Finding evidence of a habitable planet with its own star similar to Earth's sun will require massive and highly-advanced space telescopes. The technology is not yet possible at present, but our ingenious scientists devise ways to make an already available technology to work in the exploration of exoplanets with a potential alien life.
Scientists are looking at the planet dubbed Proxima b which was discovered recently. Initial investigations suggest that the planet may have signs of life.
Proxima b, centauri
For a deeper investigation of the planet's atmosphere require a technology that may only be available in 2030.
Two groups of astronomers plan on using a different method that will allow them to study the planet efficiently without having to wait for years for the space-based telescope. The ground-based ones will be around by 2020.
Matteo Brogi, a Hubble fellow at the University of Colorado described how the ground-based telescope work in studying exoplanets like Proxima b.
Shining brightly in this Hubble image is our closest stellar neighbour: Proxima Centauri.
These potential exoplanets orbit around habitable zones near red dwarf stars. The frequency of planets next to these red dwarfs is high.
To investigate those exoplanets and its nearby stars, one method that can be used is high-resolution spectroscopy which would return sharp details of the object.
There is risk in using spectroscopy to planets with surrounding sea of light from distant stars. It can return a Doppler effect coming from the light waves. So to bypass that, scientists devise a second technique using direct imaging.
These methods were discussed in a workshop hosted by National Academy of Sciences.
See: Experts Plan To Reach Out To The Nearest Exoplanet, Stephen Hawking Says It’s Too Risky