Biosignatures and the Search for Life on Earth

  • M. VázquezEmail author
  • E. Pallé
  • P. Montañés Rodríguez
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)


Earth is the only life-hosting planet in the Universe that we currently know of; however, it is just a matter of time until other Earth-like planets are detected. At that time, by analysing their spectral signatures, we will likely be able to approach the question of how common life is in the universe. There are certain features of living systems that, because of the effects they have on the environment, allow us to distinguish them from other aspects of planetary geology, that is their presence or absence requires life. These features are referred to as biosignatures. A biosignature may be the simple direct-detection of living organisms, or indirectly, the detection of the chemical compounds or physical structures that their metabolism leaves in the environment. In this chapter, we review the available observations of life on Earth seen as an exoplanet and where we should look in order to find life in the Universe.


Normalize Difference Vegetation Index Circular Polarization Spectral Type Main Sequence Nuclear Explosion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alberts, B., Bray, D., Hopkin, K., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K., Walter, P.: Essential Cell Biology. Garland Science Publishing, London (2003)Google Scholar
  2. Almond, S., Boyd, D.S., Curran, P.J., Dash, J.: The response of UK vegetation to elevated temperatures in 2006. Coupling ENVISAT MERIS terrestrial chlorophyll index (MTCI) and mean air temperature. In: Proceedings on the 2007 Annual Conference of the Remote sensing and Photogrammetry Society: Newcastle University (2007)Google Scholar
  3. Arcichovsky, V.M.: Auf der Suche nach Chlorophyll auf den Planeten. Annales de l’Institut Polytechnique Don Cesarevitch Alexis at Novotcherkassk 17, 195 (1912)Google Scholar
  4. Arnold, L.: Earthshine Observation of Vegetation and Implication for Life Detection on Other Planets. A Review of 2001–2006 Works. Space Sci. Rev. 135, 323–333 (2008)Google Scholar
  5. Arnold, L., Gillet, S., Lardière, O., Riaud, P., Schneider, J.: A test for the search for life on extrasolar planets. Looking for the terrestrial vegetation signature in the Earthshine spectrum. Astron. Astrophys. 392, 231–237 (2002)Google Scholar
  6. Bains, W.: Many Chemistries Could Be Used to Build Living Systems. Astrobiology 4, 137–167 (2004)ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Ball, P.: Life’s Matrix: A biography of water. University of California Press, California (2001)Google Scholar
  8. Barnes, R., Jackson, B., Greenberg, R., Raymond, S.N.: Tidal Limits to Planetary Habitability. Proceedings “Pathways Towards Habitable Planets” Symposium., ASP Conference Series, Eds.: D. Gelino, V. Coude du Foresto, I. Ribas, (in press) (2010)Google Scholar
  9. Barron, L.D.: Chirality and Life. Space Sci. Rev. 135, 187–201 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Battistuzzi, F.U., Feijao, A., Hedges, S.: A genomic timescale of prokaryote evolution: insights into the origin of methanogenesis, phototrophy, and the colonization of land. Evol. Biol. 4, 44 (2004)Google Scholar
  11. Bennett, J., Shostak, S., Jakosky, B.: Life in the Universe. Addison Wesley (2003)Google Scholar
  12. Bern, M., Goldberg, D.: Automatic selection of representative proteins for bacterial phylogeny. BMC Evol. Biol. 5, 34 (2005)Google Scholar
  13. Bernal, J.D.: The physical basis of life. Proc. Phys. Soc. B 62, 597–618 (1949)ADSGoogle Scholar
  14. Billingham, J., Tarter, J.: Detection of the Earth with the SETI microwave observing system assumed to be operating out in the galaxy. Acta Astronautica 26, 185–188 (1992)Google Scholar
  15. Blair, S.K., Magnani, L., Brand, J., Wouterloot, J.G.A.: Formaldehyde in the Far Outer Galaxy: Constraining the Outer Boundary of the Galactic Habitable Zone. Astrobiology 8, 59–73 (2008)ADSGoogle Scholar
