SCOTTISH scientists have said we should look to the skies of distant worlds if we want to find signs of alien life.

Following on from research which speculated extraterrestrials may exist deep underground on far-away planets, academics have now suggested clouds which form on worlds light years from our own may harbour the "seeds of life".

A team at the University of St Andrews conducted experiments which indicate that the murky atmospheres of alien planets, known as exoplanets, may be rich in materials which lead to the formation of the building blocks of life.

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Dr Craig Stark, of the School of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the Life Electricity Atmosphere Planets (LEAP) group, said: "The atmospheres around exoplanets and brown dwarfs form exotic clouds that, instead of being composed of water droplets, are made of dust particles made of minerals."

The team found these clouds can become electrified by lightning, creating a charged environment which allows prebiotic molecules to form, thought to be essential to the creation of life.