet’s host star as it either shines through, or is reflected off of, those atmospheres. Researchers look for gases that could be produced by biological processes, such as methane or oxygen, some sort of sign that something is metabolizing on a planet far, far away.
NASA has just announced that it will be holding a news conference on Wednesday, February 22 at which a major new exoplanet discovery will be revealed. Does this mean that evidence, or even proof, of life on a planet orbiting another star has been found? That is certainly what the announcement suggests.