WorldWideScience

Sample records for project habitable planets

  1. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen H

    2007-01-01

    ..., and discusses how to search for habitable planets. Interestingly for our time, he also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered...

  2. THE PROJECT: an Observatory / Transport Spaceship for Discovering and Populating Habitable Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilston, S.

    1998-12-01

    Recent extrasolar planet discoveries and related progress in astrophysics have refined our knowledge of the implications of the Drake equation. The Space Interferometry Mission and the planned Terrestrial Planet Finder will deepen this understanding, and begin pointing the way to places we need to explore at closer range. If the correct resolution of the Fermi paradox regarding intelligent extraterrestrials (``where are they?") is found to lie in the actual scarcity of such beings, it may turn out that we are more advanced than most other life-forms in our galaxy. In this case, a main purpose in finding planets may be to find places for us to go: astronomy will once again play a major role in human navigation and migration. We describe a strawman design concept for an astronomical observatory ship designed for launch beyond our solar system within several hundred years. This ship design would employ plausible physics, biology, technology, sociology, and economics to carry one million passengers in a one-G environment shielded from space radiation. A cruising speed under 0.01 c, slower than in many science-fiction concepts, minimizes power requirements and the danger from collisional impacts. The ship would contain all subsystems needed to sustain multi-generational life on a voyage of thousands of years, as well as the observatories to identify for human settlement a habitable extrasolar planet. Even the modestly advanced technology described here could spread intelligent life throughout our galaxy within 40 million years, a very small fraction of the galaxy's age. Motivation for such an ambitious project is three-fold: expanding our knowledge of the universe, enlisting the efforts and enthusiasms of humankind toward a very grand goal which will stimulate progress in all aspects of our cultures and technologies, and participating in the process of spreading life so its survivability and fruition are enhanced.

  3. Giant Planets: Good Neighbors for Habitable Worlds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian

    2018-04-01

    The presence of giant planets influences potentially habitable worlds in numerous ways. Massive celestial neighbors can facilitate the formation of planetary cores and modify the influx of asteroids and comets toward Earth analogs later on. Furthermore, giant planets can indirectly change the climate of terrestrial worlds by gravitationally altering their orbits. Investigating 147 well-characterized exoplanetary systems known to date that host a main-sequence star and a giant planet, we show that the presence of “giant neighbors” can reduce a terrestrial planet’s chances to remain habitable, even if both planets have stable orbits. In a small fraction of systems, however, giant planets slightly increase the extent of habitable zones provided that the terrestrial world has a high climate inertia. In providing constraints on where giant planets cease to affect the habitable zone size in a detrimental fashion, we identify prime targets in the search for habitable worlds.

  4. Habitability Properties of Circumbinary Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevchenko, Ivan I.

    2017-06-01

    It is shown that several habitability conditions (in fact, at least seven such conditions) appear to be fulfilled automatically by circumbinary planets of main-sequence stars (CBP-MS), whereas on Earth, these conditions are fulfilled only by chance. Therefore, it looks natural that most of the production of replicating biopolymers in the Galaxy is concentrated on particular classes of CBP-MS, and life on Earth is an outlier, in this sense. In this scenario, Lathe’s mechanism for the tidal “chain reaction” abiogenesis on Earth is favored as generic for CBP-MS, due to photo-tidal synchronization inherent to them. Problems with this scenario are discussed in detail.

  5. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Yutaka; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Sleep, Norman H; Zahnle, Kevin J

    2011-06-01

    Most discussion of habitable planets has focused on Earth-like planets with globally abundant liquid water. For an "aqua planet" like Earth, the surface freezes if far from its sun, and the water vapor greenhouse effect runs away if too close. Here we show that "land planets" (desert worlds with limited surface water) have wider habitable zones than aqua planets. For planets at the inner edge of the habitable zone, a land planet has two advantages over an aqua planet: (i) the tropics can emit longwave radiation at rates above the traditional runaway limit because the air is unsaturated and (ii) the dry air creates a dry stratosphere that limits hydrogen escape. At the outer limits of the habitable zone, the land planet better resists global freezing because there is less water for clouds, snow, and ice. Here we describe a series of numerical experiments using a simple three-dimensional global climate model for Earth-sized planets. Other things (CO(2), rotation rate, surface pressure) unchanged, we found that liquid water remains stable at the poles of a low-obliquity land planet until net insolation exceeds 415 W/m(2) (170% that of modern Earth), compared to 330 W/m(2) (135%) for the aqua planet. At the outer limits, we found that a low-obliquity land planet freezes at 77%, while the aqua planet freezes at 90%. High-obliquity land and aqua planets freeze at 58% and 72%, respectively, with the poles offering the last refuge. We show that it is possible that, as the Sun brightens, an aqua planet like Earth can lose most of its hydrogen and become a land planet without first passing through a sterilizing runaway greenhouse. It is possible that Venus was a habitable land planet as recently as 1 billion years ago.

  6. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere.

  7. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, M J; Doyle, L R; Joshi, M M; Haberle, R M

    1999-08-01

    Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible.

  8. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Checlair, Jade; Menou, Kristen; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2017-08-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  9. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Menou, Kristen, E-mail: jadecheclair@uchicago.edu [Centre for Planetary Sciences, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4 (Canada)

    2017-08-20

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO{sub 2} outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  10. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S.; Menou, Kristen

    2017-01-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO 2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  11. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis

    2016-11-01

    With about 2000 exoplanets discovered within a large range of different configurations of distance from the star, size, mass, and atmospheric conditions, the concept of habitability cannot rely only on the stellar effective temperature anymore. In addition to the natural evolution of habitability with the intrinsic stellar parameters, tidal, magnetic, and atmospheric interactions are believed to have strong impact on the relative position of the planets inside the so-called habitable zone. Moreover, the notion of habitability itself strongly depends on the definition we give to the term "habitable". The aim of this contribution is to provide a global and up-to-date overview of the work done during the last few years about the description and the modelling of the habitability, and to present the physical processes currently includes in this description.

  12. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Gonzalez

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe.

  13. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe. PMID:25370028

  14. Early Life Crises of Habitable Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2006-01-01

    There are a number of crises that a potentially habitable planet must avoid or surmount if its potential is to be realized. These include the runaway greenhouse, loss of atmosphere by chemical or physical processes, and long-lasting global glaciation. In this lecture I will present research on the climate dynamics governing such processes, with particular emphasis on the lessons to be learned from the cases of Early Mars and the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth.

  15. A Maximum Radius for Habitable Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibert, Yann

    2015-09-01

    We compute the maximum radius a planet can have in order to fulfill two constraints that are likely necessary conditions for habitability: 1- surface temperature and pressure compatible with the existence of liquid water, and 2- no ice layer at the bottom of a putative global ocean, that would prevent the operation of the geologic carbon cycle to operate. We demonstrate that, above a given radius, these two constraints cannot be met: in the Super-Earth mass range (1-12 Mearth), the overall maximum that a planet can have varies between 1.8 and 2.3 Rearth. This radius is reduced when considering planets with higher Fe/Si ratios, and taking into account irradiation effects on the structure of the gas envelope.

  16. HYDROGEN GREENHOUSE PLANETS BEYOND THE HABITABLE ZONE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond; Gaidos, Eric

    2011-01-01

    We show that collision-induced absorption allows molecular hydrogen to act as an incondensible greenhouse gas and that bars or tens of bars of primordial H 2 -He mixtures can maintain surface temperatures above the freezing point of water well beyond the 'classical' habitable zone defined for CO 2 greenhouse atmospheres. Using a one-dimensional radiative-convective model, we find that 40 bars of pure H 2 on a three Earth-mass planet can maintain a surface temperature of 280 K out to 1.5 AU from an early-type M dwarf star and 10 AU from a G-type star. Neglecting the effects of clouds and of gaseous absorbers besides H 2 , the flux at the surface would be sufficient for photosynthesis by cyanobacteria (in the G star case) or anoxygenic phototrophs (in the M star case). We argue that primordial atmospheres of one to several hundred bars of H 2 -He are possible and use a model of hydrogen escape to show that such atmospheres are likely to persist further than 1.5 AU from M stars, and 2 AU from G stars, assuming these planets have protecting magnetic fields. We predict that the microlensing planet OGLE-05-390Lb could have retained an H 2 -He atmosphere and be habitable at ∼2.6 AU from its host M star.

