Publication Abstracts

Young et al. 2024

Young, A., T. Robinson, J. Krissansen-Totton, E.W. Schwieterman, N. Wogan, M. Way, L. Sohl, G. Arney, C. Reinhard, M. Line, D. Catling, and J. Windsor, 2024: Inferring chemical disequilibrium biosignatures for proterozoic Earth-like exoplanets. Nat. Astron., 8, no. 1, 101-110, doi:10.1038/s41550-023-02145-z.

Chemical disequilibrium quantified via available free energy has previously been proposed as a potential biosignature. However, work has not linked anticipated observational uncertainties to an ability to infer a life-generated available free energy from remote observations. We pair an atmospheric retrieval tool to a thermodynamics model to assess the detectability of chemical disequilibrium signatures of Earth-like exoplanets, emphasizing the Proterozoic Eon where atmospheric abundances of oxygen-methane disequilibrium pairs may have been relatively high. Order-of-magnitude constraints on disequilibrium energy are achieved with simulated reflected-light observations at higher gas abundances and signal-to-noise ratios (50) while weak constraints are found at moderate SNRs (20-30). Disequilibrium energy inferences are enabled by modest atmospheric temperature constraints encoded in molecular opacities at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. These results have important implications for the development of biosignature search strategies for future direct imaging exoplanet characterization missions.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Young, A. and Robinson, T. and Krissansen-Totton, J. and Schwieterman, E. W. and Wogan, N. and Way, M. and Sohl, L. and Arney, G. and Reinhard, C. and Line, M. and Catling, D. and Windsor, J.},
  title={Inferring chemical disequilibrium biosignatures for proterozoic Earth-like exoplanets},
  journal={Nature Astronomy},

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RIS Citation

ID  - yo07000h
AU  - Young, A.
AU  - Robinson, T.
AU  - Krissansen-Totton, J.
AU  - Schwieterman, E. W.
AU  - Wogan, N.
AU  - Way, M.
AU  - Sohl, L.
AU  - Arney, G.
AU  - Reinhard, C.
AU  - Line, M.
AU  - Catling, D.
AU  - Windsor, J.
PY  - 2024
TI  - Inferring chemical disequilibrium biosignatures for proterozoic Earth-like exoplanets
JA  - Nat. Astron.
JO  - Nature Astronomy
VL  - 8
IS  - 1
SP  - 101
EP  - 110
DO  - 10.1038/s41550-023-02145-z
ER  -

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