In search of life in the universe

19 May 2023

How do we detect life on exoplanets via astronomy? This is the question being asked by theoretical astrophysicist Kevin Heng.

Professor Kevin Heng’s research is based on taking measurements from planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. Measurements like the ones recorded at LMU’s Wendelstein observatory. “Every molecule, like water or methane, has a certain pattern of spectral lines. You can measure that and analyze it,” says Heng. Spectral lines are made by light of a certain frequency that’s been excited by an atom or a molecule.


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