We identified an exoplanet color for the first time in 2013: HD 189733b, a Jupiter-like exoplanet was determined to be dark-blue. Since then, astronomers have discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets and found out that a significant fraction of them are terrestrial. After detecting them, the next challenge is to image them, which will reveal their color. So what is the color of a lifeless terrestrial exoplanet? Will it be red because of rust like Mars, or blueish-white because of clouds in the atmosphere like Venus in visible light?
Among the 300 million potentially habitable planets in our galaxy, can we expect that more than one will indeed host a type of life? What will be the impact of this life on their colors? Can we expect this planet to have the same vegetation as our Earth? What colors are associated with the presence of microbiological activity on the surface of a planet? What do a planet’s colors tell us about habitability on its surface? Astronomers predict that one day we will see the color of an Earth-like exoplanet.
To answer these questions, we invited two scientists from different backgrounds to our SETI Talk. Angelle Tanner, associate professor at Mississippi State University who is interested in finding habitable planets outside our solar system and will tell us about the vegetation of exoplanets and the technology we could one day use to see an exoplanet. Ivan Paulino-Lima, biologist at Blue Marble Institute of Science, is interested in extremophiles and leads microbiological experiments in satellites around Earth and is involved in research on the colors of bacteria.
Speakers: Andelle Tanner, Mississippi State University; Ivan Paulino-Lima, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science
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