I guess I need to do some research as I can’t imagine how they’re able to detect the presence of DMS just by looking at a distant planet.
I would assume spectroscopy. Same way they’d be getting water, methane, etc.
Yep it’s spectroscopy, the data shows a strong absorbance in the 3.6-3.7 micron band which is provisionally linked to DMS.
Here on Earth, DMS is believed to be a strong influence on ocean cloud formation and in very low concentrations, it is ‘the smell of the seaside’ that the Victorians put down to ozone. In large concentrations it smells like rotten cabbage.
seems you need an account to see anything bluesky related. ( i wonder what color k2-18 b’s skies are )
So probably anaerobic, possibly purple (based on Earth) prokaryotic (or exo-equivalent) Hycean life. I love it! 120 ly. That’s a bit of a haul. Hmmm. Better telescopes, then. Hooray!
And to add, it actually is the main compound in the aroma of rotten cabbage, though it’s also characteristic of cooked vegetables in smaller concentrations. The smell of the seaside is likewise in part from decomposing algae.
Here on earth dimethyl sulfide is linked to life, but then so is methane. I’m not sure why it would be so unusual for a Hycean planet, where you would expect hydrides like methane and so other derivatives of that as natural atmospheric components. There are much more complex organic molecules that people talk about occurring naturally when they discuss the origin of life.
…now where is the planet with N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in the atmosphere?!
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