  16. Botta, O., Bada, J.L., Gomez-Elvira, J., Javaux, E., Selsis, F., Summons, R.: “Strategies of Life Detection”: Summary and Outlook. Space Sci. Rev. 135, 371–380 (2008)ADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Bounama, C., von Bloh, W., Franck, S.: How Rare Is Complex Life in the Milky Way? Astrobiology 7, 745–756 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  18. Brack, A.: Liquid water and the origin of life. Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 23, 3–10 (1993)ADSGoogle Scholar
  19. Brack, A., Pillinger, C.T.: Life on Mars, Extremophiles 2, 313–319 (1998)Google Scholar
  20. Brack, A.: Water, the spring of life, pp. 79–88. Astrobiology. The quest for the conditions of life. G. Horneck, C. Baumstark-Khan (eds.). Physics and astronomy online library. Berlin: Springer (2002)Google Scholar
  21. Briot, D., Schneider, J., Arnold, L.: G. A. Tikhov, and the Beginnings of Astrobiology. In: J. Beaulieu, A. Lecavelier Des Etangs, C. Terquem (eds.) Extrasolar Planets: Today and Tomorrow, Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, vol. 321, pp. 219–220 (2004)Google Scholar
  22. Brook, M.A.: Silicon in Organic, Organometallic, and Polymer Chemistry. Wiley, New York, Toronto (2000)Google Scholar
  23. Buccino, A.P., Lemarchand, G.A., Mauas, P.J.D.: Ultraviolet radiation constraints around the circumstellar habitable zones. Icarus 183, 491–503 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  24. Buser, R.: The formation and early evolution of the Milky Way galaxy. Science 287, 69–74 (2000)ADSGoogle Scholar
  25. Carlson, T.N., Ripley, D.A.: On the relation between NDVI, fractional vegetation cover, and leaf area index. Rem. Sens. Environ. 62, 241–252 (1997)Google Scholar
  26. Carnot, S.: Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu et sur les machines propres à déveloper cette puissance. Bachelier, Paris (1824)Google Scholar
  27. Chaisson, E.J.: The cosmic environment for the growth of complexity. BioSystems 46, 13–19 (1998)Google Scholar
  28. Chyba, C.F., Hand, K.P.: Astrobiology: The Study of the Living Universe. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 43, 31–74 (2005)ADSGoogle Scholar
  29. Cinzano, P., Falchi, F., Elvidge, C.D.: The first World Atlas of the artificial night sky brightness. Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc. 328, 689–707 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  30. Clark, R.: Chapter 1: Spectroscopy of rocks and minerals, and principles of spectroscopy. In: A. Rencz (ed.) Manual of Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing for the Earth Sciences, vol. 3, pp. 3–58. Wiley, London (1999)Google Scholar
  31. Clausius, R.: The Mechanical Theory of Heat with its Applications to the Steam Engine and Physical Properties of Bodies. John van Voorst, London (1865)Google Scholar
  32. Cloud, P.E.: A working model of the primitive Earth. Am. J. Sci. 272, 537–548 (1972)Google Scholar
  33. Colwell, J.E.: Vegetation Canopy reflectance. Rem. Sens. Environ. 3, 175–283 (1974)Google Scholar
  34. DasSarma, S.: Extreme Microbes. Am. Sci. 95, 224–231 (2007)Google Scholar
  35. Deisenhofer, J., Michel, H.: The Photosynthetic Reaction Center from the Purple Bacterium Rhodopseudomonas viridis. Science 245, 1463–1473 (1989)ADSGoogle Scholar
  36. Delmas, R.J., Beer, J., Synal, H.A., Muscheler, R., Petit, J.R., Pourchet, M.: Bomb-test 36Cl measurements in Vostok snow (Antarctica) and the use of 36Cl as a dating tool for deep ice cores. Tellus Series B Chem. Phys. Meteorol. B 56, 492–498 (2004)ADSGoogle Scholar
  37. Des Marais, D.J., Nuth III., J.A., Allamandola, L.J., Boss, A.P., Farmer, J.D., Hoehler, T.M., Jakosky, B.M., Meadows, V.S., Pohorille, A., Runnegar, B., Spormann, A.M.: The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap. Astrobiology 8, 715–730 (2008)ADSGoogle Scholar
  38. Dole, S.H.: Habitable planets for man. New York: American Elsevier, 2nd ed (1970)Google Scholar
  39. Dyal, P.: Particle and field measurements of the Starfish diamagnetic cavity. J. Geophys. Res. 111(10), 12,211 (2006)Google Scholar
  40. Eddy, J.A.: The Maunder Minimum. Science 192, 1189–1202 (1976)ADSGoogle Scholar
  41. Eigen, M., Gardiner, W., Schuster, P., Winkler-Oswatitsch, R.: The origin of genetic information. Sci. Am. 224(4), 88–92, 96 (1981)Google Scholar
