Recently in the Habitable Zones & Global Climate Category

Current protoplanetary dust coagulation theory does not predict dry silicate planetesimals, in tension with the Earth. While remedies to this predicament have been proposed, they have generally failed numerical studies, or are in tension with the Earth's (low, volatility dependent) volatile and moderately volatile elemental abundances.

M dwarf stars, which have masses less than 60 per cent that of the Sun, make up 75 per cent of the population of the stars in the Galaxy [1]. The atmospheres of orbiting Earth-sized planets are observationally accessible via transmission spectroscopy when the planets pass in front of these stars [2,3].

An exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth may be the new holder of the title "best place to look for signs of life beyond the Solar System". Using ESO's HARPS instrument at La Silla, and other telescopes around the world, an international team of astronomers discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting in the habitable zone around the faint star LHS 1140.

It has recently been proposed that Earth-like planets in the outer regions of the habitable zone experience unstable climates, repeatedly cycling between glaciated and deglaciated climatic states (Menou 2015).

We have just discovered a transiting terrestrial planet in a small nearby star's habitable zone. Due to the proximity of the host star and the size of the transit depth, possible constituents for this planet's atmosphere can be detected with the Hubble Space Telescope. Here we propose to use STIS to obtain observations of the host star at Lyman-alpha.

With two suns in its sky, Luke Skywalker's home planet Tatooine in "Star Wars" looks like a parched, sandy desert world.

On Thursday NASA will announce evidence that hydrothermal activity on the floor of an ice-covered ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus is most likely creating methane from carbon dioxide. The process is indicative of possible habitable zones within the ocean of Enceladus.

But before we go any further, "habitable" does not mean "inhabited".

Limits on the Stability of TRAPPIST-1

TRAPPIST-1 is a late M-dwarf orbited by seven Earth-sized planets with orbital period ratios near a chain of mean motion resonances. Due to uncertain system parameters, most orbital configurations drawn from the inferred posterior distribution are unstable on short timescales, even when including the eccentricity damping effect of tides.

Earth is the only planet known to harbor life, therefore we may speculate on how the nature of the Sun-Earth interaction is relevant to life on Earth, and how the behavior of other stars may influence the development of life on their planetary systems.

We analyze short cadence K2 light curve of the TRAPPIST-1 system. Fourier analysis of the data suggests Prot=3.295±0.003 days.