Extrasolar Planets: July 2006

NAI's Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team have explored the possibility of detecting exovegetation on terrestrial planets orbiting M stars. They estimated the red-shift of this surface feature using leaf optical property spectra with a three photon photosynthetic scheme. The authors have produced a model wherein a pigment-derived surface signature such as exovegetation could be detected, but would be dependent upon the extent of the vegetation on the surface, cloud cover, and viewing angle.

The third Pale Blue Dot workshop will be held at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago from 17-20 September, 2006. (The first two Pale Blue Dot workshops were held at NASA Ames Research Center in 1996 and 1999.) Many NAI members are on the program organizing committee, including the Chair Vikki Meadows, and NAI is a co-convenor of the meeting along with Adler.