  42. Eigen, M., Schuster, P.: The Hypercycle: A Principle of Natural Self-organization. Naturwissenschaften 65, 341–369 (1979)ADSGoogle Scholar
  43. Eigen, M., Winkler, R.: Laws of the Game: How the principles govern chance. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1993)Google Scholar
  44. Elliot, J.L.: X-ray pulses for interstellar communication. In: C. Sagan (ed.) Communication With Extraterrestrial Intelligence, pp. 398–402. The MIT Press (1973)Google Scholar
  45. Elmore, D., Tubbs, L.E., Newman, D., Ma, X., Finkel, R., Beer, J., Oeschger, H., Andree, M.: 36Cl bomb pulse measured in a shallow ice core from Dye3, Greenland. Nature 300, 735–737 (1982)ADSGoogle Scholar
  46. Encrenaz, T.: Searching for water in the Universe. Springer Praxis (2007)Google Scholar
  47. Falkowski, P.G.: The ocean’s invisible forest. Sci. Am. 287(2), 54–61 (2002)Google Scholar
  48. Farquhar, J., Johnston, D.T., Calvin, C., Condie, K.: Implications of Sulfur Isotopes for the Evolution of Atmospheric Oxygen. In: S. Mackwell, E. Stansbery (eds.) Lunar and Planetary Institute Conference Abstracts, vol. 35, p. 1920 (2004)Google Scholar
  49. Feinberg, G., Shapiro, R.: Life Beyond Earth - The Intelligent Earthling’s Guide to Life in the Universe. William Morrow and Company (1980)Google Scholar
  50. Fernández-Capetillo, O.: Radiation and DNA repair constraints for the development of a DNA-based life. In: M. Vázquez (ed.) Fundaments and Challenges in Astrobiology, pp. 85–98. Research SignPost, India (2005)Google Scholar
  51. Field, C.B., Behrenfeld, M.J., Randerson, J.T., P., F.: Primary Production of the Biosphere: Integrating Terrestrial and Oceanic Components. Science 281, 237–240 (1998)ADSGoogle Scholar
  52. Fogg, M.J.: An Estimate of the Prevalence of Biocompatible and Habitable Planets. J. Br. Interplanet. Soc. 45, 3–12 (1992)ADSGoogle Scholar
  53. Franck, S., Block, A., von Bloh, W., Bounama, C., Schellnhuber, H.J., Svirezhev, Y.: Habitable zone for Earth-like planets in the solar system. Planet. Space Sci. 48, 1099–1105 (2000)ADSGoogle Scholar
  54. Franck, S., von Bloh, W., Bounama, C., Steffen, M., Schönberner, D., Schellnhuber, H.J.: Limits of photosynthesis in extrasolar planetary systems for earth-like planets. Adv. Space Res. 28, 695–700 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  55. Gaffron, H.: Reduction of carbon dioxide with molecular hydrogen in green algae. Nature 143, 204–205 (1939)ADSGoogle Scholar
  56. Gaffron, H., Rubin, J.: Fermentation and photochemical production of hydrogen in algae. J. Gen. Physiol. 26, 219–240 (1942)Google Scholar
  57. Gaidos, E., Deschenes, B., Dundon, L., Fagan, K., Menviel-Hessler, L., Moskovitz, N., Workman, M.: Beyond the Principle of Plentitude: A Review of Terrestrial Planet Habitability. Astrobiology 5, 100–126 (2005)ADSGoogle Scholar
  58. Gargaud, M., Martin, H., Claeys, P.: Lectures in Astrobiology II. Springer (2007)Google Scholar
  59. Gilmour, I., Sephton, M.A.: An Introduction to Astrobiology. Cambridge University Press (2003)Google Scholar
  60. Gleiser, M., Thorarinson, J., Walker, S.I.: Punctuated Chirality. Orig.Life Evol. Biosph. 38, 499–508 (2008)ADSGoogle Scholar
  61. Gonzalez, G., Brownlee, D., Ward, P.: The Galactic Habitable Zone: Galactic Chemical Evolution. Icarus 152, 185–200 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  62. Goraieb, K., Alexandrea, T.L., Buenoa, M.: X-ray spectrometry and chemometrics in sugar classification, correlation with degree of sweetness and specific rotation of polarized light. Anal. Chim. Acta 595, 170–175 (2007)Google Scholar
  63. Govender, M.G., Rootman, S.M., Ford, T.A.: An ab initio study of the properties of some hydride dimers. Cryst. Eng. 6, 263–286 (2003)Google Scholar
  64. Green, J.R., Cecil, L.D., Synal, H.A., Santos, J., Kreutz, K.J., Wake, C.P.: A high resolution record of chlorine-36 nuclear-weapons-tests fallout from Central Asia. Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. B 223, 854–857 (2004)ADSGoogle Scholar
