Recently in the Habitable Zones & Global Climate Category


A group of researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the University of Tokyo, and the Astrobiology Center among others has observed the transit of a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet known as K2-3d using the MuSCAT instrument on the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory 188-cm telescope.

We use a simple organism lifecycle model to explore the viability of an atmospheric habitable zone (AHZ), with temperatures that could support Earth-centric life, which sits above an environment that does not support life.

Approximately 60 percent of all stars in the solar neighbourhood (up to 80 percent in our Milky Way) are members of binary or multiple star systems. This fact led to the speculations that many more planets may exist in binary systems than are currently known.

The Kepler era of exoplanetary discovery has presented the Astronomical community with a cornucopia of planetary systems very different from the one which we inhabit.

The competition between the torques induced by solid and thermal tides drives the rotational dynamics of Venus-like planets and super-Earths orbiting in the habitable zone of low-mass stars.

Atmospheric Tides In Earth-like Planets

Atmospheric tides can strongly affect the rotational dynamics of planets. In the family of Earth-like planets, such as Venus, this physical mechanism coupled with solid tides makes the angular velocity evolve over long timescales and determines the equilibrium configurations of their spin.

Computer simulations by astrophysicists at the University of Bern of the formation of planets orbiting in the habitable zone of low mass stars such as Proxima Centauri show that these planets are most likely to be roughly the size of the Earth and to contain large amounts of water.

The prospects for the habitability of M-dwarf planets have long been debated, due to key differences between the unique stellar and planetary environments around these low-mass stars, as compared to hotter, more luminous Sun-like stars.

Water-rich planets such as Earth are expected to become eventually uninhabitable, because liquid water does not remain stable at the surface as surface temperatures increase with the solar luminosity over time.

How did Early Earth Stay Warm?

For at least a billion years of the distant past, planet Earth should have been frozen over but wasn't. Scientists thought they knew why, but a new modeling study from the Alternative Earths team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute has fired the lead actor in that long-accepted scenario.