Did you know? 'Broccoli gas' can help finding life on other planets

If any such gases are found in the atmosphere of any planet, it indicates something about the life on other planets

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, October 13, 2022, 12:39 PM IST
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One of the greatest mysteries is finding life beyond Earth. Broccoli and other plants like it emit a gas that can help to expel toxins. It is believed that such gases could provide evidence of life on other planets. Now, scientists are looking to a distant relative of cauliflower and broccoli to help them find their rhythm.

The gas emitted by broccoli is called methylation, which is a process where an organism adds a carbon and three hydrogen atoms to an unwanted chemical. As a result, the potential toxin turned into a gas that can float in the atmosphere safely.

According to a media outlet Michaela Leung, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Riverside, said: "Methylation is so widespread on Earth, we expect life anywhere else to perform it."  "Most cells have mechanisms for expelling harmful substances."

The study also suggests that methyl bromide presents many advantages over other gases that are targeted in the search for life. One important advantage is that methyl bromide doesn’t remain in the atmosphere as long as some traditional "biosignature" gases.

Scientists believe that finding methyl bromide, which has many advantages, also observes the same light wavelength as other biosignature gases, and this has been made by something living than other gases.

According to the study, methyl bromide would be simpler to find around a M dwarf star than it would be in solar systems like our own. According to Scientific American, these M dwarf stars are more than 10 times more abundant than our Sun despite having only a small portion of their mass and luminosity. Because of their decreased luminosity, they release less UV radiation that can dissolve water vapour in the atmosphere.

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