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Who we are

Why ASM?



MIT All Small Molecules project

The ASM project aims to list all possible biosignature gases. This means that the great majority of molecules in ASM library are belonging to the Type III category. We postulate that Type III gases could be ideal biosignatures. Life on Earth makes smaller amounts of them, but they are less likely to have geological false-positives, like methane (Type I) or even oxygen (Type II).

The ASM database can be used as the basis for assesing whether a gas could, in principle, be a biosignature gas, and if so how we might detect it. We have already provided a first pass evaluation of the stability and volatility of molecules in the list of molecules of up to 6 non-hydrogen atoms. Future work will extend the list to larger molecules, more information on stability (e.g. predicted photostabiluty, and reactivity with other atmospheric components), and add information of possible detection methods such as IR spectra.


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