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A Purple Planet May Mean Alien Life

With billions of stars in our galaxy alone, many with their own earth-like planets, how are we to know which ones might be habitable? Well, new research thinks we might just have the clue, and it all has to do with purple bacteria.

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NASA Kepler Results Usher in a New Era of Astronomy

“Scientists from around the world are gathered this week at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., for the second Kepler Science Conference, where they will discuss the latest findings resulting from the analysis of Kepler Space Telescope data.”

Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars

“A major question is whether planets suitable for biochemistry are common or rare in the universe.”

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

“NASA’s Kepler space telescope, now crippled and its four-year mission at an end, nevertheless provided enough data to answer its main research question: How many of the 200 billion stars in our galaxy have potentially habitable planets?”

Alien life may flourish on purple planets

“Find a purple planet, and you may have spotted alien life. Some of the first Earthlings were purple bacteria that ruled the planet about 3 billion years ago. If any Earth-like exoplanets host similar microbes, their distinctive hue will be visible from space.”

Characterizing the purple Earth: Modelling the globally-integrated spectral variability of the Archean Earth

“The ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected, and the efforts of future missions are placed on the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars.”

Purple Bacteria on Earth Could Survive Alien Light

“Purple bacteria contain pigments that allow them to use sunlight as their source of energy, hence their color. Small as they are, these microbes can teach us a lot about life on Earth, because they have been around longer than most other organisms on the planet.”

Extreme alien light allows survival of terrestrial bacteria

“Photosynthetic organisms provide a crucial coupling between the Sun’s energy and metabolic processes supporting life on Earth.”

Kepler – Ames Research Center

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