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Detectability of life and photosynthesis on exoplanets.

Publiceringsår: 2009
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1171-1175
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Current Science
Volym: 96
Nummer: 9
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Current Science Association and Indian Academy of Sciences


‘Is there life on exoplanets?’. We refer to exoplanets as planets in other solar systems than our own. This often
asked question can be further refined by asking ‘is there life on exoplanets which is so extensive that it may
impact on its atmosphere, its biosphere and its optical properties?’. And if such a life exists, at astronomical
distances from us, can we detect it with instruments on Earth-based or Earth-orbiting observatories? Will
then, in that case, our advanced knowledge of present-day and early-day photosynthesis on Earth help us
select appropriate biosignatures that may signal its presence? Here we elaborate further on these themes,
based on the most recent literature, and from the point of view of photosynthesis. We also provide our considered
views. Although search for chlorophyll is considered desirable, we conclude that our best bet is to
look for and analyse photosynthesis-related gases, namely O2, CO2 and H2O vapour. We shall keep in mind
that the evolutionary tree of life on our planet has its roots in autotrophy, and of the various forms of autotrophy,
only oxygenic



  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • Biological Sciences
  • chlorophyll
  • detectability
  • life
  • photosynthesis
  • spectrum


  • Popular science
  • Photobiology
Open accesss
  • ISSN: 0011-3891

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