Antígona Segura

Antígona Segura Peralta (born September 20, 1971) is a Mexican physicist and astrobiologist. Since 2006, she has been a researcher at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and collaborator at the NASA Astrobiology Institute.[1] As a feminist she actively advocates for the inclusion of women in the exact sciences, mathematics, and engineering.[2]

Antígona Segura
Antígona Segura.jpg
Antígona Segura Peralta

(1971-09-20) September 20, 1971 (age 49)
Alma materNational Autonomous University of Mexico
OccupationPhysicist, astrobiologist
EmployerNational Autonomous University of Mexico

Academic trainingEdit

Antígona Segura graduated with a degree in Theoretical Physics from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí. There she met the astronomer Miguel Ángel Herrera, with whom she conducted scientific research in a project directed by Arcadio Poveda. In 1997, she completed a master's degree in Astronomy at the UNAM Institute of Astronomy [es], and the same year she obtained a diploma in Science Communication from UNAM's General Directorate for Scientific Outreach.

She earned her doctorate in the Earth Sciences postgraduate program at UNAM with the thesis Fijación de nitrógeno por relámpagos volcánicos en el Marte primitivo (Nitrogen Fixation by Volcanic Lightning on Primitive Mars), advised by Rafael Navarro González [es]. She was part of the first group of students in Mexico to obtain doctorates with theses focused on astrobiology.[3] From 2005 to 2006, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) associated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).[1]


Segura's research is focused on the study of planetary atmospheres and the remote detection of signs of life. She also collaborates on a multidisciplinary project on the formation and conditions of the early solar system.[4] She has determined possible sources of energy for the generation of fixed nitrogen on primitive Mars, proposing volcanic lightning as a new source.[5]

Her studies on biosignatures on habitable planets around M dwarf stars reopened the debate about the habitability of planets that revolve around these types of stars, and have been used to argue in favor of astronomical observation programs to better understand the processes that generate the chromospheric activity of the M dwarfs. Some examples are: Habitable Zones and M Dwarf Activity Across Time (HAZMAT),[6] the program of observations of Proxima Centauri with the MOST telescope,[7] the program for the detection and characterization of planets around M dwarfs using echoes of light,[8] and the MUSCLES Treasury Survey.[9]

Her research work has been developed at various institutions, such as the UNAM Institute of Nuclear Sciences,[10] the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory,[1] Pennsylvania State University, and the UNAM Institute of Astronomy. In addition, she is a science communicator, has worked at the news agency of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, has written for the UNAM magazine ¿Cómo ves? [es], and hosted the weekly radio program Hacia el Nuevo Milenio (Towards the New Millennium) on Radio Red AM.[2] She frequently gives talks to diverse audiences about astrobiology.



  • Tiempo de elegir sin miedo, Memorias de una astrobióloga, Editorial Piedra Bezoar, 2016

Selected articlesEdit

  • "Ozone concentrations and ultraviolet fluxes on Earth-like planets around other stars" (2003)
  • "Biosignatures from Earth-like planets around M dwarfs" (2005)
  • "A reappraisal of the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars" (2007)
  • "M stars as targets for terrestrial exoplanet searches and biosignature detection" (2007)

Awards and recognitionsEdit

  • Honorable Mention in obtaining the degree of Doctor of Science in the area of spatial physics, UNAM[11]
  • Alfonso Caso Medal given to the best postgraduate students, UNAM[12]
  • Rosa Guerrero Ramírez Knowledge Award for professional career given by PREFECO Benito Juárez, Aguascalientes, 2007
  • Member of the editorial board for the journal Astrobiology, 2010–2014[13]
  • Vice president of the Mexican Society of Astrobiology, 2010–2011 and 2013–2014
  • President of the Mexican Society of Astrobiology, 2011–2013[2]
  • Member of the International Astronomical Union, 2015–present[14]
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Recognition [es], UNAM, 2017[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Antigona Segura-Peralta". NASA Astrobiology Institute. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Rosas, Ketzalli (August 20, 2018). "Antígona Segura, la astrobióloga mexicana que busca vida en otros mundos" [Antígona Segura, the Mexican Astrobiologist Who Searches for Life on Other Worlds]. Distintas Latitudes (in Spanish). Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  3. ^ Segura Peralta, Antígona (2001). Fijación de nitrógeno por relámpagos volcánicos en el Marte primitivo [Nitrogen Fixation by Volcanic Lightning on Primitive Mars] (Thesis) (in Spanish). National Autonomous University of Mexico. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  4. ^ "Directorio Académico" (in Spanish). National Autonomous University of Mexico. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  5. ^ Segura, Antígona; Navarro González, Rafael (2005). "Nitrogen fixation on early Mars by volcanic lightning and other sources". Geophysical Research Letters. 32 (5). doi:10.1029/2004gl021910. ISSN 0094-8276.
  6. ^ Miles, Brittany E.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L. (2017). "HAZMAT. II. Ultraviolet Variability of Low-mass Stars in the GALEX Archive". The Astronomical Journal. American Astronomical Society. 154 (2): 67. arXiv:1705.03583. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aa71ab. ISSN 1538-3881.
  7. ^ Davenport1, James R. A.; Kipping, David M.; Sasselov, Dimitar; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Cameron, Chris (2016). "Most Observations of Our Nearest Neighbor: Flares on Proxima Centauri". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. American Astronomical Society. 829 (2): L31. arXiv:1608.06672. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/829/2/L31. ISSN 2041-8205.
  8. ^ Sparks, William B.; White, Richard L.; Lupu, Roxana E.; Ford, Holland C. (2018). "The Direct Detection and Characterization of M-dwarf Planets Using Light Echoes". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. American Astronomical Society. 854 (2): 134. arXiv:1801.01144. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaa549. ISSN 2041-8205.
  9. ^ France, Kevin; Parke Loyd, R. O.; Youngblood, Allison; Brown, Alexander; Schneider, P. Christian; Hawley, Suzanne L.; Froning, Cynthia S.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Roberge, Aki; Buccino, Andrea P.; Davenport, James R. A.; Fontenla, Juan M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Kowalski, Adam F.; Mauas, Pablo J. D.; Miguel, Yamila; Redfield, Seth; Rugheimer, Sarah; Tian, Feng; Vieytes, Mariela C.; Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Weisenburger, Kolby L. (2016). "The MUSCLES Treasury Survey. I. Motivation and Overview". The Astrophysical Journal. American Astronomical Society. 820 (2): 89. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/820/2/89. hdl:11336/21743. ISSN 0004-637X.
  10. ^ "Dra. Antígona Segura Peralta" (in Spanish). National Autonomous University of Mexico. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  11. ^ "Antígona Segura" (in Spanish). National Autonomous University of Mexico. Archived from the original on April 30, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "40 mujeres con trayectoria en temas del espacio en México" [40 Women with Experience in Space Issues in Mexico] (PDF) (in Spanish). Agencia Espacial Mexicana. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  13. ^ "Editorial Board". Astrobiology. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2019.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  14. ^ "Antigona Segura". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  15. ^ Hernández, Mirtha (March 9, 2017). "Reciben 79 académicas el Reconocimiento Sor Juana" [79 Academics Receive the Sor Juana Recognition] (in Spanish). National Autonomous University of Mexico. Archived from the original on September 2, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2019.

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