Habitable Zones & Global Climate: April 2016

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.

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.

Stellar activity and rotation frustrate the detection of exoplanets through the radial velocity technique. This effect is particularly of concern for M dwarfs, which can remain magnetically active for billions of years.

The direct detection of reflected light from exoplanets is an excellent probe for the characterization of their atmospheres.

The search for life on the planets outside the Solar System can be broadly classified into the following: looking for Earth-like conditions or the planets similar to the Earth (Earth similarity), and looking for the possibility of life in a form known or unknown to us (habitability).

We present an isolated Milky Way-like simulation in GADGET2 N-body SPH code. The Galactic disk star formation rate (SFR) surface densities and stellar mass indicative of Solar neighbourhood are used as thresholds to model the distribution of stellar mass in life friendly environments.