It’s been justs revealed that single-celled organisms such as Ecoli and yeast have the ability to grow and survive in the atmosphere just like the ones that are supposed to exist on many rocky exoplanets.
Experts would love to know whether there’s life elsewhere in the universe and a part of answering this question is determining what an inhabited exoplanet would look like to our telescopes here on our planet.
Gizmodo writes that if life is able to survive in a hydrogen-rich atmosphere just like the one that’s expected to be found on many exoplanets, experts may need to broaden their definition of what a life-supporting planet might look like.
“This should open up—continue to push—astronomers on what kinds of planets might be habitable,” the study’s first author and MIT professor Sara Seager told Gizmodo in an email.
She continued and said that “We will have so few planets to search for life around, even with our upcoming sophisticated telescopes, that we want to keep options open.”
Analyzing E. coli and brewer’s yeast
The team of MIT researchers kicked off colonies of the E.coli bacteria and brewer’s yeast, according to the same online publication.
The experiment is detailed in a paper that’s been published in Nature Astronomy and we suggest that you give it a look.
The conclusion was that the microorganisms were able to survive without oxygen, but this was not a surprise because there are lots of anaerobic microorganisms on Earth as well.
Gizmodo writes that “if microbes can survive a 100 percent hydrogen environment, then they can survive the atmospheres most likely to be found on rocky exoplanets.”
Speaking of exoplanets, experts have realized quite the discovery recently. Their work comprises seven years of continuous monitoring. A system of six exoplanets is orbiting the star dubbed HD 158259.