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« Hagan does the right thing | Main | Maybe time for another all-male panel »

Feb 22, 2012


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One of these days we're going to get spectroscopic evidence of something like oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of one of these planets. That's gonna get a lot of people really excited because oxygen and ozone are rather reactive and like to combine with other stuff. We have enough oxygen to breath because it's constantly replenished by photosynthesis.

The presence of atmospheric oxygen wouldn't confirm the presence of plant life, just as the presence of methane doesn't confirm the presence of cows. But, other ways to replenish that oxygen might be a rarer happenstance than plants.

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