  17. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Fishbaugh, Kathryn E; Raulin, François; Marais, David J; Korablev, Oleg

    2007-01-01

    Given the fundamental importance of and universal interest in whether extraterrestrial life has developed or could eventually develop in our solar system and beyond, it is vital that an examination of planetary habitability goes beyond simple assumptions such as, "Where there is water, there is life." This book has resulted from a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland (5-9 September 2005) that brought together planetary geologists, geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, and biologists to discuss the multi-faceted problem of how the habitability of a planet co-evolves with the geology of the surface and interior, the atmosphere, and the magnetosphere. Each of the six chapters has been written by authors with a range of expertise so that each chapter is itself multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and accessible to scientists in all disciplines. These chapters delve into what life needs to exist and ultimately to thrive, the early environments of the young terrestrial pl...

  18. Blue Marble: Remote Characterization of Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolf, Neville; Lewis, Brian; Chartres, James; Genova, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The study of the nature and distribution of habitable environments beyond the Solar System is a key area for Astrobiology research. At the present time, our Earth is the only habitable planet that can be characterized in the same way that we might characterize planets beyond the Solar System. Due to limitations in our current and near-future technology, it is likely that extra-solar planets will be observed as single-pixel objects. To understand this data, we must develop skills in analyzing and interpreting the radiation obtained from a single pixel. These skills must include the study of the time variation of the radiation, and the range of its photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric properties. In addition, to understand whether we are properly analyzing the single pixel data, we need to compare it with a ground truth of modest resolution images in key spectral bands. This paper discusses the concept for a mission called Blue Marble that would obtain data of the Earth using a combination of spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, and selected band imaging. To obtain imagery of the proper resolution, it is desirable to place the Blue Marble spacecraft no closer than the outer region of cis-lunar space. This paper explores a conceptual mission design that takes advantage of low-cost launchers, bus designs and mission elements to provide a cost effective observing platform located at one of the stable Earth-moon Lagrangian points (L4, L5). The mission design allows for the development and use of novel technologies, such as a spinning moon sensor for attitude control, and leverages lessons-learned from previous low-cost spacecraft such as Lunar Prospector to yield a low-risk mission concept.

  19. CANDIDATE PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF KEPLER STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2013-01-01

    A key goal of the Kepler mission is the discovery of Earth-size transiting planets in ''habitable zones'' where stellar irradiance maintains a temperate climate on an Earth-like planet. Robust estimates of planet radius and irradiance require accurate stellar parameters, but most Kepler systems are faint, making spectroscopy difficult and prioritization of targets desirable. The parameters of 2035 host stars were estimated by Bayesian analysis and the probabilities p HZ that 2738 candidate or confirmed planets orbit in the habitable zone were calculated. Dartmouth Stellar Evolution Program models were compared to photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog, priors for stellar mass, age, metallicity and distance, and planet transit duration. The analysis yielded probability density functions for calculating confidence intervals of planet radius and stellar irradiance, as well as p HZ . Sixty-two planets have p HZ > 0.5 and a most probable stellar irradiance within habitable zone limits. Fourteen of these have radii less than twice the Earth; the objects most resembling Earth in terms of radius and irradiance are KOIs 2626.01 and 3010.01, which orbit late K/M-type dwarf stars. The fraction of Kepler dwarf stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable zone (η ⊕ ) is 0.46, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.31-0.64. Parallaxes from the Gaia mission will reduce uncertainties by more than a factor of five and permit definitive assignments of transiting planets to the habitable zones of Kepler stars.

  20. The habitability of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Aomawa L.; Ballard, Sarah; Johnson, John Asher

    2016-12-01

    The prospects for the habitability of M-dwarf planets have long been debated, due to key differences between the unique stellar and planetary environments around these low-mass stars, as compared to hotter, more luminous Sun-like stars. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made by both space- and ground-based observatories to measure the likelihood of small planets to orbit in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars. We now know that most M dwarfs are hosts to closely-packed planetary systems characterized by a paucity of Jupiter-mass planets and the presence of multiple rocky planets, with roughly a third of these rocky M-dwarf planets orbiting within the habitable zone, where they have the potential to support liquid water on their surfaces. Theoretical studies have also quantified the effect on climate and habitability of the interaction between the spectral energy distribution of M-dwarf stars and the atmospheres and surfaces of their planets. These and other recent results fill in knowledge gaps that existed at the time of the previous overview papers published nearly a decade ago by Tarter et al. (2007) and Scalo et al. (2007). In this review we provide a comprehensive picture of the current knowledge of M-dwarf planet occurrence and habitability based on work done in this area over the past decade, and summarize future directions planned in this quickly evolving field.

  1. Characterizing the Habitable Zone Planets of Kepler Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Debra

    Planet Hunters (PH) is a well-established and successful web interface that allows citizen scientists to search for transiting planets in the NASA Kepler public archive data. Over the past 3 years, our users have made more than 20 million light curve classifications. We now have more than 300,000 users around the world. However, more than half of the Kepler data has not yet been displayed to our volunteers. In June 2014 we are launching Planet Hunters v2.0. The backend of the site has been completely redesigned. The new website is more intuitive and faster; we have improved the real-time weighting algorithm that assigns transit scores for faster and more accurate extraction of the transit events from the database. With Planet Hunters v2.0, we expect that assessments will be ten times faster, so that we have the opportunity to complete the classifications for the backlog of Kepler light curve in the next three years. There are three goals for this project. First, we will data-mine the PH classifications to search for long period planets with fewer than 5 transit events. We have demonstrated that our volunteers are efficient at detecting planets with long periods and radii greater than a few REARTH. This region of parameter space is optimal for characterizing larger planets orbiting close to the habitable zone. To build upon the citizen science efforts, we will model the light curves, search for evidence of false positives, and contribute observations of stellar spectra to refine both the stellar and orbital parameters. Second, we will carry out a careful analysis of the fraction of transits that are missed (a function of planet radius and orbital period) to derive observational incompleteness factors. The incompleteness factors will be combined with geometrical detection factors to assess the planet occurrence rate for wide separations. This is a unique scientific contribution current studies of planet occurrence rate are either restricted to orbital periods shorter

  2. HABITABLE PLANETS ECLIPSING BROWN DWARFS: STRATEGIES FOR DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belu, Adrian R.; Selsis, Franck; Raymond, Sean N.; Bolmont, Emeline; Pallé, Enric; Street, Rachel; Sahu, D. K.; Anupama, G. C.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Figueira, Pedro; Ribas, Ignasi

    2013-01-01

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P HZ o ut ). Habitable planets with P HZ o ut shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5 +5.6 -1.4 % and 56 +31 -13 %, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using ∼1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  3. HABITABLE PLANETS ECLIPSING BROWN DWARFS: STRATEGIES FOR DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belu, Adrian R.; Selsis, Franck; Raymond, Sean N.; Bolmont, Emeline [Universite de Bordeaux, LAB, UMR 5804, F-33270, Floirac (France); Palle, Enric [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna (Spain); Street, Rachel [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, 6740 Cortona Drive, Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Sahu, D. K.; Anupama, G. C. [Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala, Bangalore 560034 (India); Von Braun, Kaspar [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, MC 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Figueira, Pedro [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Ribas, Ignasi, E-mail: belu@obs.u-bordeaux1.fr [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC-IEEC), Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C5, parell, 2a pl., E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2013-05-10

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P{sub HZ{sub out}}). Habitable planets with P{sub HZ{sub out}} shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5{sup +5.6}{sub -1.4}% and 56{sup +31}{sub -13}%, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using {approx}1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  4. Habitability of extrasolar planets and tidal spin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Barnes, Rory; Leconte, Jérémy

    2011-12-01

    Stellar radiation has conservatively been used as the key constraint to planetary habitability. We review here the effects of tides, exerted by the host star on the planet, on the evolution of the planetary spin. Tides initially drive the rotation period and the orientation of the rotation axis into an equilibrium state but do not necessarily lead to synchronous rotation. As tides also circularize the orbit, eventually the rotation period does equal the orbital period and one hemisphere will be permanently irradiated by the star. Furthermore, the rotational axis will become perpendicular to the orbit, i.e. the planetary surface will not experience seasonal variations of the insolation. We illustrate here how tides alter the spins of planets in the traditional habitable zone. As an example, we show that, neglecting perturbations due to other companions, the Super-Earth Gl581d performs two rotations per orbit and that any primordial obliquity has been eroded.

