In order to help look for alien life, scientists have developed a new kind of instrument that will assist with the task by detecting faraway lifeforms.
A new scientific instrument called ‘TreePol spectropolarimeter’ has been developed to be used to detect presence of lifeforms from several kilometers away and can one day help to look for alien life, reported Science Alert.
At present, the device is best used for spotting faraway plants, but the team envisions a high-powered version of the tool that can someday serve as the most reliable means of searching for extraterrestrial life to date, according to The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
What’s interesting about TreePol is that it detects light that been rotated after bouncing off molecules found only in living things, nothing else will trigger TreePol’s sensors except for living things. The tool was especially built to detect plants, but can also detect light that bounced off of most living things on Earth, according to Futurism.
“Our results underline the potential significance of circular polarization both as a remotely accessible means of detecting the presence of extraterrestrial life, and as a valuable remotely applicable tool for vegetation monitoring on Earth,” the team explained.
For now, the team is gearing up to test if TreePol could be used to analyze crops from a plane or satellite. If the tests prove to be successful, the team will further investigate if they can use it to scan the cosmos.
“An important next step will be to use these results in exoplanetary models with realistic components such as different surfaces and clouds, while future field and laboratory studies should continue to explore the versatility and potential of this technique.”