  65. Grenfell, J.L., Grießmeier, J.M., Patzer, B., Rauer, H., Segura, A., Stadelmann, A., Stracke, B., Titz, R., Von Paris, P.: Biomarker Response to Galactic Cosmic Ray-Induced NO x And The Methane Greenhouse Effect in The Atmosphere of An Earth-Like Planet Orbiting An M Dwarf Star. Astrobiology 7, 208–221 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  66. Grinspoon, D.H., Williams, D.M., Piccioni, G., Bertaux, J., Moore, C.: Observing Earth from the Vantage Point of Venus Orbit. In: Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 40, p. 386 (2008)ADSGoogle Scholar
  67. Hamdani, S., Arnold, L., Foellmi, C., Berthier, J., Billeres, M., Briot, D., François, P., Riaud, P., Schneider, J.: Biomarkers in disk-averaged near-UV to near-IR Earth spectra using Earthshine observations. Astron. Astrophys. 460, 617–624 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  68. Harper, D.B.: Halomethane from halide iona highly efficient fungal conversion of environmental significance. Nature 315, 55–57 (1985)ADSGoogle Scholar
  69. Hart, M.H.: Habitable Zones about Main Sequence Stars. Icarus 37, 351–357 (1979)ADSGoogle Scholar
  70. Heath, M.J., Doyle, L.R., Joshi, M.M., Haberle, R.M.: Habitability of Planets Around Red Dwarf Stars. Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 29, 405–424 (1999)ADSGoogle Scholar
  71. Heylighen, F.: The science of self-organization and adaptivity. In: in: Knowledge Management, Organizational Intelligence and Learning, and Complexity, in: The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, pp. 253–280. EOLSS Publishers Co. Ltd, Oxford (2003)Google Scholar
  72. Holland, H.D.: The Chemistry of the Atmosphere and Oceans. Wiley, New York (1978)Google Scholar
  73. Holland, H.D.: The Chemical Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1984)Google Scholar
  74. Holland, H.D.: Volcanic Gases, Black Smokers, and the Great Oxidation Event. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66(22), 3811–3826 (2002)ADSGoogle Scholar
  75. Horneck, G., Rettberg, P.: Complete course in astrobiology. Wiley-VCH, p. 413 (2007)Google Scholar
  76. Howard, A.W., Horowitz, P., Wilkinson, D.T., Coldwell, C.M., Groth, E.J., Jarosik, N., Latham, D.W., Stefanik, R.P., Willman Jr., A.J., Wolff, J., Zajac, J.M.: Search for Nanosecond Optical Pulses from Nearby Solar-Type Stars. Astrophys J. 613, 1270–1284 (2004)ADSGoogle Scholar
  77. Huang, S.S.: The Sizes of Habitable Planets. Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 72, 489–493 (1960)ADSGoogle Scholar
  78. Jones, B.W.: Exoplanets search methods, discoveries, and prospects for astrobiology. Int. J. Astrobiology 7, 279–292 (2008)ADSGoogle Scholar
  79. Joshi, M.M., Haberle, R.M., Reynolds, R.T.: Simulations of the Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs: Conditions for Atmospheric Collapse and the Implications for Habitability. Icarus 129, 450–465 (1997)ADSGoogle Scholar
  80. Joyce, G.F.: Hydrothermal vents too hot? Nature 334, 564 (1988)ADSGoogle Scholar
  81. Kaltenegger, L., Traub, W.A., Jucks, K.W.: Spectral Evolution of an Earth-like Planet. Astrophys. J. 658, 598–616 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  82. Kasting, J.F.: Habitable zones around low mass stars and the search for extraterrestrial life. Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 27, 291–307 (1997)ADSGoogle Scholar
  83. Kasting, J.F.: Habitable planets around the Sun and other stars. In: H. Deeg, J.A. Belmonte, A. Aparicio (eds.) Extrasolar Planets, pp. 217–244 (2008)Google Scholar
  84. Kasting, J.F., Catling, D.: Evolution of a Habitable Planet. Annual Review of Astron. Astrophys. 41, 429–463 (2003)ADSGoogle Scholar
  85. Kasting, J.F., Whitmire, D.P., Reynolds, R.T.: Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars. Icarus 101, 108–128 (1993)ADSGoogle Scholar
  86. Kasting, J.F., Whittet, D.C.B., Sheldon, W.R.: Ultraviolet radiation from F and K stars and implications for planetary habitability. Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 27, 413–420 (1997)ADSGoogle Scholar
  87. Kauffman, S.: Antichaos and adaptation. Sci. Am. 265(2), 78–84 (1991)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  88. Kauffman, S.: The Origins of Order: Self-organization and Selection in Evolution. Oxford University Press, New York (1993)Google Scholar
