Detecting life in extrasolar planetary atmospheres
This talk will focus on the detection of biosignatures in planetary atmospheres that could be made with next-generation telescopes, and to some extent by JWST. I will discuss the challenges in making such observations, and review observational and theoretical work on understanding the observable properties of Earth as viewed by a distant observer. This will include some comments on colors, but will focus primarily on spectroscopy. I will highlight three recent papers involving novel biosignatures such as biogenic sulfur and oxygen dimer molecules, and discuss the most important criterion of all - ruling out false positives for life detection.
The astrobiology seminar series is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology based in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the seminar series actively encourages attendance by undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff from other departments..