  5. Magnetic Fields of Extrasolar Planets: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, T. Joseph

    2018-06-01

    Ground-based observations showed that Jupiter's radio emission is linked to its planetary-scale magnetic field, and subsequent spacecraft observations have shown that most planets, and some moons, have or had a global magnetic field. Generated by internal dynamos, magnetic fields are one of the few remote sensing means of constraining the properties of planetary interiors. For the Earth, its magnetic field has been speculated to be partially responsible for its habitability, and knowledge of an extrasolar planet's magnetic field may be necessary to assess its habitability. The radio emission from Jupiter and other solar system planets is produced by an electron cyclotron maser, and detections of extrasolar planetary electron cyclotron masers will enable measurements of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields. Based on experience from the solar system, such observations will almost certainly require space-based observations, but they will also be guided by on-going and near-future ground-based observations.This work has benefited from the discussion and participants of the W. M. Keck Institute of Space Studies "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" and content within a white paper submitted to the National Academy of Science Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  6. ABIOTIC OXYGEN-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON TERRESTRIAL HABITABLE ZONE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-01-01

    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H 2 O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N 2 , Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O 2 and O 3 alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life

  7. Dysonian SETI as a "Shortcut" to Detecting Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, J. T.

    2016-12-01

    The search for habitable planets is ultimately motivated by the search for inhabited planets. On Earth, the most telling signature of life is that of humanity's technology. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is thus the "ultimate" search for habitable planets.In 1960 two seminal papers in SETI were published, providing two visions for SETI. Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison's proposed detecting deliberate radio signals ("communication SETI"), while Freeman Dyson ("artifact SETI"), proposed detecting the inevitable effects of massive energy supplies and artifacts on their surroundings. While communication SETI has now had many career-long practitioners and major efforts, artifact SETI has, until recently, not been a vibrant field of study. The launch of the Kepler and WISE satellites have greatly renewed interest in the field, however, and the recent Breakthrough Listen Initiative has provided new motivation for finding good targets for communication SETI. I will discuss the progress of the Ĝ Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies, including its justification and motivation, waste heat search strategy and first results, and the framework for a search for megastructures via transit light curves. The last of these led to the identification of KIC 8462852 (a.k.a. "Tabby's Star") as a candidate ETI host. This star, discovered by Boyajian and the Zooniverse Planet Hunters, exhibits several apparently unique and so-far unexplained photometric properties, and continues to confound natural explanation.

  8. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life. For exoplanets, the concept of habitability can be used broadly - to inform our calculations of the possibility and distribution of life elsewhere - or as a practical tool to inform mission designs and to prioritize specific targets in the search for extrasolar life. Although a planet's habitability does depend critically on the effect of stellar type and planetary semi-major axis on climate balance, work in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has identified many additional factors that can affect a planet's environment and its potential ability to support life. Life requires material for metabolism and structures, a liquid medium for chemical transport, and an energy source to drive metabolism and other life processes. Whether a planet's surface or sub-surface can provide these requirements is the result of numerous planetary and astrophysical processes that affect the planet's formation and evolution. Many of these factors are interdependent, and fall into three main categories: stellar effects, planetary effects and planetary system effects. Key abiotic processes affecting the resultant planetary environment include photochemistry (e.g. Segura et al., 2003; 2005), stellar effects on climate balance (e.g. Joshii et al., 2012; Shields et al., 2013), atmospheric loss (e.g. Lopez and Fortney, 2013), and gravitational interactions with the star (e.g. Barnes et al., 2013). In many cases, the effect of these processes is strongly dependent on a specific planet's existing environmental properties. Examples include the resultant UV flux at a planetary surface as a product of stellar activity and the strength of a planet's atmospheric UV shield (Segura et al., 2010); and the amount of tidal energy available to a planet to drive plate tectonics and heat the surface (Barnes et al., 2009), which is in turn due to a combination of stellar mass, planetary mass and composition, planetary orbital

  9. Considerations for the habitable zone of super-Earth planets in Gliese 581

    OpenAIRE

    Chylek, P.; Perez, M. R.

    2007-01-01

    We assess the possibility that planets Gliese 581 c and d are within the habitable zone. In analogy with our solar system, we use an empirical definition of the habitable zone. We include assumptions such as planetary climates, and atmospheric circulation on gravitationally locked synchronous rotation. Based on the different scenarios, we argue that both planets in Gliese 581 could develop conditions for a habitable zone. In an Earth-like environment planet d could be within a habitable zone,...

  10. On the possibility of Earth-type habitable planets in the 55 Cancri system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Franck, S; Bounama, C

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the possibility of Earth-type planets in the planetary system of 55 Cancri, a nearby G8 V star, which is host to two, possibly three, giant planets. We argue that Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri are in principle possible. Several conditions are necessary. First, Earth-type planets must have formed despite the existence of the close-in giant planet(s). In addition, they must be orbitally stable in the region of habitability considering that the stellar habitable zone is relatively close to the star compared to the Sun because of 55 Cancri's low luminosity and may therefore be affected by the close-in giant planet(s). We estimate the likelihood of Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri based on the integrated system approach previously considered, which provides a way of assessing the long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production under geodynamic conditions.

  11. Beyond the principle of plentitude: a review of terrestrial planet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, E; Deschenes, B; Dundon, L; Fagan, K; Menviel-Hessler, L; Moskovitz, N; Workman, M

    2005-04-01

    We review recent work that directly or indirectly addresses the habitability of terrestrial (rocky) planets like the Earth. Habitability has been traditionally defined in terms of an orbital semimajor axis within a range known as the habitable zone, but it is also well known that the habitability of Earth is due to many other astrophysical, geological, and geochemical factors. We focus this review on (1) recent refinements to habitable zone calculations; (2) the formation and orbital stability of terrestrial planets; (3) the tempo and mode of geologic activity (e.g., plate tectonics) on terrestrial planets; (4) the delivery of water to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone; and (5) the acquisition and loss of terrestrial planet carbon and nitrogen, elements that constitute important atmospheric gases responsible for habitable conditions on Earth's surface as well as being the building blocks of the biosphere itself. Finally, we consider recent work on evidence for the earliest habitable environments and the appearance of life itself on our planet. Such evidence provides us with an important, if nominal, calibration point for our search for other habitable worlds.

  12. STABILITY OF ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN AND AROUND THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE HD 47186 PLANETARY SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory

    2009-01-01

    We study the dynamical stability of an additional, potentially habitable planet in the HD 47186 planetary system. Two planets are currently known in this system: a 'hot Neptune' with a period of 4.08 days and a Saturn-mass planet with a period of 3.7 years. Here we consider the possibility that one or more undetected planets exist between the two known planets and possibly within the habitable zone (HZ) in this system. Given the relatively low masses of the known planets, additional planets could have masses ∼ + , and hence be terrestrial-like and further improving potential habitability. We perform N-body simulations to identify the stable zone between planets b and c and find that much of the inner HZ can harbor a 10 M + planet. With the current radial velocity threshold of ∼1 m s -1 , an additional planet should be detectable if it lies at the inner edge of the habitable zone at 0.8 AU. We also show that the stable zone could contain two additional planets of 10 M + each if their eccentricities are lower than ∼0.3.

  13. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2014-01-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M ⊕ to 1 M J ) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  14. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quintana, Elisa V. [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Lissauer, Jack J., E-mail: elisa.quintana@nasa.gov [Space Science and Astrobiology Division 245-3, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M {sub ⊕} to 1 M {sub J}) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  15. FORMING HABITABLE PLANETS AROUND DWARF STARS: APPLICATION TO OGLE-06-109L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Su; Zhou Jilin

    2011-01-01

    Dwarf stars are believed to have a small protostar disk where planets may grow up. During the planet formation stage, embryos undergoing type I migration are expected to be stalled at an inner edge of the magnetically inactive disk (a crit ∼ 0.2-0.3 AU). This mechanism makes the location around a crit a 'sweet spot' for forming planets. In dwarf stars with masses ∼0.5 M sun , a crit is roughly inside the habitable zone of the system. In this paper, we study the formation of habitable planets due to this mechanism using model system OGLE-06-109L, which has a 0.51 M sun dwarf star with two giant planets in 2.3 and 4.6 AU observed by microlensing. We model the embryos undergoing type I migration in the gas disk with a constant disk-accretion rate ( M-dot ). Giant planets in outside orbits affect the formation of habitable planets through secular perturbations at the early stage and secular resonance at the late stage. We find that the existence and the masses of the habitable planets in the OGLE-06-109L system depend on both M-dot and the speed of type I migration. If planets are formed earlier, so that M-dot is larger (∼10 -7 M sun yr -1 ), terrestrial planets cannot survive unless the type I migration rate is an order of magnitude less. If planets are formed later, so that M-dot is smaller (∼10 -8 M sun yr -1 ), single and high-mass terrestrial planets with high water contents (∼5%) will be formed by inward migration of outer planet cores. A slower-speed migration will result in several planets via collisions of embryos, and thus their water contents will be low (∼2%). Mean motion resonances or apsidal resonances among planets may be observed if multiple planets survive in the inner system.