  89. Kaufman, A.J., Johnston, D.T., Farquhar, J., Masterson, A.L., Lyons, T.W., Bates, S., Anbar, A.D., Arnold, G.L., Garvin, J., Buick, R.: Late Archean Biospheric Oxygenation and Atmospheric Evolution. Science 317, 1900– (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  90. Kelley, D.S., Karson, J.A., Blackman, D.K., Frh-Green, G., Butterfield, D., Lilley, M., Olson, E., Schrenk, M., Roe, K., Lebon, G., Rivizzigno, P., the AT3-60 Shipboard Party: An off-axis hydrothermal vent field near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 30 N. Nature 412, 145–149 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  91. Kelley, D.S., Karson, J.A., Frh-Green, G.L., Dana, R., Yoerger, D.R., Shank, T.M., Butterfield, D.A., Hayes, J.M., Schrenk, M.O., Olson, E.J., Proskurowski, G., Jakuba, M., Bradley, A., Larson, B., Ludwig, K., Glickson, D., Buckman, K., Bradley, A.S., Brazelton, W.J., Roe, K., Elend, M.J., Delacour, A., Bernasconi, S.M., Lilley, M.D., Baross, J.A., Summons, R.E., Sylva, S.P.: A serpentinite-hosted ecosystem: the Lost City hydrothermal vent field. Science 307, 1428–1434 (2005)ADSGoogle Scholar
  92. Kemp, J.C., Wolstencroft, R.D.: Circular Polarization: Jupiter and Other Planets. Nature 232, 165–168 (1971)ADSGoogle Scholar
  93. Kiang, N.: The Color of Plants on other worlds. Sci. Am., 298, 48–55 (2008)Google Scholar
  94. Kiang, N.Y., Segura, A., Tinetti, G., Govindjee, Blankenship, R.E., Cohen, M., Siefert, J., Crisp, D., Meadows, V.S.: Spectral Signatures of Photosynthesis. II. Coevolution with Other Stars And The Atmosphere on Extrasolar Worlds. Astrobiology 7, 252–274 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  95. Kiang, N.Y., Siefert, J., Govindjee, Blankenship, R.E.: Spectral Signatures of Photosynthesis. I. Review of Earth Organisms. Astrobiology 7, 222–251 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  96. Küppers, B.O.: Information and the Origin of Life. The MIT Press (1990)Google Scholar
  97. Laws, C., Gonzalez, G., Walker, K.M., Tyagi, S., Dodsworth, J., Snider, K., Suntzeff, N.B.: Parent Stars of Extrasolar Planets. VII. New Abundance Analyses of 30 Systems. Astron. J. 125, 2664–2677 (2003)ADSGoogle Scholar
  98. Levin, G.V., Straat, P.A.: Recent results from the Viking Labeled Release experiment on Mars. J. Geophys. Res. 82, 4663–4667 (1977)ADSGoogle Scholar
  99. Liais, M.E.: Schreiben des Herrn Emm. Liais an den Herausgeber. Astron. Nachr. 65, 11 (1865)ADSGoogle Scholar
  100. Lineweaver, C.H., Egan, C.A.: Life, gravity and the second law of thermodynamics. Phys. Life Rev. 5, 225–242 (2008)ADSGoogle Scholar
  101. Lineweaver, C.H., Fenner, Y., Gibson, B.K.: The Galactic Habitable Zone and the Age Distribution of Complex Life in the Milky Way. Science 303, 59–62 (2004)ADSGoogle Scholar
  102. Lobert, J.M., Scharffe, D.H., Hao, W.M., Kuhlbusch, T.A., Crutzen, P.J.: Experimental evaluation of biomass burning emissions, pp. 289–304. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass (1991)Google Scholar
  103. Lovelock, J.E., Margulis, L.: Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: The Gaia hypothesis. Tellus 26, 2–10 (1974)ADSGoogle Scholar
  104. Lovelock, J.E., Margulis, L.: Homeostatic tendencies of the Earth’s atmosphere. Orig. Life 25, 93–103 (1974)ADSGoogle Scholar
  105. Luhmann, J.G., Fedorov, A., Barabash, S., Carlsson, E., Futaana, Y., Zhang, T.L., Russell, C.T., Lyon, J.G., Ledvina, S.A., Brain, D.A.: Venus Express observations of atmospheric oxygen escape during the passage of several coronal mass ejections. J. Geophys. Res. 113(12) (2008)Google Scholar
  106. Luisi, P.L.: The emergence of life: From chemical origins to synthetic biology. Cambridge University Press (2006)Google Scholar
  107. Lunine, J.: Astrobiology: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach. Benjamin Cummings (2005)Google Scholar
  108. Marrin, W.: Universal Water. Inner Ocean (2002)Google Scholar
  109. McDiarmid, I.B., Burrows, J.R., Budzinski, E.E., Rose, D.C.: Satellite measurements in the “Starfish” artificial radiation zone. Canad. J. Phys. 41, 1332–1345 (1963)ADSGoogle Scholar
