habitable zone

This tag is associated with 23 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.

Kepler 2.0

The Kepler Space Telescope gets a promising second chance with a new mission called “K2″.

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.

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!

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?

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.

How Hot is Too Hot?

Detailed atmospheric models reveal that planets can be habitable much closer to their host star than previously thought, provided they have desert-like climates. This expanded definition of the habitable zone increases the number of planets that could support life by a factor of 2-3.

The Frequency of (Habitable?) Planets Around M dwarfs

The census of planets for smaller stars—M dwarfs—is now basically complete. In this paper, Courtney Dressing and Dave Charbonneau use this M dwarf advantage to determine the occurrence rate of small planets around M dwarfs.

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