  16. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2014-04-28

    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  17. ROTATIONAL SYNCHRONIZATION MAY ENHANCE HABITABILITY FOR CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS: KEPLER BINARY CASE STUDIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, Paul A. [Department of Physics, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A. [FACom-Instituto de Fisica-FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellin (Colombia); Clark, Joni M. [Department of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, New Mexico State University-DACC, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States)

    2013-09-10

    We report a mechanism capable of reducing (or increasing) stellar activity in binary stars, thereby potentially enhancing (or destroying) circumbinary habitability. In single stars, stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres causes mass-loss, which is especially detrimental for late-type stars, because habitable zones are very close and activity is long lasting. In binaries, tidal rotational breaking reduces magnetic activity, thus reducing harmful levels of X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) radiation and stellar mass-loss that are able to erode planetary atmospheres. We study this mechanism for all confirmed circumbinary (p-type) planets. We find that main sequence twins provide minimal flux variation and in some cases improved environments if the stars rotationally synchronize within the first Gyr. Solar-like twins, like Kepler 34 and Kepler 35, provide low habitable zone XUV fluxes and stellar wind pressures. These wide, moist, habitable zones may potentially support multiple habitable planets. Solar-type stars with lower mass companions, like Kepler 47, allow for protected planets over a wide range of secondary masses and binary periods. Kepler 38 and related binaries are marginal cases. Kepler 64 and analogs have dramatically reduced stellar aggression due to synchronization of the primary, but are limited by the short lifetime. Kepler 16 appears to be inhospitable to planets due to extreme XUV flux. These results have important implications for estimates of the number of stellar systems containing habitable planets in the Galaxy and allow for the selection of binaries suitable for follow-up searches for habitable planets.

  18. ROTATIONAL SYNCHRONIZATION MAY ENHANCE HABITABILITY FOR CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS: KEPLER BINARY CASE STUDIES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.; Clark, Joni M.

    2013-01-01

    We report a mechanism capable of reducing (or increasing) stellar activity in binary stars, thereby potentially enhancing (or destroying) circumbinary habitability. In single stars, stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres causes mass-loss, which is especially detrimental for late-type stars, because habitable zones are very close and activity is long lasting. In binaries, tidal rotational breaking reduces magnetic activity, thus reducing harmful levels of X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) radiation and stellar mass-loss that are able to erode planetary atmospheres. We study this mechanism for all confirmed circumbinary (p-type) planets. We find that main sequence twins provide minimal flux variation and in some cases improved environments if the stars rotationally synchronize within the first Gyr. Solar-like twins, like Kepler 34 and Kepler 35, provide low habitable zone XUV fluxes and stellar wind pressures. These wide, moist, habitable zones may potentially support multiple habitable planets. Solar-type stars with lower mass companions, like Kepler 47, allow for protected planets over a wide range of secondary masses and binary periods. Kepler 38 and related binaries are marginal cases. Kepler 64 and analogs have dramatically reduced stellar aggression due to synchronization of the primary, but are limited by the short lifetime. Kepler 16 appears to be inhospitable to planets due to extreme XUV flux. These results have important implications for estimates of the number of stellar systems containing habitable planets in the Galaxy and allow for the selection of binaries suitable for follow-up searches for habitable planets

  19. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R. [Department of Physical Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bagnulo, S. [Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG (United Kingdom); Kowalski, P. M. [GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam (Germany); Shulyak, D. V. [Institute of Astrophysics, Georg-August-University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany); Sterzik, M. F., E-mail: l.fossati@open.ac.uk, E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk, E-mail: M.R.Patel@open.ac.uk, E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk, E-mail: sba@arm.ac.uk, E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de, E-mail: denis.shulyak@gmail.com, E-mail: msterzik@eso.org [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile)

    2012-09-20

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  20. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F.

    2012-01-01

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for ∼8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10 2 (10 4 ) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M ☉ white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  1. HPF: The Habitable Zone Planet Finder at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Jason T.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Hearty, Fred; Monson, Andy; Stefansson, Gudmundur; Ramsey, Larry; Ninan, Joe; Bender, Chad; Kaplan, Kyle; Roy, Arpita; Terrien, Ryan; Robertson, Paul; Halverson, Sam; Schwab, Christian; Kanodia, Shubham

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) is an ultra-stable NIR (ZYJ) high resolution echelle spectrograph on the 10-m Hobby-Eberly Telescope capable of 1-3 m/s Doppler velocimetry on nearby late M dwarfs (M4-M9). This precision is sufficient to detect terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zones of these relatively unexplored stars. Here we present its capabilities and early commissioning results.

  2. Stabilizing Cloud Feedback Dramatically Expands the Habitable Zone of Tidally Locked Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Jun; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2013-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one-dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to sho...

  3. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltham, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M ⊙ planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M ⊙  < M < 1.64 M ⊙ . Key Words: Habitability-Habitable zone-Anthropic-Red dwarfs-Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61-77.

  4. Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Delrez, Laetitia; Gillon, Michaël; Selsis, Frank; Leconte, Jérémy; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Bolmont, Emeline; Bourrier, Vincent; Burgasser, Adam J.; Grimm, Simon; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Owen, James E.; Stamenković, Vlada; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2018-03-01

    Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres3-6. Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones6-8. An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures9. However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere10, 11. Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface12-14. These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature.

  5. Worlds beyond our own the search for habitable planets

    CERN Document Server

    Sengupta, Sujan

    2015-01-01

    This is a book on planets: Solar system planets and dwarf planets. And planets outside our solar system – exoplanets. How did they form? What types of planets are there and what do they have in common? How do they differ? What do we know about their atmospheres – if they have one? What are the conditions for life and on which planets may they be met? And what’s the origin of life on Earth and how did it form? You will understand how rare the solar system, the Earth and hence life is. This is also a book on stars. The first and second generation of stars in the Universe. But in particular also on the link between planets and stars – brown dwarfs. Their atmospheric properties and similarities with giant exoplanets. All these fascinating questions will be answered in a non-technical manner. But those of you who want to know a bit more may look up the relevant mathematical relationships in appendices.

  6. ENHANCED INTERFEROMETRIC IDENTIFICATION OF SPECTRA IN HABITABLE EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, Eyal; Lipson, Stephen G.; Ribak, Erez N.

    2012-01-01

    An Earth-like extrasolar planet emits light that is many orders of magnitude fainter than that of the parent star. We propose a method of identifying bio-signature spectral lines in light of known extrasolar planets based on Fourier spectroscopy in the infrared, using an off-center part of a Fourier interferogram only. This results in superior sensitivity to narrower molecular-type spectral bands, which are expected in the planet spectrum but are absent in the parent star. We support this idea by numerical simulations that include photon and thermal noise, and show it to be feasible at a luminosity ratio of 10 –6 for a Sun-like parent star in the infrared. We also carried out a laboratory experiment to illustrate the method. The results suggest that this method should be applicable to real planet searches.

  7. Habitable planets around white and brown dwarfs: the perils of a cooling primary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

    White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10(-6). Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 10(4) K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable.

  8. Habitability in the Solar System and on Extrasolar Planets and Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2015-01-01

    The criteria for a habitable world initially was based on Earth and centered around liquid water on the surface, warmed by a Sun-like star. The moons of the outer Solar System, principally Europa and Enceladus, have demonstrated that liquid water can exist below the surface warmed by tidal forces from a giant planet. Titan demonstrates that surface liquids other than water - liquid methane/ethane - may be common on other worlds. Considering the numerous extrasolar planets so far discovered and the prospect of discovering extrasolar moons it is timely to reconsider the possibilities for habitability in the Solar System and on extrasolar planets and moons and enumerate the attributes and search methods for detecting habitable worlds and evidence of life.

  9. On the Possibility of Habitable Trojan Planets in Binary Star Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Richard; Funk, Barbara; Bazsó, Ákos

    2015-12-01

    Approximately 60% of all stars in the solar neighbourhood (up to 80% in our Milky Way) are members of binary or multiple star systems. This fact led to the speculations that many more planets may exist in binary systems than are currently known. To estimate the habitability of exoplanetary systems, we have to define the so-called habitable zone (HZ). The HZ is defined as a region around a star where a planet would receive enough radiation to maintain liquid water on its surface and to be able to build a stable atmosphere. We search for new dynamical configurations-where planets may stay in stable orbits-to increase the probability to find a planet like the Earth.

