Purple Bacteria Dominated on Earth's Surface 3 billion Years Back
At the time of the Archean eon, 3 billion years back, it is possible that purple bacteria dominated the surface of Earth. Purple bacteria were photosynthetic bacteria that settled on the land as well as in ancient seas.
These organisms would have had a very characteristic spectroscopic fingerprint.
Sanroma's team used a radiative transfer model so as to replicate the visible and near-(infrared) radiation reflected by earth.
By doing so, the team was able to find out that remote spectators would be able to "distinguish between an Archean Earth in which purple bacteria inhabit vast extensions of the planet, and a present-day Earth with continents covered by deserts, vegetation or microbial mats" by using multi-color photometric observations.
The time when microbial life first emerged on Earth, the whole planet appeared to be of purple color from space. More than 25% of sun-like stars and 50% of red dwarf stars survived in pairs of two.
These environment would have been same to the one newly discovered by Australian scientists.
The technique could be employed to trace a planet with existing Earth-like conditions. The planet to be traced should also be covered by deserts, vegetation, and microbial mats. Researchers said that they could even start to search for life around non-traditional candidates such as, white dwarfs.
Practically, this search could start in the year 2018 with the commencement of the James Webb Space Telescope.
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