Publication Abstracts

Harman et al. 2018

Harman, C.E., R. Felton, S. Domagal-Goldman, A. Segura, F. Tian, and J.F. Kasting, 2018: Abiotic O2 levels on planets around F, G, K, and M stars: Effects of lightning-produced catalysts in eliminating oxygen false positives. Astrophys. J., 866, no. 1, 56, doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aadd9b.

Within the last several years, a number of authors (Hu et al., 2012; Tian et al., 2014; Harman et al., 2015; Domagal-Goldman et al., 2015; Gao et al., 2015) have suggested that, under certain circumstances, molecular oxygen (O2) or ozone (O3) generated by abiotic processes may accumulate to detectable concentrations in a habitable terrestrial planet's atmosphere, producing so-called 'false positives' for life. But the models have occasionally disagreed with each other, with some predicting false positives, and some not, for the same apparent set of circumstances. We show here that photochemical false positives derive either from inconsistencies in the treatment of atmospheric and global redox balance or from the treatment (or lack thereof) of lightning. For habitable terrestrial planets with even trace amounts of atmospheric N2, NO produced by lightning catalyzes the recombination of CO and O derived from CO2 photolysis and should be sufficient to eliminate all reported false positives. O2 thus remains a useful biosignature gas for Earth-like extrasolar planets, provided that the planet resides within the conventional liquid water habitable zone and did not experience distinctly non-Earth-like, irrecoverable water loss.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{ha04910m,
  author={Harman, C. E. and Felton, R. and Domagal-Goldman, S. and Segura, A. and Tian, F. and Kasting, J. F.},
  title={Abiotic O2 levels on planets around F, G, K, and M stars: Effects of lightning-produced catalysts in eliminating oxygen false positives},
  year={2018},
  journal={Astrophys. J.},
  volume={866},
  number={1},
  pages={56},
  doi={10.3847/1538-4357/aadd9b},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - ha04910m
AU  - Harman, C. E.
AU  - Felton, R.
AU  - Domagal-Goldman, S.
AU  - Segura, A.
AU  - Tian, F.
AU  - Kasting, J. F.
PY  - 2018
TI  - Abiotic O2 levels on planets around F, G, K, and M stars: Effects of lightning-produced catalysts in eliminating oxygen false positives
JA  - Astrophys. J.
VL  - 866
IS  - 1
SP  - 56
DO  - 10.3847/1538-4357/aadd9b
ER  -

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