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Biosignatures Search in Habitable Planets

1
INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padova, Vicolo Osservatorio, 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
2
Physics and Astronomy Department, Padova University, 35131 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Galaxies 2019, 7(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies7040082
Received: 2 August 2019 / Revised: 20 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 29 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Habitability of Planets in Stellar Binary Systems)
The search for life has had a new enthusiastic restart in the last two decades thanks to the large number of new worlds discovered. The about 4100 exoplanets found so far, show a large diversity of planets, from hot giants to rocky planets orbiting small and cold stars. Most of them are very different from those of the Solar System and one of the striking case is that of the super-Earths, rocky planets with masses ranging between 1 and 10 M with dimensions up to twice those of Earth. In the right environment, these planets could be the cradle of alien life that could modify the chemical composition of their atmospheres. So, the search for life signatures requires as the first step the knowledge of planet atmospheres, the main objective of future exoplanetary space explorations. Indeed, the quest for the determination of the chemical composition of those planetary atmospheres rises also more general interest than that given by the mere directory of the atmospheric compounds. It opens out to the more general speculation on what such detection might tell us about the presence of life on those planets. As, for now, we have only one example of life in the universe, we are bound to study terrestrial organisms to assess possibilities of life on other planets and guide our search for possible extinct or extant life on other planetary bodies. In this review, we try to answer the three questions that also in this special search, mark the beginning of every research: what? where? how? View Full-Text
Keywords: exoplanets; biosignatures; planetary atmospheres; instrumentation exoplanets; biosignatures; planetary atmospheres; instrumentation
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Claudi, R.; Alei, E. Biosignatures Search in Habitable Planets. Galaxies 2019, 7, 82.

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