Recently in the Biosignatures & Paleobiology Category

Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge.

For centuries, people have imagined the possibility of life on Mars. But long-held dreams that Martians could be invaders of Earth, or little green men, or civilized superbeings, all have been undercut by missions to our neighboring planet that have, so far, uncovered no life at all.

Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations.

It may seem like magic, but astronomers have worked out a scheme that will allow them to detect and measure particles ten times smaller than the width of a human hair, even at many light-years distance.

A team of astronomers has made the most precise measurements yet of water vapour in the atmospheres of Jupiter-like planets beyond our Solar System and found them to be much drier worlds than expected.

Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life.

We quantify the effects of refraction in transit transmission spectroscopy on spectral absorption features and on temporal variations that could be used to obtain altitude-dependent spectra for planets orbiting stars of different stellar types.

Detecting biomarkers, such as molecular oxygen, in the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets has been a major focus in the search for alien life.

The detection of strong thermochemical disequilibrium in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet is thought to be a potential biosignature.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have published details about how the first organisms on Earth could have become metabolically active.