How long will it be before we find alien life on exoplanets? Exoplanet astronomer Dr. Ryan MacDonald explains how biosignatures can be found in exoplanet atmospheres. He also reveals how the discovery of the first close-in planet around a white dwarf could dramatically accelerate the hunt for alien life beyond the solar system with the James Webb Space Telescope.
***** Chapters *****
0:00 - Introduction 1:15 - Worlds Beyond Earth 2:26 - Early Exoplanet Discoveries 4:10 - Transiting Exoplanets 5:26 - Transmission Spectroscopy 6:24 - Exoplanet Atmospheres 9:15 - The James Webb Space Telescope 10:33 - Signatures of Life on Earth 14:57 - Exoplanet Biosignatures 16:34 - The Small Star Opportunity 17:52 - Case Study: TRAPPIST-1 19:44 - When Stars Die 20:51 - White Dwarfs 22:27 - The Discovery of WD 1856b 24:04 - Earth-like Planets Around White dwarfs 25:10 - The White Dwarf Opportunity
***** Animations and media *****
Most animations and graphics used here were produced by NASA, ESA, and ESO. Special thanks to Jack Madden for producing the renders of an Earth-like planet around a white dwarf.
***** Music *****
All credit to Aakash Gandhi for creating the two inspirational tracks included in this video and for releasing them into the public domain.