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Habitable Zones & Global Climate: May 2019


High obliquity planets represent potentially extreme limits of terrestrial climate, as they exhibit large seasonality, a reversed annual-mean pole-to-equator gradient of stellar heating, and novel cryospheres.

Scientists may have found a way to tell if alien worlds have a climate that is suitable for life by analyzing the light from these worlds for special signatures that are characteristic of a life-friendly environment.

The climate history of the earth is marked by periodic changes that are usually ascribed to the solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth. This insolation is not constant over geological time but modulated by cyclic changes in the earth's orbital parameters.

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis.

We are now on a clear trajectory for improvements in exoplanet observations that will revolutionize our ability to characterize their atmospheric structure, composition, and circulation, from gas giants to rocky planets.

We present the result of calculations to optimize the search for molecular oxygen (O2) in Earth analogs transiting around nearby, low-mass stars using ground-based, high-resolution, Doppler shift techniques.

The interior composition of exoplanets is not observable, limiting our direct knowledge of their structure, composition, and dynamics.

We describe a software package called VPLanet that simulates fundamental aspects of planetary system evolution over Gyr timescales, with a focus on investigating habitable worlds.

Kepler-62f is the first exoplanet small enough to plausibly have a rocky composition orbiting within the habitable zone (HZ) discovered by the Kepler Mission.

Exploring diverse planetary atmospheres requires modeling tools that are both accurate and flexible.

We investigate the detectability of atmospheric spectral features of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) around M dwarfs with the future James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Which of Earth's features were essential for the origin and sustenance of life? And how do scientists identify those features on other worlds?