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Habitable Zones & Global Climate: January 2021


Is there oceanic superrotation on exoplanets? Atmospheric superrotation, characterized by west-to-east winds over the equator, is a common phenomenon in the atmospheres of Venus, Titan, Saturn, Jupiter, and tidally locked exoplanets.

At high redshifts, the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) was higher than its value today. We explore the possibility that life may have arisen early because the higher CMB temperature would have supplied the requisite energy for the existence of different solvents on the surfaces of objects.

SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) aims to perform a transit search on the nearest (<40pc) ultracool (<3000K) dwarf stars.

The earliest atmospheres of rocky planets originate from extensive volatile release during magma ocean epochs that occur during assembly of the planet.

Low-mass stars show evidence of vigorous magnetic activity in the form of large flares and coronal mass ejections. Such space weather events may have important ramifications for the habitability and observational fingerprints of exoplanetary atmospheres.

In a few years, space telescopes will investigate our Galaxy to detect evidence of life, mainly by observing rocky planets. In the last decade, the observation of exoplanet atmospheres and the theoretical works on biosignature gasses have experienced a considerable acceleration.