Recently in the Habitable Zones & Global Climate Category


Understanding the concept of habitability is related to an evolutionary knowledge of the particular planet-in-question. Additional indications so-called "systemic aspects" of the planetary system as a whole governs a particular planet's claim on habitability.

The Kepler-186 system consists of five planets orbiting an early-M dwarf. The planets have physical radii of 1.0-1.50 R⊕ and orbital periods of 4 to 130 days.

From analytical studies of tidal heating, eclipses and planetary illumination, it is clear that the exomoon habitable zone (EHZ) - the set of moon and host planet orbits that permit liquid water on an Earthlike moon's surface - is a manifold of higher dimension than the planetary HZ.

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, sometimes it helps.

The habitable zone (HZ) is defined as the region around a star where a planet can support liquid water on its surface, which, together with an oxygen atmosphere, is presumed to be necessary (and sufficient) to develop and sustain life on the planet.

Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory.

Super-Habitable Worlds

Earth is the only known example of an inhabited planet in the universe, so the search for alien life has focused on Earth-like worlds.

HARPS and it Kepler results indicate that half of solar-type stars host planets with periods P<100 d and masses M < 30 M_E.

The Habitability of Exomoons

When we think of where else life might exist in the universe, we tend to focus on planets. But on a grander cosmic scale, moons could prove the more common life-friendly abode.

Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses and orbits of terrestrial planets that form.