Colorful life-form catalog helps discern if we’re alone

March 16, 2015 7:06 PM

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Colorful life-form catalog helps discern if we’re alone

While looking for life on planets beyond our own solar system, a group of international scientists has created a colorful catalog containing reflection signatures of Earth life forms that might be found on planet surfaces throughout the cosmic hinterlands. The new database and research, published in the March 16 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), gives humans a better chance to learn if we are not alone.

“This database gives us the first glimpse at what diverse worlds out there could look like. We looked at a broad set of life forms, including some from the most extreme parts of Earth,” says Lisa Kaltenegger, professor of astronomy and director of Cornell’s new Institute for Pale Blue Dots, which st...

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