A recently published paper has offered a simple approach to prove if a distant planet gives home to life. The new University of Washington research has been published in a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary open-access scientific journal named Science Advances. The authors of the study have offered an approach that could be more auspicious than simply searching for oxygen.

The study has considered the history of life on Earth to identify phases where the atmosphere held a combination a gases that could only exist with the existence of living organisms and are out of equilibrium. For a matter of fact, it is only in the past 1/8th of the planet’s history that the ability of life to make significant quantities of oxygen has occurred.

Researchers Highlight Significantly Complex Biochemistry of Oxygen Production

In a broader sense, the authors of the study have determined a new mixture of gases that may provide proof of life, i.e. methane plus carbon dioxide discounting carbon monoxide. UW professor of Earth and space sciences, co-author David Catling has said that an extraterrestrial biosphere could be historically discovered if the doable suggestion given in the study is followed. A chemical imbalance of the production of methane and carbon dioxide minus carbon monoxide could signal the existence of life.

Another co-author, Joshua Krissansen-Totton has said that microbes readily eat carbon monoxide, so any planet that exhibits an abundance of this gas could perhaps have no biology. Carbon monoxide has been researched to not be built up in an atmosphere of a planet that contains life.