Is humanity the sole inhabitant of the cosmos? This age-old question has persisted throughout our history. In the realm of modern astronomy, the inquiry delves into the search for extraterrestrial life. Are we, as a species and as a planet, solitary entities in the vast expanse of the universe? Or is life flourishing elsewhere?
Typically, this question conjures visions of peculiar, green-hued versions of ourselves. However, life encompasses far more than just humanity: animals, fish, plants, and even bacteria represent the various forms we hope to discover signs of beyond our own world.
A notable aspect of life on Earth is its imprint on the chemical composition of our atmosphere. These telltale signs, discernible from great distances, are a focal point in our quest for potential extraterrestrial life.
Recently, scientists from the United Kingdom and the United States unveiled intriguing chemical indicators in the atmosphere of K2-18b, a planet located approximately 124 light-years away from Earth. Specifically, they may have detected a substance that, on Earth, is exclusively generated by living organisms.