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Optical Detection of Organic Chemical Biosignatures at Hydrothermal VentsWe have developed a non-contact, optical life detection instrument that can detect organic chemical biosignatures in a number of different environments, including dry land, shallow aqueous, deep marine or in ice. Hence, the instrument is appropriate as a biosignature survey tool both for Mars exploration or in situ experiments in an ice-covered ocean such as one might wish to explore on Europa. Here, we report the results we obtained on an expedition aboard the Russian oceanographic vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh to hydrothermal vent sites in the Pacific Ocean using our life detection instrument MCDUVE, a multichannel, deep ultraviolet excitation fluorescence detector. MCDUVE detected organic material distribution on rocks near the vent, as well as direct detection of organisms, both microbial and microscopic. We also were able to detect organic material issuing directly from vent chimneys, measure the organic signature of the water column as we ascended, and passively observe the emission of light directly from some vents.
Document ID
20040065937
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Conrad, P. G. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Lane, A. L. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bhartia, R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Hug, W. H. (Photon Systems Covina, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20040065936Analytic PrimaryLunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites
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