The search for another Earth

Astronomers are excited about the Habitable Worlds Observatory — a new telescope that may finally reveal whether life exists on worlds beyond our solar system.

The Habitable Worlds Observatory won’t just record images. One of the new instrument’s primary goals will be to use a spectrograph to break up the light from these distant worlds into a spectrum, which can then be analyzed for specific signals associated with certain chemicals in the planet’s atmosphere. Some of those chemicals, known as biomarkers, may signal that something is alive on the planet’s surface.

Read the full article at Smithsonian.

An artist's rendering of an exoplanet, with stars visible in the background.