Results tagged “biosignatures”

A long-term goal of exoplanet studies is the identification and detection of biosignature gases. Beyond the most discussed biosignature gas O2, only a handful of gases have been considered in detail.

Scientists have found exceptionally preserved microbial remains in some of Earth's oldest rocks in Western Australia - a major advance in the field, offering clues for how life on Earth originated.

A recent study supported in part by the NASA Exobiology Program provides further details about lipid biomarkers in stromatolites. The research focuses on microbial mat communities in ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment's Fourier Transform Spectrometer on the SCISAT satellite has been measuring infrared transmission spectra of Earth during Solar occultations since 2004.

Scientists have developed a new method for detecting traces of primordial life in ancient rock formations using potassium.

When Carl Sagan observed the Earth during a Gallileo fly-by in 1993, he found a widely distributed surface pigment with a sharp reflection edge in the red part of the spectrum, which, together with the abundance of gaseous oxygen and methane in extreme thermodynamic disequilibrium, were strongly suggestive of the presence of life on Earth.

Carbon monoxide detectors in our homes warn of a dangerous buildup of that colorless, odorless gas we normally associate with death.

Thousands of planets beyond our solar system have been discovered to date, dozens of which are rocky in composition and are orbiting within the circumstellar habitable zone of their host star.

Dutch scientists have developed an instrument capable of detecting the presence of living plants kilometres away.

With the number of confirmed rocky exoplanets increasing steadily, their characterisation and the search for exoplanetary biospheres is becoming an increasingly urgent issue in astrobiology.

NASA has awarded funding for a new interdisciplinary project called the Laboratory for Agnostic Biosignatures (LAB). The award, totaling nearly $7 million dollars, will be used to develop new, non-Earth like life detection approaches for use on Mars and on Jupiter and Saturn's icy moons.

Ecosystem-bedrock interactions power the biogeochemical cycles of Earth shallow crust, supporting life, stimulating substrate transformation, and spurring evolutionary innovation.

The high reflection of land vegetation in the near-infrared, the vegetation red edge (VRE), is often cited as a spectral biosignature for surface vegetation on exoplanets.

High dispersion spectroscopy of brown dwarfs and exoplanets enables exciting science cases, e.g., mapping surface inhomogeneity and measuring spin rate.

A milestone in understanding life in the universe is the detection of biosignature gases in the atmospheres of habitable exoplanets.

The hunt for life in these places, which are impossible to visit in person, will begin with a search for biological products in their atmospheres.

Surface and Temporal Biosignatures

Recent discoveries of potentially habitable exoplanets have ignited the prospect of spectroscopic investigations of exoplanet surfaces and atmospheres for signs of life.

Chemical disequilibrium in planetary atmospheres has been proposed as a generalized method for detecting life on exoplanets through remote spectroscopy.

As NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and other new giant telescopes come online they will need novel strategies to look for evidence of life on other planets.

For the first time in human history, we will soon be able to apply the scientific method to the question "Are We Alone?" The rapid advance of exoplanet discovery, planetary systems science, and telescope technology will soon allow scientists to search for life beyond our Solar System through direct observation of extrasolar planets.

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