Could James Webb detect alien life on Hycean planets?

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The James Webb Space Telescope could detect life in Hycean planets within the next few years. Hycean planets are exoplanets with liquid water oceans surrounded by hydrogen/helium atmospheres. Hycean planets are a sub-class of “mini-Neptunes” that could contain biomarkers in their atmospheres. Simulations by a team from Cambridge University show that these planets could be detected by JWST in just the next few years!

01:40 Magellan TV advert
02:52 Exoplanet K2-18b
04:54 Habitability of Hycean planets
07:37 Hycean habitable zone
10:50 Detecting biomarkers with James Webb Space Telescope

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Madhusudhan et al. 2021:
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Tags: christian ready, launch pad astronomy, hycean planet, james webb space telescope, ocean planet, exoplanets, life, madhusudhan, k2-18b, james webb space telescope nasa, james webb telescope

  1. Chordie Pa.

    Good morning Christian. Your video came up in my suggestion bar. Like millions of others, I’ve been waiting to see what the JWST has to offer for what seems like an eternity.

    But one of the first things that caught my eye when the video began running was the “Stealie” in the background. That can’t be random. So I thought I would say hello from one Deadhead space enthusiast to another. And you’re only an hour down the road. I’ll wager you were at Merriweather on more than one occasion, as was I. :)

    Thanks for the vid. Hopefully by next year at this time we’ll have some great results.

    Have a Grateful day.

  2. Koungmeng Eong

    Hi Christian, I hope you are doing well. Thank you for the video. I hope James Webb’s lunch will be successful. There are endless possibilities that we can learn from the telescope.

  3. Rob Bujold

    As always, educational and very well explained.

  4. Jorge Couttolenc

    First they have to launch the telescope, see if it works…, then you can ask that question…
    For all I know, it could detect if there are hamburgers on the moon… Lol
    Sorry but the telescope is still at NASA Space Center or somewhere in the planet still

  5. DangerDave

    I’m going to be the first to ride a Titanium whale.

  6. Mugwump

    420th like. Holy smoke!

  7. MrsTitina

    Long time no see! 😂😂😂 Welcome back!

  8. Anthony Armstrong

    I think it’s not getting off of the ground! Just keeps sitting there!

  9. RealHuman568

    ok this is bloodyy interesting

  10. TheArbiter

    I still remember when James Webb was due to launch in 2007…

  11. will2see

    12:34 – “But in last few years…” – What? No, this method is much older than a few years!
    The field of exoplanet atmospheric science has expanded rapidly
    since the first transit spectroscopy measurement of the hot Jupiter
    HD 209458 b’s atmosphere by Charbonneau et al. (2002).

  12. will2see

    These kinds of videos drive me crazy and make me mad!

  13. will2see


  14. will2see

    8:50 – “…the dayside of these planets would eventually become too hot to sustain life.” – There is no way we could know this. What we are talking about here is just our assumptions based on our extremely limited notion of what life is. If you are talking about biological life, then ok. But I suppose that you are not talking just about biological life, but life in general. And as we don’t know (don’t have the slightest idea) what life, in general, could be, then there is absolutely no point saying where life could or couldn’t thrive (or be sustained, or whatever…).

  15. will2see

    There is no point in talking about the concept of habitability or habitable zone without defining the life for which these concepts should apply!

  16. will2see

    0:44 – “… could be habitable for heat-loving microorganisms called extremophiles.” – You are talking about BIOLOGICAL! organisms that we know from planet Earth and you try to apply this notion to another planet. But that is wrong! Our notion and understanding of life are extremely limited. We basically DON’T know what life is. So how could we make any conclusion at all about “life” on another planet? As I already said (wrote) many times, FIRST OF ALL, DEFINE life! Only then, we can start speculating about it and try to find it. Without a definition of life, there is absolutely no point talking about life somewhere else. What do we even mean by life??? Does it have to be biological in nature? I don’t think so! Life in the Universe could have uncountably many forms and could be based on things that we can’t even imagine. By talking about some extremophiles on other planets, we are just limiting ourselves, because we are doing conclusions based on our ignorance. And BTW, life is first of all a process, not a thing.

  17. will2see

    First of all, DEFINE life.

  18. Maciej Bukowski

    The real problem is not if extremophiles can survive on hycean planets but if they can emerge there. Too much water = everything is diluted and complex chemistry needed for life cannot start. Therefore you may need land and shallow zones that come with it or for that matter – geysers (source of energy) to start life before any kind of extremophiles may colonize ocean plates.

