Habitable Zones & Global Climate: July 2015

The discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet orbiting a sun-like star brings us closer than ever to finding a twin of our own watery world.

Planet Earth is situated in what astronomers call the Goldilocks Zone -- a sweet spot in a solar system where a planet's surface temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.

Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place. So how did we get so lucky? A new study sheds light on the improbable evolutionary path that enabled Earth to sustain life.

The field of astrobiology has made huge strides in understanding the habitable zones around stars (Stellar Habitable Zones) where life can begin, sustain its existence and evolve into complex forms.

Detailed characterization of an extrasolar planet's atmosphere provides the best hope for distinguishing the makeup of its outer layers, and the only hope for understanding the interplay between initial composition, chemistry, dynamics & circulation, and disequilibrium processes.

We present a comprehensive study of the abundance of carbon dioxide in exoplanetary atmospheres.