Recently in the Biosignatures & Paleobiology Category

Oxygen is a promising exoplanet biosignature due to the evolutionary advantage conferred by harnessing starlight for photosynthesis, and the apparent low likelihood of maintaining oxygen-rich atmospheres without life.

In the search for life on other planets, the presence of oxygen in a planet's atmosphere is one potential sign of biological activity that might be detected by future telescopes.

The Curious Case of Argon

In the modern search for life elsewhere in the Universe, we are broadly looking for the following: the planets similar to Earth - physical indicators of habitability, and the manifestation of life - the biological signatures.

Research for possible biosignature gases on habitable exoplanet atmosphere is accelerating. We add isoprene, C5H8, to the roster of biosignature gases. We found that formation of isoprene geochemical formation is highly thermodynamically disfavored and has no known abiotic false positives.

A research team including the geobiologist Dr. Helge Missbach from the University of Cologne has detected organic molecules and gases trapped in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks.

Next-generation space observatories will conduct the first systematic surveys of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres and search for evidence of life beyond Earth.

The multi analytical study of terrestrial analogues is a useful strategy to deepen the knowledge about the geological and environmental evolution of Mars and other extraterrestrial bodies.

Terrestrial extrasolar planets around low-mass stars are prime targets when searching for atmospheric biosignatures with current and near-future telescopes. The habitable-zone Super-Earth LHS 1140 b could hold a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere and is an excellent candidate for detecting atmospheric features.

In their Letter, Tsiaras et al.1 reported the detection of water vapour in the atmosphere of K2-18 b, an exoplanet of 7 to 10 Earth masses located in the habitable zone of an M-dwarf star.

Photosynthesis is an ancient metabolic process that began on the early Earth, offering plentiful energy to organisms that utilize it, to the extent that they can achieve global significance. The potential exists for similar processes to operate on habitable exoplanets and result in observable biosignatures.