Recently in the Habitable Zones & Global Climate Category


The M dwarf Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet.

As anybody who has started a campfire by rubbing sticks knows, friction generates heat. Now, computer modeling by NASA scientists shows that friction could be the key to survival for some distant Earth-sized planets traveling in dangerous orbits.

Mysteries about controversial signals coming from a dwarf star considered to be a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life now have been solved in research led by scientists at Penn State University.

We present an all-sky catalog of 2970 nearby (d≲50 pc), bright ( J<9 ) M- or late K-type dwarf stars, 86% of which have been confirmed by spectroscopy.

We report the detection of GJ 832c, a super-Earth orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of GJ 832, an M dwarf previously known to host a Jupiter analog in a nearly-circular 9.4-year orbit.

The past twenty years have revealed the diversity of planets that exist in the Universe. It turned out that most of exoplanets are different from the planets of our Solar System and thus, everything about them needs to be explored.

Researchers from the University of New Mexico and Northwestern University report evidence for potentially oceans worth of water deep beneath the United States. Though not in the familiar liquid form - the ingredients for water are bound up in rock deep in the Earth's mantle - the discovery may represent the planet's largest water reservoir.

Taking the Shine Off Glaciers

The first ecological study of an entire glacier has found that microbes drastically reduce surface reflectivity and have a non-negligible impact on the amount of sunlight that is reflected into space.

Geochemists have calculated a huge rise in atmospheric CO2 was only avoided by the formation of a vast mountain range in the middle of the ancient supercontinent, Pangea. This work is being presented to the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Sacramento, California.

Zunli Lu and Xiaoli Zhou, an assistant professor and Ph.D. student, respectively, in the Department of Earth Sciences, are part of an international team of researchers whose findings have been published by the journal Geology (Geological Society of America, 2014).