Tokyo : Till date, oxygen has been thought to be essential for life. Now, a Japanese researcher has presented a novel hypothesis that it could be possible for distant planets to have large quantities of abiotic (non-biologically produced) oxygen, reports IANS.

According to assistant professor Norio Narita from the Astrobiology Center of National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), abiotic oxygen produced by the photocatalytic reaction of titanium oxide and known to be abundant on distant planets and the moon cannot be discounted.

“To search for life on extrasolar planets through astronomical observation, we need to combine the knowledge from various scientific fields and to promote astrobiology researches to establish the decisive signs of life,” Narita noted.

“Although oxygen is

still one of possible biomarkers, it becomes necessary to look for new biomarkers besides oxygen from the present result,” he added.

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