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Habitable Zones & Global Climate: March 2016


As lower-mass stars often host multiple rocky planets, gravitational interactions among planets can have significant effects on climate and habitability over long timescales.

Over the past few years, astronomers have detected thousands of planets and planet candidates by observing their periodic transits in front of their host stars.

The dominant paradigm in assigning "habitability"' to terrestrial planets is to define a circumstellar habitable zone: the locus of orbital radii in which the planet is neither too hot nor too cold for life as we know it.