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Proceedings Paper

Distinguishing the chiral signature of life in the solar system and beyond
Author(s): Alexandra J. MacDermott
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Paper Abstract

Homochirality is a characteristic signature of life or at the very least pre-biotic chemistry, and we explain how biotic and pre-biotic homochirality can be distinguished. We discuss the implications of the recent discovery of an enantiomeric excess in the Murchison meteorite. We describe how a combination of gas-chromatography and polarimetry could be used to detect life on mars, and introduce new vistas for space polarimetry in our proposed Search for EXtra-SOlar Homochirality (SEXSOH).

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3111, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms, (11 July 1997);
Show Author Affiliations
Alexandra J. MacDermott, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3111:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms
Richard B. Hoover, Editor(s)

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