To find life elsewhere, you have to look for water


IN QUEST FOR THE THIRD KIND (3/6) – The search for extraterrestrial life, in the Solar System or on exoplanets, focuses on the detection of H2O molecules, in liquid form. But can complex organic chemistry emerge otherwise?

Little grays and green fellows ignite our imaginations. But the search for extraterrestrial life is also a very serious science that mobilizes the largest space agencies. How to look for life elsewhere than on Earth? Is the presence of water essential? And if an intelligence arose from the stars, could we communicate with it? “Le Figaro” sets out in search of the third type.

No evidence of life has been found anywhere other than on Earth. “In the late 1970s, NASA’s ambitions were curtailed after the failure of the Viking probes, which failed to spot traces of life on Mars, recalls Stéphane Mazevet, astrophysicist and author of a recent book on life in the universe. The American agency has stopped working with biologists and efforts have been refocused on finding water in the universe. ” In its various forms (gas, liquid or ice), water then became the molecule observed primarily by telescopes or during

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