Back to Volume
Paper: Abiotic Buildup of Ozone
Volume: 430, Pathways Towards Habitable Planets
Page: 152
Authors: Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Meadows, V. S.
Abstract: Two of the best biosignature gases for remote detection of life on extrasolar planets are oxygen (O2) and its photochemical byproduct, ozone (O3). The main reason for their prominence as biosignatures is that large abiotic fluxes of O2 and O3 are not considered sustainable on geological and astronomical timescales. We show here how buildup of O3 can occur on planets orbiting M stars, even in the absence of the large biological fluxes. This is possible because the destruction of O2 and O3 is driven by UV photochemistry. This chemistry is much slower on planets around these stars, due to the smaller incident UV flux. Because the destruction of these gases is slower, O3 can build up to detectable levels even if the O3 source is small. We will present atmospheric profiles of these gases for planets around AD Leo (an M dwarf) as well as spectra that show the implications for missions such as Darwin and the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF).
Back to Volume