Carbon monoxide can be a sign of life

Угарный газ может оказаться признаком жизни

In today’s earth’s atmosphere of carbon monoxide is very small.

For you carbon monoxide is poisonous, so it is no wonder that biologists traditionally consider congestion as a sign of lack of life in this place. However, on other planets, it may not be so.

This writes the Chronicle.info with reference to rambler.ru.

In March 2021, after the launch of the space telescope James Webb, scientists will have the opportunity to observe some of the atmosphere closest to us of earth-like exoplanets and collect data about their composition. In anticipation of this event, a group of biologists from the US and Japan tried to simulate the atmospheric composition of the planet on which life arose. Reference to them was the Earth the way it was in the distant past, when life on the planet have been, and biogenic oxygen in the atmosphere was not.

In today’s earth’s atmosphere of carbon monoxide very little – once in the air it oxidizes rapidly, turning into inert carbon dioxide. But as it turned out in the simulation, the ancient biosphere of the Earth could maintain a CO concentration of about 100 parts per million (ppm) is several orders of magnitude greater today. To live in such a world we would not be able, but the germs are there already then it was very much.

This means that when future studies of exoplanets should be paid special attention to the presence in their atmospheres significant quantities of carbon monoxide, which may result from activities of living beings, which means – a sign of their presence.

To see the details in the article published in The Journal Asrophysical.

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