Results tagged “habitability”

In order to search for life in outer space, astronomers first need to know where to look. A new Northwestern University study will help astronomers narrow down the search.

Characterizing Exoplanet Habitability

Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life, and a habitable exoplanet supports liquid water on its surface.

This textbook gives a perspective of heliophysics in a way that emphasizes universal processes from a perspective that draws attention to what provides Earth (and similar (exo-)planets) with a relatively stable setting in which life as we know it can thrive. The book is intended for students in physical sciences in later years of their university training and for beginning graduate students in fields of solar, stellar, (exo-)planetary, and planetary-system sciences.

An exoplanet may seem like the perfect spot to set up housekeeping, but before you go there, take a closer look at its star. Rice University astrophysicists are doing just that, building a computer model to help judge how a star's own atmosphere impacts its planets, for better or worse.

Multiple hypotheses/models have been put forward regarding the cooling history of the Earth. The search for life beyond Earth has brought these models into a new light as they connect to one of the two energy sources life can tap.

We investigate the possibility of finding Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of 34 nearby FGK-dwarfs, each known to host one giant planet exterior to their habitable zone detected by RV.

About 4000 exoplanets have been confirmed since the year of 1992, and for most of the planets, the main parameters that can be measured are planetary radius and mass.

The energy balance and climate of planets can be affected by the reflective properties of their land, ocean, and frozen surfaces.

The habitable fraction of a planet's surface is important for the detectability of surface biosignatures.

A Goldilocks Zone For Planet Size

In The Little Prince, the classic novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the titular prince lives on a house-sized asteroid so small that he can watch the sunset any time of day by moving his chair a few steps.

Oceanographic Constraints on Exoplanet Life

Liquid water oceans are at the center of our search for life on exoplanets because water is a strict requirement for life as we know it. However, oceans are dynamic habitats--and some oceans may be better hosts for life than others.

Almost all planetary atmospheres are affected by disequilibrium chemical processes.

We present a formalism for a first-order estimation of the magnetosphere radius of exoplanets orbiting stars in the range from 0.08 to 1.3 Mo. With this radius, we estimate the atmospheric surface that is not protected from stellar winds.

Despite surface liquid water's importance to habitability, observationally diagnosing its presence or absence on exoplanets is still an open problem.

The possibility of low but nontrivial atmospheric oxygen (O2) levels during the mid-Proterozoic (between 1.8 and 0.8 billion years ago, Ga) has important ramifications for understanding Earth's O2 cycle, the evolution of complex life and evolving climate stability.

Planets in the "Habitable Zones" around M-type stars are important targets for characterization in future observations.

Orbital phase-dependent variations in thermal emission and reflected stellar energy spectra can provide meaningful constraints on the climate states of terrestrial extrasolar planets orbiting M dwarf stars.

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.

The longevity of Earth's continents in the face of destructive tectonic activity is an essential geologic backdrop for the emergence of life on our planet.

Context. Astrobiological evolution of the Milky Way (or the shape of its "astrobiological landscape") has emerged as one of the key research topics in recent years.

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