  110. McKay, D.S., Gibson, E.K., Thomas-Keprta, K.L., Vali, H., Romanek, C.S., Clemett, S.J., Chiller, X.D.F., Maechling, C.R., Zare, R.N.: Search for past life on Mars: Possible relic biogenic activity in martian meteorite ALH84001. Science 273, 924–930 (1996)ADSGoogle Scholar
  111. Meierhenrich, U., Nahon, L., Alcaraz, C., Bredehoft, J., Hoffmann, S., Barbier, B., A., B.: Asymmetric Vacuum UV photolysis of the Amino Acid Leucine in the Solid State. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 44, 5630–5634 (2005)Google Scholar
  112. Miller, S.L., Orgel, L.E.: The origins of life on the Earth. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall (1974)Google Scholar
  113. Montañés-Rodriguez, P., Pallé, E., Goode, P.R., Hickey, J., Koonin, S.E.: Globally Integrated Measurements of the Earth’s Visible Spectral Albedo. Astrophys. J. 629, 1175–1182 (2005)ADSGoogle Scholar
  114. Montañés-Rodríguez, P., Pallé, E., Goode, P.R., Martín-Torres, F.J.: Vegetation Signature in the Observed Globally Integrated Spectrum of Earth Considering Simultaneous Cloud Data: Applications for Extrasolar Planets. Astrophys. J. 651, 544–552 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  115. Mooney, H.A., Ehleringer, J., Bjorkman1, O.: The energy balance of leaves of the evergreen desert shrub. Oecologia 29, 301–310 (1977)Google Scholar
  116. Morgan, W.W., Keenan, P.C.: Spectral Classification. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 11, 29–50 (1973)ADSGoogle Scholar
  117. Nealson, K.H., Tsapin, A., Storrie-Lombardi, M.: Searching for life in the Universe: unconventional methods for an unconventional problem. Int. Microbiol. 5, 223–230 (2002)Google Scholar
  118. Nicolis, G., Prigogine, I.: Self-Organization in Non-Equilibrium Systems: From Dissipative Structures to Order Through Fluctuations. Wiley, New York (1977)Google Scholar
  119. Nicolis, G., Prigogine, I.: Exploring complexity. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco (1989)Google Scholar
  120. Omarov, T.B., Tashenov, B.T.: Tikhov’s Astrobotany as a Prelude to Modern Astrobiology. In: R.B. Hoover, A.Y. Rozanov, R. Paepe (eds.) Perspectives in Astrobiology, pp. 86–87 (2005)Google Scholar
  121. Pace, N.R.: The universal nature of biochemistry. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 98(3), 805–808 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  122. Papageorgiou, G., Govindjee, G. (eds.): Chlorophyll a Fluorescence: A Signature of Photosynthesis. Springer, Berlin (2005)Google Scholar
  123. Patai, S., Z., R.: The Chemistry of Organic Silicon Compounds. Wiley, Chichester, UK (1989)Google Scholar
  124. Pedani, M.: Light pollution at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory. New Astron. 9, 641–650 (2004)ADSGoogle Scholar
  125. Pedani, M.: An updated view of the light pollution at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory. ING Newlett. 9, 28–31 (2005)Google Scholar
  126. Pickles, A.J.: A Stellar Spectral Flux Library: 1150 - 25000 A (Pickles 1998). VizieR Online Data Catalog 611, 863 (1998)Google Scholar
  127. Plaxco, K.W., Gross, M.: Astrobiology: A brief introduction. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore (2006)Google Scholar
  128. Prigogine, I., Stengers, I.: Order out of chaos. Bantam Books, New York (1984)Google Scholar
  129. Raven, J.: Astrobiology: Photosynthesis in watercolours. Nature 448, 418 (2007)Google Scholar
  130. Raven, J.A., Cockell, C.: Influence on Photosynthesis of Starlight, Moonlight, Planetlight, and Light Pollution (Reflections on Photosynthetically Active Radiation in the Universe). Astrobiology 6, 668–675 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  131. Reed, B.C., Bradley: Trend analysis of time series phenology of North America derived from satellite data. GISci. Rem. Sens. 43, 24–38 (2006)Google Scholar
  132. Ross, M.: Search Strategy for Detection of SETI Short Pulse Laser Signals. In: G. Lemarchand, K. Meech (eds.) Bioastronomy 99: A New Era in Bioastronomy, Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, vol. 213, pp. 541–544 (2000)Google Scholar
