Publication Abstracts

Kiang et al. 2018

Kiang, N.Y., S. Domagal-Goldman, M.N. Parenteau, D.C. Catling, Y. Fujii, V.S. Meadows, E.W. Schwieterman, and S.I. Walker, 2018: Exoplanet biosignatures: At the dawn of a new era of planetary observations. Astrobiology, early on-line, doi:10.1089/ast.2018.1862.

The rapid rate of discoveries of exoplanets has expanded the scope of the science possible for the remote detection of life beyond Earth. The Exoplanet Biosignatures Workshop-Without-Walls (EBWWW) held in 2016 engaged the international scientific community across diverse scientific disciplines, to assess the state of the science and technology in the search for life on exoplanets, and to identify paths for progress. The workshop activities resulted in five (5) major review papers which provide: 1) an encyclopedic review of known and proposed biosignatures and models used to ascertain them (Schwieterman et al. this issue); 2) an in-depth review of O2 as a biosignature, rigorously examining the nuances of false positives and negatives for evidence of life (Meadows et al. this issue); 3) a Bayesian framework to comprehensively organize current understanding to quantify confidence in biosignature assessments (Catling et al. this issue); 4) an extension of that Bayesian framework in anticipation of increasing planetary data and novel concepts of biosignatures (Walker et al. this issue), and 5) a review of the upcoming telescope capabilities to characterize exoplanets and their environment (Fujii et al. this issue). Because of the immense content of these review papers, this summary provides a guide to their complementary scope and highlights salient features. Strong themes that emerged from the workshop were that biosignatures must be interpreted in the context of their environment, and that frameworks must be developed to link diverse forms of scientific understanding of that context to quantify the likelihood that a biosignature has been observed. Models are needed to explore the parameter space where measurements will be widespread but sparse in detail. Given the technological prospects for large ground-based telescopes and direct imaging from space-based observatories, the detection of atmospheric signatures of a few potentially habitable planets may come before 2030.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Kiang, N. Y. and Domagal-Goldman, S. and Parenteau, M. N. and Catling, D. C. and Fujii, Y. and Meadows, V. S. and Schwieterman, E. W. and Walker, S. I.},
  title={Exoplanet biosignatures: At the dawn of a new era of planetary observations},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ki07200b
AU  - Kiang, N. Y.
AU  - Domagal-Goldman, S.
AU  - Parenteau, M. N.
AU  - Catling, D. C.
AU  - Fujii, Y.
AU  - Meadows, V. S.
AU  - Schwieterman, E. W.
AU  - Walker, S. I.
PY  - 2018
TI  - Exoplanet biosignatures: At the dawn of a new era of planetary observations
JA  - Astrobiology
DO  - 10.1089/ast.2018.1862
ER  -

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