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Alien atmosphere made on Earth

A team at NASA triggered a reaction between gas mixtures and plasma to re-create an alien atmosphere. Re-creating exoplanets’ atmospheres here could help us find signs of life.

An image of an exoplanet with a different atmosphere to our own. In the image, it looks various shades of green.
Image credit: NASA Astrobiology Institute

 

Want to find out about an alien world without all the fuss of space travel?

Thanks to an experimental new process, a team of astrophysicists at Johns Hopkins University in the United States have re-created several exoplanets’ atmospheric gases in a lab. They did this by studying the surface colour, density and temperature of planets outside the Solar System. This research will help us identify which planets might be able to support life.

We find it exciting that not only do we get an insight into alien weather, but we can also smell these other worlds!

DISCUSSION TOPICS

Mars smells like rotten eggs, what do you think the other planets in our Solar System smell like?

What would a weather report on Jupiter be like?