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Habitable Zones & Global Climate: April 2019


An exoplanet's habitability will depend strongly on the presence of liquid water. Flux and/or polarization measurements of starlight that is reflected by exoplanets could help to identify exo-oceans.

An Earth-like planetary magnetic field has been widely invoked as a requirement for habitability as it purportedly mitigates the fluxes of ionizing radiation reaching the surface and the escape of neutrals and ions from the atmosphere.

Detecting and confirming terrestrial planets is incredibly difficult due to their tiny size and mass relative to Sun-like host stars.

The closest potentially habitable worlds outside our Solar system orbit a different kind of star than our Sun: smaller red dwarf stars.

Aims. In this letter, we calculate for the first time the full transonic hydrodynamic escape of an Earth-like atmosphere.

It is a truism within the exoplanet field that "to know the planet, you must know the star." This pertains to the physical properties of the star (i.e. mass, radius, luminosity, age, multiplicity), the activity and magnetic fields, as well as the stellar elemental abundances which can be used as a proxy for planetary composition.

Context. Astrobiological evolution of the Milky Way (or the shape of its "astrobiological landscape") has emerged as one of the key research topics in recent years.

It is now recognized that energetic stellar photon and particle radiation evaporates and erodes planetary atmospheres and controls upper atmospheric chemistry.