An artist's illustration of an Earth-like planet. The search for planets that are similar to Earth is one of NASA's main goals. Many planets have already been discovered orbiting other stars, but so far only larger planets (the size of Jupiter or larger) have been found. New missions are being planned by NASA which will be able to detect smaller Earth-sized planets. Some of these missions will also try to detect signs of life on these planets by studying emissions in their atmospheres.


Can we find trees on other planets ?

SOURCE: Discovery News
Jan 2, 2011

Two scientists have come up with a method to detect forests on extrasolar worlds.

Christopher Dougherty and Adam Wolf are working on the idea that a planet covered in trees might be detectable from the Earth because the shadowing on the surface would give it a different look. Referred to as the search for "Extra-Arboreal" life the method would require a much larger telescope than is currently available but could one day be used to locate abundant life on a distant world not much unlike our own.

If a tree casts a shadow in the woods, can anyone see it from light-years away? Considering that the best extrasolar planet pictures to date are dots in deep-space exposures, this question may sound ludicrous. But a pair of scientists thinks that detecting alien forests might be doable, at least in theory. Call it the search for Extra-Arboreal life.

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Could we detect trees on other planets?

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