Recently in the Biosignatures & Paleobiology Category


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.

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.

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

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.