Recently in the Habitable Zones & Global Climate Category


Many observed giant planets lie on eccentric orbits. Such orbits could be the result of strong scatterings with other giant planets. The same dynamical instability that produces giant planet scatterings can also alter the orbits of terrestrial planets.

Ultracool dwarfs (UCD) encompass the population of extremely low mass stars (later than M6-type) and brown dwarfs.

Saturn's moon Enceladus offers a unique opportunity in the search for life and habitable environments beyond Earth, a key theme of the National Research Council's 2013-2022 Decadal Survey.

Astronomers using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory have discovered three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth.

In an effort to derive temperature based criteria of habitability for multicellular life, we investigated the thermal limits of terrestrial poikilotherms, i.e. organisms whose body temperature and the functioning of all vital processes is directly affected by the ambient temperature.

Giant Planets in the Habitable Zone

We report the discovery of three new substellar companions to solar-type stars, HD191806, HD214823, and HD221585, based on radial velocity measurements obtained at the Haute-Provence Observatory.

Contrary to Earth, which has a small orbital eccentricity, some exoplanets discovered in the insolation habitable zone (HZ) have high orbital eccentricities (e.g., up to an eccentricity of ∼0.97 for HD~20782~b).

Characterizing the atmospheres of extrasolar planets is the new frontier in exoplanetary science. The last two decades of exoplanet discoveries have revealed that exoplanets are very common and extremely diverse in their orbital and bulk properties.

The Imprecise Search for Habitability

As planets are being discovered around other stars by the thousands, several scientific disciplines that traditionally exist in parallel are converging, including astronomy, planetary science, and biochemistry.

We use the existence of habitable planets to impose anthropic requirements on the fine structure constant, α. To this effect, we present two considerations that restrict its value to be very near the one observed.