- Press Release
- February 29, 2024
Bayesian Analysis for Remote Biosignature Identification on exoEarths (BARBIE) II: Using Grid-Based Nested Sampling in Coronagraphy Observation Simulations for O2 and O3
We present the results for the detectability of the O2 and O3 molecular species in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet using reflected light at the visible wavelengths.
By quantifying the detectability as a function of signal-to-noise ration (SNR), we can constrain the best methods to detect these biosignatures with nest-generation telescopes designed for high-contrast coronagraph. Using 25 bandpasses between 0.515 and 1 micron, and a pre-constructed grid of geometric albedo spectra, we examined the spectral sensitivity needed to detect these species for a range of molecular abundances.
We first replicate a modern-Earth twin atmosphere to study the detectability of current O2 and O3 levels, and then expand to a wider range of literature-driven abundances for each molecule. We constrain the optimal 20%, 30%, and 40% bandpasses based on the effective SNR of the data, and define the requirements for the possibility of simultaneous molecular detection.
We present our findings of O2 and O3 detectability as functions of SNR, wavelength, and abundance, and discuss how to use these results for optimizing future instrument designs. We find that O2 is detectable between 0.64 and 0.83 micron with moderate-SNR data for abundances near that of modern-Earth and greater, but undetectable for lower abundances consistent with a Proterozoic Earth. O3 is detectable only at very high SNR data in the case of modern-Earth abundances, however it is detectable at low-SNR data for higher O3 abundances that can occur from efficient abiotic O3 production mechanisms.
Natasha Latouf, Avi Mandell, Geronimo Villanueva, Michael Himes, Michael Moore, Nicholas Susemiehl, Jaime Crouse, Shawn Domagal-Goldman, Giada Arney, Vincent Kofman, Amber Young
Comments: 16 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2311.16015 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2311.16015v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Focus to learn more
From: Natasha Latouf
[v1] Mon, 27 Nov 2023 17:20:42 UTC (9,806 KB)