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Habitable Zones & Global Climate: June 2014


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.

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).

We study the magnetospheric structure and the ionospheric Joule Heating of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars in the habitable zone using a set of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models.

Exoplanets of a few Earth masses can be now detected around nearby low-mass stars using Doppler spectroscopy. In this paper, we investigate the radial velocity variations of Kapteyn's star, which is both a sub-dwarf M-star and the nearest halo object to the Sun.

Life in the universe might be even rarer than we thought. Recently, astronomers looking for potentially habitable worlds have targeted red dwarf stars because they are the most common type of star, comprising 80 percent of the stars in the universe. But a new study shows that harsh space weather might strip the atmosphere of any rocky planet orbiting in a red dwarf's habitable zone.