Habitable Zones & Global Climate: September 2018

One of the key goals of exoplanet science is the atmospheric characterisation of super-Earths. Atmospheric abundances provide insight on the formation and evolution of those planets and help to put our own rocky planets in context.

One of the unique features associated with the Earth is that the fraction of its surface covered by land is comparable to that spanned by its oceans and other water bodies.

NASA's interdisciplinary Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) project has awarded Rice University $7.7 million for a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research program aimed at finding many different recipes nature might follow to produce rocky planets capable of supporting life.

During accretion, the young rocky planets are so hot that they become endowed with a magma ocean. From that moment, the mantle convective thermal flux control the cooling of the planet and an atmosphere is created by outgassing.

Motivated by the important role of the ocean in the Earth climate system, here we investigate possible scenarios of ocean circulations on exoplanets using a one-layer shallow water ocean model.

An accurate estimate of the inner edge of the habitable zone is critical for determining which exoplanets are potentially habitable and for designing future telescopes to observe them.

Direct detection, also known as direct imaging, is a method for discovering and characterizing the atmospheres of planets at intermediate and wide separations.

In the present research, we study the effects of a single giant planet in the dynamical evolution of water-rich embryos and planetesimals, located beyond the snow line of systems around Sun-like stars, in order to determine what kind of terrestrial-like planets could be formed in the habitable zone (hereafter HZ) of these systems.