Extinction events

Mini-Neptunes Might Host Life Under Right Conditions

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 28, 2015
Filed under
Mini-Neptunes Might Host Life Under Right Conditions

Researchers with the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory Lead Team at the University of Washington have described how mini-Neptune planets could become viable for life around M-Dwarf stars.

M-dwarfs are cooler than the Sun, meaning any habitable planets around them would have to be much closer to their host star. However, planets in such systems face many hazardous conditions, particularly in the early stages of formation, that could make it difficult for life to take hold.

The study, published in the journal Astrobiology , indicates that mini-Neptunes could potentially migrate into the habitable zones of M-Dwarf stars and become habitable for life as we know it.

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