In October 2021, a NASA flagship telescope called the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is scheduled to be launched into space. At 6.5 metres in diameter, it is twice the size of the previous largest telescope ever launched. Its large size will make it possible to measure the extremely dim atmosphere of planets hundreds of trillions of kilometres away.
And, being in space, its view won’t be hindered by Earth’s atmosphere, so will produce extremely crisp images and accurate measurements. NASA is so excited about finding signs of life with the JWST that it allocated 25 per cent of the telescope’s assigned observation time to study exoplanet atmospheres.Chima McGruder, “The hunt for extraterrestrial life is about to enter a new era” at New Scientist
We shall see what we see.
See also: Aliens who landed here would just starve, a science writer predicts. We tend to assume that any life form could live with our complicated chemistry but what if — fundamentally — not? That if an intelligent life form landed on Earth with the opposite chirality to the one on which life forms on Earth depend = sugars right, amino acids left?