Biosignatures & Paleobiology: March 2019

As we begin to discover rocky planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars with missions like TESS and CHEOPS, we will need quick advancements on instrumentation and observational techniques that will enable us to answer key science questions.

Carbon monoxide detectors in our homes warn of a dangerous buildup of that colorless, odorless gas we normally associate with death.

Some atmospheric gases have been proposed as counter indicators to the presence of life on an exoplanet if remotely detectable at sufficient abundance (i.e., antibiosignatures), informing the search for biosignatures and potentially fingerprinting uninhabited habitats.

Thousands of planets beyond our solar system have been discovered to date, dozens of which are rocky in composition and are orbiting within the circumstellar habitable zone of their host star.