  10. Planets in other universes: habitability constraints on density fluctuations and galactic structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, Fred C.; Coppess, Katherine R. [Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Bloch, Anthony M., E-mail: fca@umich.edu, E-mail: kcoppess@umich.edu, E-mail: abloch@umich.edu [Mathematics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Motivated by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes, this paper delineates the galactic structure parameters that allow for habitable planets and revisits constraints on the amplitude Q of the primordial density fluctuations. Previous work indicates that large values of Q lead to galaxies so dense that planetary orbits cannot survive long enough for life to develop. Small values of Q lead to delayed star formation, loosely bound galaxies, and compromised heavy element retention. This work generalizes previous treatments in the following directions: [A] We consider models for the internal structure of the galaxies, including a range of stellar densities, and find the fraction of the resulting galactic real estate that allows for stable, long-lived planetary orbits. [B] For high velocity encounters, we perform a large ensemble of numerical simulations to estimate cross sections for the disruption of planetary orbits due to interactions with passing stars. [C] We consider the background radiation fields produced by the galaxies: if a galaxy is too compact, the night sky seen from a potentially habitable planet can provide more power than the host star. [D] One consequence of intense galactic background radiation fields is that some portion of the galaxy, denoted as the Galactic Habitable Zone, will provide the right flux levels to support habitable planets for essentially any planetary orbit including freely floating bodies (but excluding close-in planets). As the value of Q increases, the fraction of stars in a galaxy that allow for (traditional) habitable planets decreases due to both orbital disruption and the intense background radiation. However, the outer parts of the galaxy always allow for habitable planets, so that the value of Q does not have a well-defined upper limit (due to scattering or radiation constraints). Moreover, some Galactic Habitable Zones are large enough to support more

  11. Planets in other universes: habitability constraints on density fluctuations and galactic structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Coppess, Katherine R.; Bloch, Anthony M.

    2015-01-01

    Motivated by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes, this paper delineates the galactic structure parameters that allow for habitable planets and revisits constraints on the amplitude Q of the primordial density fluctuations. Previous work indicates that large values of Q lead to galaxies so dense that planetary orbits cannot survive long enough for life to develop. Small values of Q lead to delayed star formation, loosely bound galaxies, and compromised heavy element retention. This work generalizes previous treatments in the following directions: [A] We consider models for the internal structure of the galaxies, including a range of stellar densities, and find the fraction of the resulting galactic real estate that allows for stable, long-lived planetary orbits. [B] For high velocity encounters, we perform a large ensemble of numerical simulations to estimate cross sections for the disruption of planetary orbits due to interactions with passing stars. [C] We consider the background radiation fields produced by the galaxies: if a galaxy is too compact, the night sky seen from a potentially habitable planet can provide more power than the host star. [D] One consequence of intense galactic background radiation fields is that some portion of the galaxy, denoted as the Galactic Habitable Zone, will provide the right flux levels to support habitable planets for essentially any planetary orbit including freely floating bodies (but excluding close-in planets). As the value of Q increases, the fraction of stars in a galaxy that allow for (traditional) habitable planets decreases due to both orbital disruption and the intense background radiation. However, the outer parts of the galaxy always allow for habitable planets, so that the value of Q does not have a well-defined upper limit (due to scattering or radiation constraints). Moreover, some Galactic Habitable Zones are large enough to support more

  12. Constraints on Alternate Universes: Stars and habitable planets with different fundamental constants

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, Fred C.

    2015-01-01

    This paper develops constraints on the values of the fundamental constants that allow universes to be habitable. We focus on the fine structure constant $\\alpha$ and the gravitational structure constant $\\alpha_G$, and find the region in the $\\alpha$-$\\alpha_G$ plane that supports working stars and habitable planets. This work is motivated, in part, by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes. The following constraints are enforce...

  13. Planetary Systems Detection, Formation and Habitability of Extrasolar Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Ollivier, Marc; Casoli, Fabienne; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Selsis, Franck

    2009-01-01

    Over the past ten years, the discovery of extrasolar planets has opened a new field of astronomy, and this area of research is rapidly growing, from both the observational and theoretical point of view. The presence of many giant exoplanets in the close vicinity of their star shows that these newly discovered planetary systems are very different from the solar system. New theoretical models are being developed in order to understand their formation scenarios, and new observational methods are being implemented to increase the sensitivity of exoplanet detections. In the present book, the authors address the question of planetary systems from all aspects. Starting from the facts (the detection of more than 300 extraterrestrial planets), they first describe the various methods used for these discoveries and propose a synthetic analysis of their global properties. They then consider the observations of young stars and circumstellar disks and address the case of the solar system as a specific example, different fr...

  14. Titan and habitable planets around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2010-01-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission discovered an active "hydrologic cycle" on Saturn's giant moon Titan, in which methane takes the place of water. Shrouded by a dense nitrogen-methane atmosphere, Titan's surface is blanketed in the equatorial regions by dunes composed of solid organics, sculpted by wind and fluvial erosion, and dotted at the poles with lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane. The underlying crust is almost certainly water ice, possibly in the form of gas hydrates (clathrate hydrates) dominated by methane as the included species. The processes that work the surface of Titan resemble in their overall balance no other moon in the solar system; instead, they are most like that of the Earth. The presence of methane in place of water, however, means that in any particular planetary system, a body like Titan will always be outside the orbit of an Earth-type planet. Around M-dwarfs, planets with a Titan-like climate will sit at 1 AU--a far more stable environment than the approximately 0.1 AU where Earth-like planets sit. However, an observable Titan-like exoplanet might have to be much larger than Titan itself to be observable, increasing the ratio of heat contributed to the surface atmosphere system from internal (geologic) processes versus photons from the parent star.

  15. Low probability of tropical cyclones on ocean planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bin, Jiayu; Tian, Feng; Lin, Yanluan; Wang, Yuwei

    2018-01-01

    The genesis potential index (GPI) of tropical cyclones (TC) on ocean planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs is analyzed based on 3D GCM simulations. We found that GPI on these planets are smaller than those in TC basins on the Earth mainly because of slow rotation of such planets. GPI's on exoplanets with eccentric orbits are strong function of time with values generally greater than those on circular orbits. Future high resolution models are needed to better understand whether TCs could form on ocean exoplanets, and what their potential intensities and distributions might be.

  16. Habitable Planets Around White and Brown Dwarfs: The Perils of a Cooling Primary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

    Abstract White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10−6. Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 104 K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. Key Words: Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Habitable zone—Tides—Exoplanets. Astrobiology 13, 279–291. PMID:23537137

  17. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura [INAF-Trieste Astronomical Observatory, Trieste (Italy); Provenzale, Antonello [Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate-CNR, Torino (Italy); Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio, E-mail: vladilo@oats.inaf.it [Department of Physics, University of Trieste, Trieste (Italy)

    2013-04-10

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

  18. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura; Provenzale, Antonello; Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio

    2013-01-01

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

  19. An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V; Barclay, Thomas; Raymond, Sean N; Rowe, Jason F; Bolmont, Emeline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Howell, Steve B; Kane, Stephen R; Huber, Daniel; Crepp, Justin R; Lissauer, Jack J; Ciardi, David R; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Everett, Mark E; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Ford, Eric B; Adams, Fred C; Still, Martin; Hunter, Roger C; Quarles, Billy; Selsis, Franck

    2014-04-18

    The quest for Earth-like planets is a major focus of current exoplanet research. Although planets that are Earth-sized and smaller have been detected, these planets reside in orbits that are too close to their host star to allow liquid water on their surfaces. We present the detection of Kepler-186f, a 1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius planet that is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transit a 0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, then some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.

  20. Stellar aspects of habitability--characterizing target stars for terrestrial planet-finding missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Eiroa, Carlos; Ribas, Ignasi; Paresce, Francesco; Leitzinger, Martin; Odert, Petra; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lammer, Helmut; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Frank; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss the criteria for selecting potential target stars suitable for the search for Earth-like planets, with a special emphasis on the stellar aspects of habitability. Missions that search for terrestrial exoplanets will explore the presence and habitability of Earth-like exoplanets around several hundred nearby stars, mainly F, G, K, and M stars. The evaluation of the list of potential target systems is essential in order to develop mission concepts for a search for terrestrial exoplanets. Using the Darwin All Sky Star Catalogue (DASSC), we discuss the selection criteria, configuration-dependent subcatalogues, and the implication of stellar activity for habitability.

  1. STABILIZING CLOUD FEEDBACK DRAMATICALLY EXPANDS THE HABITABLE ZONE OF TIDALLY LOCKED PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Jun; Abbot, Dorian S.; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2013-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one-dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to show that due to a stabilizing cloud feedback, tidally locked planets can be habitable at twice the stellar flux found by previous studies. This dramatically expands the HZ and roughly doubles the frequency of habitable planets orbiting red dwarf stars. At high stellar flux, strong convection produces thick water clouds near the substellar location that greatly increase the planetary albedo and reduce surface temperatures. Higher insolation produces stronger substellar convection and therefore higher albedo, making this phenomenon a stabilizing climate feedback. Substellar clouds also effectively block outgoing radiation from the surface, reducing or even completely reversing the thermal emission contrast between dayside and nightside. The presence of substellar water clouds and the resulting clement surface conditions will therefore be detectable with the James Webb Space Telescope.

