Recently in the Biosignatures & Paleobiology Category


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.

In the past decade, the analysis of exoplanet atmospheric spectra has revealed the presence of water vapour in almost all the planets observed, with the exception of a fraction of overcast planets.

We use an idealized three-dimensional general circulation model to study condensible-rich atmospheres with an ineffective cold trap on slowly rotating tidally locked terrestrial planets.

The disequilibrium combination of abundant methane and carbon dioxide has been proposed as a promising exoplanet biosignature that is readily detectable with upcoming telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

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.