  19. My constitution

    Nice to have you back. Life finds a way! So will we!!!

  20. new pokemon episode

    Telescope coronagraph

  21. new pokemon episode

    Image? Alien civilization

  22. Red Ketchup

    Thanks you so much, Christian. i loved it !
    I really really appreciate !!

  23. Naamã dos Santos Silva

    The problem is minerals.How could those planets get and/or maintain them,especially the less water-soluble ones?

  24. tjp353

    Interesting vid but too many ads for a sub.

  25. Anders Melen

    Amazing video as always. So glad to see you are back!

  26. Bravo-01

    Very very interesting! Thanks!

  27. nunya

    Love what you do here

  28. btingey

    No… because there is none.

  29. Hiroshi loves You

    I love Hycean Planets!

  30. P5ychoFox

    The launch of JWST is going to be insanely nerve wracking. So much is riding on that telescope.

  31. NMS Small Channel Showcas

    I can feel myself getting smarter as I watch.

    But I have a way to go yet.

    I’ll just need to watch more I guess.

  32. Sir Hashie

    The king has returned

  33. Antonia Delgado

    Have missed your content so much Christian, thank you so much for this

  34. Michael Chiarcos

    Great video as always. This really makes you think. BTW, did some sponsor read my post and say “Hey..? He needs a model of JWST. Let’s get him one.” That is what I see in the background isn’t it? It looks great.

  35. Andreas K.

    “It’s life, Jim. But not as we know it…” :’D

  36. Israeldiegorivera2 Genius

    Jacuzzi planets.

  37. Ric Anderson

    Very interesting video!
    We keep talking about what JWT can or may do. According to NASA, it’s going to be launched in 2021, which is quickly passing by. I see no scheduled launch date on NASA site. It cannot discover life while on the ground….. James Webb team, let’s go!

  38. Niklas Paulsson

    As always, excellent content!

    Please publish more often.

  39. Boba Bonanza

    we already detected life on Venus

  40. PafMedic,Jan

    I Have A Dumb Question..What About Things They Show About Intelligent Extra-TerrestrialLife,On The History Channel,Its Too A Point Your Not Sure What To Believe,Except You Of Coarse,lol,Just Curious On Your Thoughts,Thank You Very Much,Sweet Video As Well,Ice Been Trying To Image Neptune Last Cpl Nights,Between Clouds,You And Your Family Have a Great Weekend,Stay Safe,and God Bless❤️🙏🏼🔭🌏✨Clear Skies

  41. Alexander Wallace

    Great video Christian! Nice to see your subscribers up over the 100k level

  42. tech 52

    It’s destiny is failure. It will soon become known as the colossal boondoggle of NASA. (or it may succeed and boost extra solar exploration at a rapid and astounding pace!)

  43. Alexander Martin

    Great video! Launch Pad, John Godier, and The Exoplanets Channel are my favorite channels

  44. Justin Melo's Music and V

    Wonderful job on the presentation. Well explained. TY for sharing.

  45. Willem van de Beek

    Thank you for making a video about hycean exoplanets and explaining it so well and crystal clear! :)
    Please keep us up to date, if there is any more news about these fascinating exoplanets or anything else related to ice giant planets.
    As a biochemist, I think ice giants are really interesting, however, I also think these planet types are also underestimated of their potential by most astronomers unfortunately.

  46. Skukkix23

    You could use a second light on your right and turn down the one on your left. The eye wanders always to the brightest point at first glance and longterm viewing. This means that you basically lead the viewer out of your video by lighting your face on the outward side. Get a cover for the wood panels cause wood-brown/orange tones give the camera a hard time white balancing the image, also its more irritating to the eye. Put some light on the background to make a natural gradiant, preferably some sort of spotlight.
    No criticism, just some tips. But I guess most viewers like me watch these videos for the actual information, not the production quality. It’s not bad at all, just the lighting is improvable. But I understand if this is the most effective (effort/outcome) way for you to do it.

  47. Miki P

    This was very well explained as always. You are doing such a great job to society by making it accessible in this way. Thank you again.

  48. Pup314


  49. Vytautas Danielius

    Missed this channel quite a lot during it’s abscence

  50. Mdshihabul Haque

    Thanks so much ❤️✝️✝️✝️

  51. Sally

    Who even suggested calling them Hycean ? Whats the Etymology of this word?

  52. Dark Flight Dreamer


  53. Priyanshu Paswan

    Why was there an absence?

  54. Launch Pad Astronomy

    🔴Did we really detect an extraterrestrial signal from Proxima Centauri?

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