  2. ON THE VALIDITY OF THE 'HILL RADIUS CRITERION' FOR THE EJECTION OF PLANETS FROM STELLAR HABITABLE ZONES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cuntz, M.; Yeager, K. E.

    2009-01-01

    We challenge the customary assumption that the entering of an Earth-mass planet into the Hill radius (or multiples of the Hill radius) of a giant planet is a valid criterion for its ejection from the star-planet system. This assumption has widely been used in previous studies, especially those with an astrobiological focus. As intriguing examples, we explore the dynamics of the systems HD 20782 and HD 188015. Each system possesses a giant planet that remains in or crosses into the stellar habitable zone, thus effectively thwarting the possibility of habitable terrestrial planets. In the case of HD 188015, the orbit of the giant planet is almost circular, whereas in the case of HD 20782, it is extremely elliptical. Although it is found that Earth-mass planets are eventually ejected from the habitable zones of these systems, the 'Hill Radius Criterion' is identified as invalid for the prediction of when the ejection is actually occurring.

  3. Seek a Minor Sun: The Distribution of Habitable Planets in the Hertzsprung-Russell-Rosenberg Diagram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2015-07-01

    The Sun-Earth systems has long been used as a template to understand habitable planets around other stars and to develop missions to seek them. However, two decades of exoplanet studies have shown that many, if not most planetary systems around G dwarf stars do not resemble the Solar System. Moreover, an objective census of our Galaxy might ignore solar- type stars and focus on M dwarfs, which constitute some 80% of all stars in the neighborhood. Recent work has shown that M dwarfs have more close-in planets than solar-type stars, and perhaps more planets in the "habitable zone" defined by stellar irradiation. M dwarfs also burn hydrogen over a vastly longer time; slow evolution on the main sequence means a planet can remain habitable for much longer, providing a more permissive environment for the evo- lution of life and intelligence. If M dwarfs are such compelling locales to look for life, why are we ourselves not orbiting a red Sun?

  4. TRAPPIST-UCDTS: A prototype search for habitable planets transiting ultra-cool stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magain P.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The ∼1000 nearest ultra-cool stars (spectral type M6 and latter represent a unique opportunity for the search for life outside solar system. Due to their small luminosity, their habitable zone is 30–100 times closer than for the Sun, the corresponding orbital periods ranging from one to a few days. Thanks to this proximity, the transits of a habitable planet are much more probable and frequent than for an Earth-Sun analog, while their tiny size (∼1 Jupiter radius leads to transits deep enough for a ground-based detection, even for sub-Earth size planets. Furthermore, a habitable planet transiting one of these nearby ultra-cool star would be amenable for a thorough atmospheric characterization, including the detection of possible biosignatures, notably with the near-to-come JWST. Motivated by these reasons, we have set up the concept of a ground-based survey optimized for detecting planets of Earth-size and below transiting the nearest Southern ultra-cool stars. To assess thoroughly the actual potential of this future survey, we are currently conducting a prototype mini-survey using the TRAPPIST robotic 60cm telescope located at La Silla ESO Observatory (Chile. We summarize here the preliminary results of this mini-survey that fully validate our concept.

  5. Constraints on alternate universes: stars and habitable planets with different fundamental constants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, Fred C.

    2016-01-01

    This paper develops constraints on the values of the fundamental constants that allow universes to be habitable. We focus on the fine structure constant α and the gravitational structure constant α G , and find the region in the α-α G plane that supports working stars and habitable planets. This work is motivated, in part, by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes. The following constraints are enforced: [A] long-lived stable nuclear burning stars exist, [B] planetary surface temperatures are hot enough to support chemical reactions, [C] stellar lifetimes are long enough to allow biological evolution, [D] planets are massive enough to maintain atmospheres, [E] planets are small enough in mass to remain non-degenerate, [F] planets are massive enough to support sufficiently complex biospheres, [G] planets are smaller in mass than their host stars, and [H] stars are smaller in mass than their host galaxies. This paper delineates the portion of the α-α G plane that satisfies all of these constraints. The results indicate that viable universes—with working stars and habitable planets—can exist within a parameter space where the structure constants α and α G vary by several orders of magnitude. These constraints also provide upper bounds on the structure constants (α,α G ) and their ratio. We find the limit α G /α ∼< 10 −34 , which shows that habitable universes must have a large hierarchy between the strengths of the gravitational force and the electromagnetic force

  6. Constraints on alternate universes: stars and habitable planets with different fundamental constants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, Fred C., E-mail: fca@umich.edu [Physics Department, University of Michigan, 450 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2016-02-01

    This paper develops constraints on the values of the fundamental constants that allow universes to be habitable. We focus on the fine structure constant α and the gravitational structure constant α{sub G}, and find the region in the α-α{sub G} plane that supports working stars and habitable planets. This work is motivated, in part, by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes. The following constraints are enforced: [A] long-lived stable nuclear burning stars exist, [B] planetary surface temperatures are hot enough to support chemical reactions, [C] stellar lifetimes are long enough to allow biological evolution, [D] planets are massive enough to maintain atmospheres, [E] planets are small enough in mass to remain non-degenerate, [F] planets are massive enough to support sufficiently complex biospheres, [G] planets are smaller in mass than their host stars, and [H] stars are smaller in mass than their host galaxies. This paper delineates the portion of the α-α{sub G} plane that satisfies all of these constraints. The results indicate that viable universes—with working stars and habitable planets—can exist within a parameter space where the structure constants α and α{sub G} vary by several orders of magnitude. These constraints also provide upper bounds on the structure constants (α,α{sub G}) and their ratio. We find the limit α{sub G}/α ∼< 10{sup −34}, which shows that habitable universes must have a large hierarchy between the strengths of the gravitational force and the electromagnetic force.

  7. A reappraisal of the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarter, Jill C; Backus, Peter R; Mancinelli, Rocco L; Aurnou, Jonathan M; Backman, Dana E; Basri, Gibor S; Boss, Alan P; Clarke, Andrew; Deming, Drake; Doyle, Laurance R; Feigelson, Eric D; Freund, Friedmann; Grinspoon, David H; Haberle, Robert M; Hauck, Steven A; Heath, Martin J; Henry, Todd J; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L; Joshi, Manoj M; Kilston, Steven; Liu, Michael C; Meikle, Eric; Reid, I Neill; Rothschild, Lynn J; Scalo, John; Segura, Antigona; Tang, Carol M; Tiedje, James M; Turnbull, Margaret C; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Weber, Arthur L; Young, Richard E

    2007-02-01

    Stable, hydrogen-burning, M dwarf stars make up about 75% of all stars in the Galaxy. They are extremely long-lived, and because they are much smaller in mass than the Sun (between 0.5 and 0.08 M(Sun)), their temperature and stellar luminosity are low and peaked in the red. We have re-examined what is known at present about the potential for a terrestrial planet forming within, or migrating into, the classic liquid-surface-water habitable zone close to an M dwarf star. Observations of protoplanetary disks suggest that planet-building materials are common around M dwarfs, but N-body simulations differ in their estimations of the likelihood of potentially habitable, wet planets that reside within their habitable zones, which are only about one-fifth to 1/50th of the width of that for a G star. Particularly in light of the claimed detection of the planets with masses as small as 5.5 and 7.5 M(Earth) orbiting M stars, there seems no reason to exclude the possibility of terrestrial planets. Tidally locked synchronous rotation within the narrow habitable zone does not necessarily lead to atmospheric collapse, and active stellar flaring may not be as much of an evolutionarily disadvantageous factor as has previously been supposed. We conclude that M dwarf stars may indeed be viable hosts for planets on which the origin and evolution of life can occur. A number of planetary processes such as cessation of geothermal activity or thermal and nonthermal atmospheric loss processes may limit the duration of planetary habitability to periods far shorter than the extreme lifetime of the M dwarf star. Nevertheless, it makes sense to include M dwarf stars in programs that seek to find habitable worlds and evidence of life. This paper presents the summary conclusions of an interdisciplinary workshop (http://mstars.seti.org) sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and convened at the SETI Institute.

  8. Mapping the Region in the Nearest Star System to Search for Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Quarles, B.

