Results tagged “biosignatures”

The identification of extraterrestrial life is one the most exciting and challenging endeavors in space research. The existence of extinct or extant life can be inferred from biogenic elements, isotopes, and molecules, but accurate and sensitive instruments are needed.

A critical question in the search for extraterrestrial life is whether exoEarths are Earth-like, in that they host life that progressively oxygenates their atmospheres roughly following Earth's oxygenation history.

Taking advantage of a total lunar eclipse, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have detected Earth's own brand of sunscreen - ozone - in our atmosphere.

We observed the 2019 January total lunar eclipse with the Hubble Space Telescope's STIS spectrograph to obtain the first near-UV (1700-3200 Å) observation of Earth as a transiting exoplanet.

Understanding the atmospheres of exoplanets is a milestone to decipher their formation history and potential habitability. High-contrast imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets is the major pathway towards the goal. Directly imaging of an exoplanet requires high spatial resolution.

The methane cycle is a key component of the Earth system that links planetary climate, biological metabolism, and the global biogeochemical cycles of carbon, oxygen, sulfur, and hydrogen.

Step aside, skeletons -- a new world of biochemical "signatures" found in all kinds of ancient fossils is revealing itself to paleontologists, providing a new avenue for insights into major evolutionary questions.

The Earth viewed from outside the Solar system would be identified merely like a pale blue dot, as coined by Carl Sagan.

The nearby TRAPPIST-1 planetary system is an exciting target for characterizing the atmospheres of terrestrial planets. The planets e, f and g lie in the circumstellar habitable zone and could sustain liquid water on their surfaces.

In the next decades, the astrobiological community will debate whether the first observations of oxygen in an exoplanet′s atmosphere signifies life, so it is critical to establish procedures now for collection and interpretation of such data.

Identification of habitable planets beyond our solar system is a key goal of current and future space missions. Yet habitability depends not only on the stellar irradiance, but equally on constituent parts of the planetary atmosphere.

Understanding the possible climatic conditions on rocky extrasolar planets, and thereby their potential habitability, is one of the major subjects of exoplanet research.

We present four new secondary eclipse observations for the ultrahot Jupiter WASP-121b acquired using the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3.

After examining a dozen types of suns and a roster of planet surfaces, Cornell University astronomers have developed a practical model -- an environmental color "decoder" -- to tease out climate clues for potentially habitable exoplanets in galaxies far away.

Upcoming biosignature searches focus on indirect indicators to infer the presence of life on other worlds. Aside from just signaling the presence of life, however, some biosignatures can contain information about the state that a planet's biosphere has achieved.

High resolution spectroscopy (HRS) has been used to detect a number of species in the atmospheres of hot Jupiters. Key to such detections is accurately and precisely modelled spectra for cross-correlation against the R≳20,000 observations.

The search for spectroscopic biosignatures with the next-generation of space telescopes could provide observational constraints on the abundance of exoplanets with signs of life.

Scientists have discovered thousands of exoplanets, including dozens of terrestrial -- or rocky -- worlds in the habitable zones around their parent stars.

Over the last several years, spectroscopic observations of transiting exoplanets have begun to uncover information about their atmospheres, including atmospheric composition and indications of the presence of clouds and hazes.

Oxygen and methane are considered to be the canonical biosignatures of modern Earth, and the simultaneous detection of these gases in a planetary atmosphere is an especially strong biosignature.

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