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habitability

This tag is associated with 32 posts

How giant planets affect accretion of water by rocky planets

How do giant planets affect the water content of rocky planets in habitable zones? Astronomers have run new planet formation simulations to try to answer this question.

How Green Can a Planet in a Resonant Orbit Be?

Planets orbiting close to type-M dwarf stars are in the habitable zone, but if their orbits are in a 3:2 spin resonance, do their long, strange days and nights have a chance of supporting photosynthetic life?

Planets Get Heat With A Little Help From Their Friends

For planets too old for plate tectonics, a companion planet could drive tidal heating to keep conditions primed for life.

Better Than Earth: Superhabitable Worlds

Title: Superhabitable Worlds Authors: RenĂ© Heller and John Armstrong First Author’s Institution: McMaster University Status: Published in Astrobiology Note: This journal article covers two topics that we thought each deserved its own astrobite. Yesterday’s astrobite discussed the first half of the paper, about the effects of tidal heating on habitability. Today’s astrobite explores the concept […]

How to Keep Warm Outside the Habitable Zone

Today’s paper is too awesome to be contained in merely one astrobite, so we’ve split it into two parts. In Part 1, find out how you can keep warm even if you’re far outside your star’s habitable zone (if “you” are a planet or moon, that is). Tune in tomorrow for Part 2: Superhabitability and You!

Unifying Planetary Atmospheres

A new model explains the common 0.1 bar temperature minimum in certain types of planetary atmospheres.

Prevalence of Planets that Might be “Earth-like”, Maybe

A headline-grabbing paper calculated the prevalence of Earth-sized planets with long orbital periods around Sun-like stars. But are these planets anything like Earth?

Water found in remains of planetary system around a white dwarf

Astronomers have found evidence of water in the remains of a planetary system around a white dwarf. This indicates water-rich asteroids can bring water to terrestrial planets, important for the habitability of planets.

The Influence of Ice and Snow on Habitability (or, On the Habitability of Hoth)

This article uses theoretical modeling to estimate the influence of ice and snow on the habitability of extrasolar planets. This work differentiates itself from past efforts by including the influence of the atmosphere, and by considering planets orbiting M-dwarfs in addition to Sun-like stars.

The Habitability of Exomoons

The search for exoplanets in their habitable zones continues. But exomoons could be habitable, too! This paper models hypothetical exomoons in four real systems to determine the habitability of moons around planets that don’t necessarily stay in the habitable zone.

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