Auroral spectra as a tool for detecting extraterrestrial life



One of the most prominent emissions from the aurora is the greenish-white light from oxygen atoms, while the Jovian aurora contains atomic hydrogen emissions [Clarke et al., 1989]. Most of the processes leading to the production of oxygen atoms are directly or indirectly related to molecular oxygen produced near the ground level. Thus, the oxygen emission, the so-called “green line” (557.7 nm), of the terrestrial aurora, arises mostly from the fact that plants release abundant free oxygen into the atmosphere by the photosynthesis process. Thus, the green line shows that plant life exists on Earth.