Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Habitable Zone Boundaries for Circumbinary Planets

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
November 11, 2019
Filed under
Habitable Zone Boundaries for Circumbinary Planets
Circumbinary planets

We use a one-dimensional (1-D) cloud-free climate model to estimate habitable zone (HZ) boundaries for terrestrial planets of masses 0.1 ME and 5 ME around circumbinary stars of various spectral type combinations.

Specifically, we consider binary systems with host spectral types F-F, F-G, F-K, F-M, G-G, G-K, G-M, K-K, K-M and M-M. Scaling the background N2 atmospheric pressure with the radius of the planet, we find that the inner edge of the HZ moves inwards towards the star for 5ME compared to 0.1ME planets for all spectral types. This is because the water-vapor column depth is smaller for larger planets and higher temperatures are needed before water vapor completely dominates the outgoing longwave radiation. The outer edge of the HZ changes little due to competing effects of the albedo and greenhouse effect.

While these results are broadly consistent with the trend of single star HZ results for different mass planets, there are significant differences between single star and binary star systems for the inner edge of the HZ. Interesting combinations of stellar pairs from our 1-D model results can be used to explore for in-depth climate studies with 3-D climate models. We identify a common HZ stellar flux domain for all circumbinary spectral types

Wolf Cukier, Ravi kumar Kopparapu, Stephen R. Kane, William Welsh, Eric Wolf, Veselin Kostov, Jacob Haqq-Misra
(Submitted on 8 Nov 2019)

Comments: Accepted to PASP, 10 pages
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:1911.02983 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1911.02983v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Ravi Kumar Kopparapu
[v1] Fri, 8 Nov 2019 01:59:18 UTC (187 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) πŸ––πŸ»