Archives

Habitable Zones & Global Climate: January 2017


Clouds have a strong impact on the climate of planetary atmospheres. The potential scattering greenhouse effect of CO2 ice clouds in the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets is of particular interest because it might influence the position and thus the extension of the outer boundary of the classic habitable zone around main sequence stars.

A habitable exoplanet is a world that can maintain stable liquid water on its surface. Techniques and approaches to characterizing such worlds are essential, as performing a census of Earth-like planets that may or may not have life will inform our understanding of how frequently life originates and is sustained on worlds other than our own.

A critical component of exoplanetary studies is an exhaustive characterization of the host star, from which the planetary properties are frequently derived. Of particular value are the radius, temperature, and luminosity, which are key stellar parameters for studies of transit and habitability science.

What makes a rocky planet Earth-like? Astronomers and geoscientists have joined forces using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to study the mix of elements in exoplanet host stars, and to consider what this reveals about their planets.

A critical component of exoplanetary studies is an exhaustive characterization of the host star, from which the planetary properties are frequently derived. Of particular value are the radius, temperature, and luminosity, which are key stellar parameters for studies of transit and habitability science.