Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Super-Earth Opportunity – Search for Habitable Exoplanets in the 2020s

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
March 13, 2019
Filed under
The Super-Earth Opportunity – Search for Habitable Exoplanets in the 2020s
Habitable Exoplanets

The recent discovery of a staggering diversity of planets beyond the Solar System has brought with it a greatly expanded search space for habitable worlds.

The Kepler exoplanet survey has revealed that most planets in our interstellar neighborhood are larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune. Collectively termed super-Earths and mini-Neptunes, some of these planets may have the conditions to support liquid water oceans, and thus Earth-like biology, despite differing in many ways from our own planet. In addition to their quantitative abundance, super-Earths are relatively large and are thus more easily detected than true Earth twins. As a result, super-Earths represent a uniquely powerful opportunity to discover and explore a panoply of fascinating and potentially habitable planets in 2020 – 2030 and beyond.

Renyu Hu, Charles A. Beichman, David Brain, Pin Chen, Mario Damiano, Rebekah Dawson, A. James Friedson, Yasuhiro Hasagawa, Andrew Howard, Robert Johnson, Tiffany Kataria, Richard Kidd, Edwin Kite, Heather Knutson, Wladimir Lyra, Michael Mischna, Noah Planavsky, Chris Reinhard, Hilke Schlichting, Sara Seager, Christophe Sotin, Mark Swain, Neal Turner, Robert West, Yuk Yung, Robert Zellem
(Submitted on 12 Mar 2019)

Comments: Science white paper submitted to the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1903.05258 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1903.05258v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Renyu Hu
[v1] Tue, 12 Mar 2019 23:33:58 UTC (2,038 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