Biosignatures as revealed by spectropolarimetry of Earthshine

  title={Biosignatures as revealed by spectropolarimetry of Earthshine},
  author={Michael F. Sterzik and Stefano Bagnulo and Enric Pall{\'e}},
Low-resolution intensity spectra of Earth’s atmosphere obtained from space reveal strong signatures of life (‘biosignatures’), such as molecular oxygen and methane with abundances far from chemical equilibrium, as well as the presence of a ‘red edge’ (a sharp increase of albedo for wavelengths longer than 700 nm) caused by surface vegetation. Light passing through the atmosphere is strongly linearly polarized by scattering (from air molecules, aerosols and cloud particles) and by reflection… CONTINUE READING

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