    2015-01-01

    Circumstellar planets within the alpha Centauri AB star system have been suggested through formation models and recent observations, and ACESat (Belikov et al. AAS Meeting #225, #311.01, 2015) is a proposed space mission designed to directly image Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of both of these stars. The alpha Centauri system is billions of years old, so planets are only expected to be found in regions where their orbits are long-lived. We evaluate the extent of the regions within the alpha Centauri AB star system where small planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales and we map the positions in the sky plane where planets on stable orbits about either stellar component may appear. We confirm the qualitative results of Wiegert & Holman (Astron. J. 113, 1445, 1997) regarding the approximate size of the regions of stable orbits, which are larger for retrograde orbits relative to the binary than for prograde orbits. Additionally, we find that mean motion resonances with the binary orbit leave an imprint on the limits of orbital stability, and the effects of the Lidov-Kozai mechanism are also readily apparent. Overall, orbits in the habitable zones near the plane of the binary are stable, whereas high-inclination orbits are short-lived.

  9. Pathways Towards Habitable Planets: Capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture (6.5 meter), cryogenic space telescope with a suite of near and mid-infrared instruments covering the wavelength range of 0.6 m to 28 m. JWST s primary science goal is to detect and characterize the first galaxies. It will also study the assembly of galaxies, star formation, and the formation of evolution of planetary systems. We also review the expected scientific performance of the observatory for observations of exosolar planets by means of transit photometry and spectroscopy, and direct coronagraphic imaging and address its role in the search for habitable planets.

  10. An Astrobiological Experiment to Explore the Habitability of Tidally Locked M-Dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Sapers, Haley; Simoncini, Eugenio; Lutz, Stefanie; Alexandre, Marcelo da Rosa; Galante, Douglas

    2014-04-01

    We present a summary of a three-year academic research proposal drafted during the Sao Paulo Advanced School of Astrobiology (SPASA) to prepare for upcoming observations of tidally locked planets orbiting M-dwarf stars. The primary experimental goal of the suggested research is to expose extremophiles from analogue environments to a modified space simulation chamber reproducing the environmental parameters of a tidally locked planet in the habitable zone of a late-type star. Here we focus on a description of the astronomical analysis used to define the parameters for this climate simulation.

  11. Which Type of Planets do We Expect to Observe in the Habitable Zone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Figueira, Pedro; Santos, Nuno C

    2016-11-01

    We used a sample of super-Earth-like planets detected by the Doppler spectroscopy and transit techniques to explore the dependence of orbital parameters of the planets on the metallicity of their host stars. We confirm the previous results (although still based on small samples of planets) that super-Earths orbiting around metal-rich stars are not observed to be as distant from their host stars as we observe their metal-poor counterparts to be. The orbits of these super-Earths with metal-rich hosts usually do not reach into the Habitable Zone (HZ), keeping them very hot and inhabitable. We found that most of the known planets in the HZ are orbiting their GK-type hosts which are metal-poor. The metal-poor nature of planets in the HZ suggests a high Mg abundance relative to Si and high Si abundance relative to Fe. These results lead us to speculate that HZ planets might be more frequent in the ancient Galaxy and had compositions different from that of our Earth.

  12. Validation of Small Kepler Transiting Planet Candidates in or near the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kane, Stephen R.; Rowe, Jason F.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Henze, Christopher E.; Ciardi, David R.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Crepp, Justin R.; Everett, Mark E.; Horch, Elliott P.; Howard, Andrew W.; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Latham, David W.; Petigura, Erik A.; Quintana, Elisa V.

    2017-12-01

    A main goal of NASA’s Kepler Mission is to establish the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-size planets ({η }\\oplus ). Relatively few such candidates identified by the mission can be confirmed to be rocky via dynamical measurement of their mass. Here we report an effort to validate 18 of them statistically using the BLENDER technique, by showing that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive. Our analysis incorporates follow-up observations including high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and information from the analysis of the flux centroids of the Kepler observations themselves. Although many of these candidates have been previously validated by others, the confidence levels reported typically ignore the possibility that the planet may transit a star different from the target along the same line of sight. If that were the case, a planet that appears small enough to be rocky may actually be considerably larger and therefore less interesting from the point of view of habitability. We take this into consideration here and are able to validate 15 of our candidates at a 99.73% (3σ) significance level or higher, and the other three at a slightly lower confidence. We characterize the GKM host stars using available ground-based observations and provide updated parameters for the planets, with sizes between 0.8 and 2.9 R ⊕. Seven of them (KOI-0438.02, 0463.01, 2418.01, 2626.01, 3282.01, 4036.01, and 5856.01) have a better than 50% chance of being smaller than 2 R ⊕ and being in the habitable zone of their host stars.

  13. Validation of small Kepler transiting planet candidates in or near the habitable zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kane, Stephen R.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2017-01-01

    A main goal of NASA's Kepler Mission is to establish the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-size planets (). Relatively few such candidates identified by the mission can be confirmed to be rocky via dynamical measurement of their mass. Here we report an effort to validate 18 of them...... statistically using the BLENDER technique, by showing that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive. Our analysis incorporates follow-up observations including high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and information from...... the analysis of the flux centroids of the Kepler observations themselves. Although many of these candidates have been previously validated by others, the confidence levels reported typically ignore the possibility that the planet may transit a star different from the target along the same line of sight...

  14. Atmospheric escape from the TRAPPIST-1 planets and implications for habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Jin, Meng; Lingam, Manasvi; Airapetian, Vladimir S; Ma, Yingjuan; van der Holst, Bart

    2018-01-09

    The presence of an atmosphere over sufficiently long timescales is widely perceived as one of the most prominent criteria associated with planetary surface habitability. We address the crucial question of whether the seven Earth-sized planets transiting the recently discovered ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are capable of retaining their atmospheres. To this effect, we carry out numerical simulations to characterize the stellar wind of TRAPPIST-1 and the atmospheric ion escape rates for all of the seven planets. We also estimate the escape rates analytically and demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the numerical results. We conclude that the outer planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are capable of retaining their atmospheres over billion-year timescales. The consequences arising from our results are also explored in the context of abiogenesis, biodiversity, and searches for future exoplanets. In light of the many unknowns and assumptions involved, we recommend that these conclusions must be interpreted with due caution.

  15. Atmospheric escape from the TRAPPIST-1 planets and implications for habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Jin, Meng; Lingam, Manasvi; Airapetian, Vladimir S.; Ma, Yingjuan; van der Holst, Bart

    2018-01-01

    The presence of an atmosphere over sufficiently long timescales is widely perceived as one of the most prominent criteria associated with planetary surface habitability. We address the crucial question of whether the seven Earth-sized planets transiting the recently discovered ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are capable of retaining their atmospheres. To this effect, we carry out numerical simulations to characterize the stellar wind of TRAPPIST-1 and the atmospheric ion escape rates for all of the seven planets. We also estimate the escape rates analytically and demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the numerical results. We conclude that the outer planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are capable of retaining their atmospheres over billion-year timescales. The consequences arising from our results are also explored in the context of abiogenesis, biodiversity, and searches for future exoplanets. In light of the many unknowns and assumptions involved, we recommend that these conclusions must be interpreted with due caution.

  16. Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K. [Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    M-type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Due to their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the stars themselves. For planets that are close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet's orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and the orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M stars have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian-sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

  17. Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K.

    2014-01-01

    M-type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Due to their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the stars themselves. For planets that are close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet's orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and the orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M stars have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian-sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

  18. Kepler Mission: A Mission to Find Earth-size Planets in the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.

    2003-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is a Discovery-class mission designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. It is a wide field of view photometer Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs. It has a 0.95 m aperture and 1.4 m primary and is designed to attain a photometric precision of 2 parts in 10(exp 5) for 12th magnitude solar-like stars for a 6 hr transit duration. It will continuously observe 100,000 main-sequence stars from 9th to 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation for a period of four years with a cadence of 4/hour. An additional 250 stars can be monitored at a cadence of l/minute to do astro-seismology of stars brighter than 11.5 mv. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. When combined with ground-based spectrometric observations of these stars, the positions of the planets relative to the habitable zone can be found. The spectra of the stars are also used to determine the relationships between the characteristics of terrestrial planets and the characteristics of the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, over a thousand giant planets will also be found. Information on the albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of Earth-size planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ are very rare and that life might also be quite rare.

  19. Atmospheric constraints for the CO2 partial pressure on terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    von Paris, P.; Grenfell, J. L.; Hedelt, P.; Rauer, H.; Selsis, F.; Stracke, B.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, several potentially habitable, probably terrestrial exoplanets and exoplanet candidates have been discovered. The amount of CO2 in their atmosphere is of great importance for surface conditions and habitability. In the absence of detailed information on the geochemistry of the planet, this amount could be considered as a free parameter. Up to now, CO2 partial pressures for terrestrial planets have been obtained assuming an available volatile reservoir and outgassing scenarios...

