View Full Version : Remote Sensing of Chiral Signatures on Mars

2012-Sep-05, 12:35 PM
Bacteria in a microscope slide can be adjusted so that single specimens are in view, but in the environment, they more typically occur in large colonies or biofilms. As such, they contain concentrations of chiral biomolecules. On Mars, impact craters can expose old or new colonies in the soil which may be remotely detected by circular polarization spectroscopy.....signaling life. Neat trick.

2012-Sep-05, 04:48 PM
Genius ! But the signal to noise ratio for Mars is inevitably going to be poor, I think. This is because living (or ex-living) matter is going to be a tiny proportion of the matter.

The next stage is to try and apply this to exoplanets. Although they are further away than Mars, exoplanets with an abundance of life would have a much better S/N ratio by this technique. Probably.