I’m usually pretty good with big sciency words but spectropolarimetry took a little extra effort to get a handle on. Luckily I was able to read up on what the world meant and how its used as I let my subconscious put the word together for me.
Spectropolarimetry essentially allows for the analyzing of light reflecting off a planet to determine whether life might be present on said planet. Astronomers used this technique to analyze the light from our sun reflecting off Earth and back off the moon to see if they could determine signs of life. Well they were able to. They could tell that Earth has a cloudy atmosphere, is covered in oceans, and has vegetation… all from reflected light!