NASA’s new space telescope might be able to find “alien life” in other planets outside the Earth’s solar system once it goes into orbit a few years from now, an expert claims.

The Hubble telescope has been giving NASA key information as the agency continues its study of space. This space telescope, however, has been in use for almost three decades now and needs a more powerful replacement that can allow for deeper exploration -- a new space telescope named the James Webb Space Telescope.

According to NASA, the JWST, set for launch in 2021, will be the space agency’s primary observatory for the next decade and will allow it to study the different phases in the history of the universe. It is capable of seeing longer into space and is sensitive enough to be able to record extremely faint signals.

Cathal D. O’Connor, a researcher and centre manager at the University of Melbourne, claimed that with the JWST, humans will be able to locate habitable exoplanets that might harbor “alien life,” the Express reported.

O’Connor said exoplanets, or planets outside the Earth’s solar system, could be just as habitable as planet Earth. With the JWST, he said, it would be possible to look for “possible” signs of life even outside the solar system.

Some nearby bodies such as Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus, could be inhabited, he claimed. Perhaps, the JWST will reveal exoplanets that could be inhabited.

“Even if we never find other life in our Solar System, we might still detect it on any one of thousands of known exoplanets,” O’Connor wrote for The Conversation.

“It is already possible to look at starlight filtered through an exoplanet and tell something about the composition of its atmosphere; an abundance of oxygen could be a telltale sign of life,” he added.

Alien life?

Previous reports from the International Business Times cited experts concluding that if there’s alien life outside Earth, it would’ve been found already -- or it would have already made its way to Earth. These experts all say the same thing: there’s no evidence of alien life anywhere.

Some who claim to have seen signs of life on Mars, in particular, could be having an experience known as “pareidolia” - an experience where the mind plays tricks on a person, making them see figures and shapes even when they are nonexistent.

Alien Day 2017. Image via Airwolfhound/Flickr