  133. Sagan, C., Thompson, W.R., Carlson, R., Gurnett, D., Hord, C.: A Search for Life on Earth from the Galileo Spacecraft. Nature 365, 715–718 (1993)ADSGoogle Scholar
  134. Santos, N.C., Israelian, G., Mayor, M., Rebolo, R., Udry, S.: Statistical properties of exoplanets. II. Metallicity, orbital parameters, and space velocities. Astron. Astrophys. 398, 363–376 (2003)ADSGoogle Scholar
  135. Scalo, J., Kaltenegger, L., Segura, A.G., Fridlund, M., Ribas, I., Kulikov, Y.N., Grenfell, J.L., Rauer, H., Odert, P., Leitzinger, M., Selsis, F., Khodachenko, M.L., Eiroa, C., Kasting, J., Lammer, H.: M Stars as Targets for Terrestrial Exoplanet Searches And Biosignature Detection. Astrobiology 7, 85–166 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  136. Scalo, J., Wheeler, J.C.: Astrophysical and Astrobiological Implications of Gamma-Ray Burst Properties. Astrophys. J. 566, 723–737 (2002)ADSGoogle Scholar
  137. Scalo, J.M., Miller, G.E.: Constraints on the evolution of peculiar red giants. II - Masses and space densities. Astrophys. J. 233, 596–610 (1979)Google Scholar
  138. Schindler, T.L., Kasting, J.F.: Synthetic spectra of simulated terrestrial atmospheres containing possible biomarker gases. Icarus 145, 262–271 (2000)ADSGoogle Scholar
  139. Schneider, E.D., Sagan, D.: Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2006)Google Scholar
  140. Schopf, J.W.: Cradle of Life. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1999)Google Scholar
  141. Schroedinger, E.: What is life? The physical aspect of the living cell. Based on Lectures delivered under the auspices of the Institute at Trinity College, Dublin, in February 1943. University Press, Cambridge (1944)Google Scholar
  142. Schulze-Makuch, D., Irwin, L.N.: Life in the Universe. Springer, Berlin (2004)Google Scholar
  143. Seager, S., Turner, E.L., Schafer, J., Ford, E.B.: Vegetation’s Red Edge: A Possible Spectroscopic Biosignature of Extraterrestrial Plants. Astrobiology 5, 372–390 (2005)ADSGoogle Scholar
  144. Segura, A., Kasting, J.F., Meadows, V., Cohen, M., Scalo, J., Crisp, D., Butler, R.A.H., Tinetti, G.: Biosignatures from Earth-Like Planets Around M Dwarfs. Astrobiology 5, 706–725 (2005)ADSGoogle Scholar
  145. Segura, A., Krelove, K., Kasting, J.F., Sommerlatt, D., Meadows, V., Crisp, D., Cohen, M., Mlawer, E.: Ozone Concentrations and Ultraviolet Fluxes on Earth-Like Planets Around Other Stars. Astrobiology 3, 689–708 (2003)ADSGoogle Scholar
  146. Segura, A., Meadows, V.S., Kasting, J.F., Crisp, D., Cohen, M.: Abiotic formation of O2 and O3 in high-CO2 terrestrial atmospheres. Astron. Astrophys. 472, 665–679 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  147. Selsis, F., Despois, D., Parisot, J.P.: Signature of life on exoplanets: Can Darwin produce false positive detections? Astron. Astrophy. 388, 985–1003 (2002)ADSGoogle Scholar
  148. Selsis, F., Paillet, J., Allard, F.: Biomarkers of extrasolar planets and their observability. In: H. Deeg, J.A. Belmonte, A. Aparicio (eds.) Extrasolar Planets, pp. 245–268. Cambridge University Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  149. Sertorio, L., Tinetti, G.: Available energy for life on a planet with or without stellar radiation. Nuovo Cimento C Geophys. Space Phys. C 24, 421–443 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  150. Shklovsky, J.S., Sagan, C.: Intelligent life in the universe. San Francisco: Holden-Day (1966)Google Scholar
  151. Singh, H.B., Kanakidou, M.: An investigation of the atmospheric sources and sinks of methyl bromide. Geophys. Res. Lett. 20, 133–139 (1993)ADSGoogle Scholar
  152. Sinha, R.P., Häder, D.P.: UV-induced DNA damage and repair: a review. Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 1, 225–236 (2002)Google Scholar
  153. Sleep, N.H., Bird, D.K.: Evolutionary ecology during the rise of dioxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 363, 2651–2664 (2008)Google Scholar
  154. Smith, D.S., Scalo, J., Wheeler, J.C.: Importance of Biologically Active Aurora-like Ultraviolet Emission: Stochastic Irradiation of Earth and Mars by Flares and Explosions. Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 34, 513–532 (2004)ADSGoogle Scholar
