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Deciphering spectral fingerprints of habitable exoplanets

Kaltenegger, Lisa; Selsis, Frank; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lammer, Helmut; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna and White, Glenn J. (2010). Deciphering spectral fingerprints of habitable exoplanets. Astrobiology, 10(1) pp. 89–102.

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We discuss how to read a planet's spectrum to assess its habitability and search for the signatures of a biosphere. After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have advanced to a level where we now have the capability to find planets of less than 10 Earth masses (MEarth) (so-called "super Earths"), which may be habitable. How can we characterize those planets and assess whether they are habitable? This new field of exoplanet search has shown an extraordinary capacity to combine research in astrophysics, chemistry, biology, and geophysics into a new and exciting interdisciplinary approach to understanding our place in the Universe. The results of a first-generation mission will most likely generate an amazing scope of diverse planets that will set planet formation, evolution, and our planet into an overall context.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
ISSN: 1557-8070
Keywords: habitable planets; exoplanet search; biomarkers; planetary atmospheres
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 25533
Depositing User: Ann McAloon
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2010 14:52
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 00:59
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