  155. Sparks, W.B., DasSarma, S., Reid, I.N.: Evolutionary Competition Between Primitive Photosynthetic Systems: Existence of an early purple Earth? Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 38, 901 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  156. Stein, L.Y., Yung, Y.L.: Production, isotopic composition, and atmospheric fate of biologically produces nitrous oxide. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 31, 329–356 (2003)ADSGoogle Scholar
  157. Sullivan, W.T.: Eavesdropping Mode and Radio Leakage from Earth. In: J. Billingham (ed.) Life in the Universe, pp. 377–390. NASA CP-2156 (1981)Google Scholar
  158. Sullivan III, W.T., Brown, S., Wetherill, C.: Eavesdropping - The radio signature of the earth. Science 199, 377–388 (1978)ADSGoogle Scholar
  159. Tarter, J.C., Backus, P.R., Mancinelli, R.L., Aurnou, J.M., Backman, D.E., Basri, G.S., Boss, A.P., Clarke, A., Deming, D., Doyle, L.R., Feigelson, E.D., Freund, F., Grinspoon, D.H., Haberle, R.M., Hauck II, S.A., Heath, M.J., Henry, T.J., Hollingsworth, J.L., Joshi, M.M., Kilston, S., Liu, M.C., Meikle, E., Reid, I.N., Rothschild, L.J., Scalo, J., Segura, A., Tang, C.M., Tiedje, J.M., Turnbull, M.C., Walkowicz, L.M., Weber, A.L., Young, R.E.: A Reappraisal of The Habitability of Planets around M Dwarf Stars. Astrobiology 7, 30–65 (2007)ADSGoogle Scholar
  160. Thaler, T.L., Gibbs, P.R., Trebino, R.P., Bommarius, A.S.: Search for Extraterrestrial Life Using Chiral Molecules: Mandelate Racemase as a Test Case. Astrobiology 6, 901–910 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  161. Thiemann, W.H., Rosenbauer, H., Meierhenrich, U.J.: Conception of the ‘Chirality-Experiment’ on Esa’s mission ROSETTA to comet 46p/Wirtanen. Adv. Space Res. 27, 323–328 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  162. Thomson, W.: On the Dynamical Theory of Heat, with numerical results deduced from Mr Joules equivalent of a Thermal Unit, and M. Regnaults Observations on Steam. Trans. Roy. Soc. Edinb. p. 174 (1851)Google Scholar
  163. Tikhov, G.A.: Astrobotany. Alma Ata, Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan SSR Academy of Sciences Press (in Russian) (1949)Google Scholar
  164. Tinetti, G., Meadows, V.S., Crisp, D., Fong, W., Fishbein, E., Turnbull, M., Bibring, J.P.: Detectability of Planetary Characteristics in Disk-Averaged Spectra. I: The Earth Model. Astrobiology 6, 34–47 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  165. Tinetti, G., Meadows, V.S., Crisp, D., Kiang, N.Y., Kahn, B.H., Fishbein, E., Velusamy, T., Turnbull, M.: Detectability of Planetary Characteristics in Disk-Averaged Spectra II: Synthetic Spectra and Light-Curves of Earth. Astrobiology 6, 881–900 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  166. Ulmschneider, P.: Intelligent Life in the Universe. Springer, Berlin (2002)Google Scholar
  167. Vázquez, M.: Habitability of Planetary Systems. In: M. Vázquez (ed.) Fundaments and Challenges in Astrobiology, pp. 171–212. Research SignPost, India (2005)Google Scholar
  168. Vázquez, M., Hanslmeier, A.: Ultraviolet Radiation in the Solar System. Springer, Berlin (2005)Google Scholar
  169. Walker, J.C.: Evolution of the atmosphere. Macmillan, New York (1977)Google Scholar
  170. Whewell, W.: Of a Plurality of Worlds. Sheldon, Blakeman Co., New York (1858)Google Scholar
  171. Whitesides, G.M., Grzybowski, B.: Self-assembly at all scales. Science 295, 5564 (2002)Google Scholar
  172. Woolf, N.J., Smith, P.S., Traub, W.A., Jucks, K.W.: The Spectrum of Earthshine: A Pale Blue Dot Observed from the Ground. Astrophys. J. 574, 430–433 (2002)ADSGoogle Scholar
  173. Yokouchi, Y., Ikeda, M., Inuzuka, Y., T., Y.: Strong emission of methyl chloride from tropical plants. Nature 416, 163–165 (2002)ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Vázquez
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Pallé
    • 1
  • P. Montañés Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Astrofísica de CanariasTenerifeSpain

Personalised recommendations