  20. Magnetospheric structure and atmospheric Joule heating of habitable planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Garraffo, C.; Poppenhaeger, K. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Glocer, A. [NASA/GSFC, Code 673, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Bell, J. M. [Center for Planetary Atmospheres and Flight Sciences, National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA 23666 (United States); Ridley, A. J.; Gombosi, T. I. [Center for Space Environment Modeling, University of Michigan, 2455 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2014-07-20

    We study the magnetospheric structure and the ionospheric Joule Heating of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars in the habitable zone using a set of magnetohydrodynamic models. The stellar wind solution is used to drive a model for the planetary magnetosphere, which is coupled with a model for the planetary ionosphere. Our simulations reveal that the space environment around close-in habitable planets is extreme, and the stellar wind plasma conditions change from sub- to super-Alfvénic along the planetary orbit. As a result, the magnetospheric structure changes dramatically with a bow shock forming in the super-Alfvénic sectors, while no bow shock forms in the sub-Alfvénic sectors. The planets reside most of the time in the sub-Alfvénic sectors with poor atmospheric protection. A significant amount of Joule Heating is provided at the top of the atmosphere as a result of the intense stellar wind. For the steady-state solution, the heating is about 0.1%-3% of the total incoming stellar irradiation, and it is enhanced by 50% for the time-dependent case. The significant Joule Heating obtained here should be considered in models for the atmospheres of habitable planets in terms of the thickness of the atmosphere, the top-side temperature and density, the boundary conditions for the atmospheric pressure, and particle radiation and transport. Here we assume constant ionospheric Pedersen conductance similar to that of the Earth. The conductance could be greater due to the intense EUV radiation leading to smaller heating rates. We plan to quantify the ionospheric conductance in future study.

  1. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Arbesman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  2. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbesman, Samuel; Laughlin, Gregory

    2010-10-04

    The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  3. CONSTRAINING THE RADIATION AND PLASMA ENVIRONMENT OF THE KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE-ZONE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Mason, Paul A. [New Mexico State University—DACC, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States); Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A. [FACom—Instituto de Física—FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín (Colombia)

    2016-02-20

    The discovery of many planets using the Kepler telescope includes 10 planets orbiting eight binary stars. Three binaries, Kepler-16, Kepler-47, and Kepler-453, have at least one planet in the circumbinary habitable zone (BHZ). We constrain the level of high-energy radiation and the plasma environment in the BHZ of these systems. With this aim, BHZ limits in these Kepler binaries are calculated as a function of time, and the habitability lifetimes are estimated for hypothetical terrestrial planets and/or moons within the BHZ. With the time-dependent BHZ limits established, a self-consistent model is developed describing the evolution of stellar activity and radiation properties as proxies for stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres. Modeling binary stellar rotation evolution, including the effect of tidal interaction between stars in binaries, is key to establishing the environment around these systems. We find that Kepler-16 and its binary analogs provide a plasma environment favorable for the survival of atmospheres of putative Mars-sized planets and exomoons. Tides have modified the rotation of the stars in Kepler-47, making its radiation environment less harsh in comparison to the solar system. This is a good example of the mechanism first proposed by Mason et al. Kepler-453 has an environment similar to that of the solar system with slightly better than Earth radiation conditions at the inner edge of the BHZ. These results can be reproduced and even reparameterized as stellar evolution and binary tidal models progress, using our online tool http://bhmcalc.net.

  4. CONSTRAINING THE RADIATION AND PLASMA ENVIRONMENT OF THE KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE-ZONE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Mason, Paul A.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of many planets using the Kepler telescope includes 10 planets orbiting eight binary stars. Three binaries, Kepler-16, Kepler-47, and Kepler-453, have at least one planet in the circumbinary habitable zone (BHZ). We constrain the level of high-energy radiation and the plasma environment in the BHZ of these systems. With this aim, BHZ limits in these Kepler binaries are calculated as a function of time, and the habitability lifetimes are estimated for hypothetical terrestrial planets and/or moons within the BHZ. With the time-dependent BHZ limits established, a self-consistent model is developed describing the evolution of stellar activity and radiation properties as proxies for stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres. Modeling binary stellar rotation evolution, including the effect of tidal interaction between stars in binaries, is key to establishing the environment around these systems. We find that Kepler-16 and its binary analogs provide a plasma environment favorable for the survival of atmospheres of putative Mars-sized planets and exomoons. Tides have modified the rotation of the stars in Kepler-47, making its radiation environment less harsh in comparison to the solar system. This is a good example of the mechanism first proposed by Mason et al. Kepler-453 has an environment similar to that of the solar system with slightly better than Earth radiation conditions at the inner edge of the BHZ. These results can be reproduced and even reparameterized as stellar evolution and binary tidal models progress, using our online tool http://bhmcalc.net

  5. Using thermal phase curves to probe the climate of potentially habitable planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kataria, Tiffany

    2018-01-01

    Thermal phase-curve observations probe the variation in emitted flux of a planet with phase, or longitude. When conducted spectroscopically, they allow us to probe the two-dimensional temperature structure in both longitude and altitude, which directly relate to the planet’s circulation and chemistry. In the case of small, potentially habitable exoplanets, spectroscopic phase-curve observations can provide us with direct evidence that the planet is capable of sustaining liquid water from measurements of its brightness temperature, and allow us to distinguish between a ‘airless’ body and one that has an appreciable atmosphere. In this talk I will summarize efforts to characterize exoplanets smaller than Neptune with phase-curve observations and emission spectroscopy using the Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes. I will then discuss how these ‘lessons learned’ can be applied to future efforts to characterize potentially habitable planets with phase-curve observations using JWST and future facilities such as the Origins Space Telescope (OST).

  6. Habitability of super-Earth planets around other suns: models including Red Giant Branch evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Schröder, K-P; Bounama, C; Franck, S

    2009-01-01

    The unexpected diversity of exoplanets includes a growing number of super-Earth planets, i.e., exoplanets with masses of up to several Earth masses and a similar chemical and mineralogical composition as Earth. We present a thermal evolution model for a 10 Earth-mass planet orbiting a star like the Sun. Our model is based on the integrated system approach, which describes the photosynthetic biomass production and takes into account a variety of climatological, biogeochemical, and geodynamical processes. This allows us to identify a so-called photosynthesis-sustaining habitable zone (pHZ), as determined by the limits of biological productivity on the planetary surface. Our model considers solar evolution during the main-sequence stage and along the Red Giant Branch as described by the most recent solar model. We obtain a large set of solutions consistent with the principal possibility of life. The highest likelihood of habitability is found for "water worlds." Only mass-rich water worlds are able to realize pHZ-type habitability beyond the stellar main sequence on the Red Giant Branch.

  7. WATER-PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONE: ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY, OBSERVABLE FEATURES, AND THE CASE OF KEPLER-62e AND -62f

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.; Rugheimer, S.

    2013-01-01

    Planets composed of large quantities of water that reside in the habitable zone are expected to have distinct geophysics and geochemistry of their surfaces and atmospheres. We explore these properties motivated by two key questions: whether such planets could provide habitable conditions and whether they exhibit discernable spectral features that distinguish a water-planet from a rocky Earth-like planet. We show that the recently discovered planets Kepler-62e and -62f are the first viable candidates for habitable zone water-planets. We use these planets as test cases for discussing those differences in detail. We generate atmospheric spectral models and find that potentially habitable water-planets show a distinctive spectral fingerprint in transit depending on their position in the habitable zone

  8. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-02-06

    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Exoplanet detection. Stellar activity masquerading as planets in the habitable zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Endl, Michael; Roy, Arpita

    2014-07-25

    The M dwarf star Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet. The detection of another habitable-zone planet--GJ 581g--is disputed, as its significance depends on the eccentricity assumed for d. Analyzing stellar activity using the Hα line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for Hα modulation with radial velocity. Correcting for activity greatly diminishes the signal of GJ 581d (to 1.5 standard deviations) while significantly boosting the signals of the other known super-Earth planets. GJ 581d does not exist, but is an artifact of stellar activity which, when incompletely corrected, causes the false detection of planet g. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  10. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Haghighipour, Nader

    2013-01-01

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the α Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of α Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the α Centauri system.

  11. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke [University of Vienna, Institute for Astrophysics, Tuerkenschanzstr. 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Haghighipour, Nader, E-mail: siegfried.eggl@univie.ac.at [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2013-02-20

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the {alpha} Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of {alpha} Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the {alpha} Centauri system.

  12. Kepler-62: a five-planet system with planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth radii in the habitable zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J; Agol, Eric; Fressin, Francois; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Rowe, Jason; Isaacson, Howard; Fischer, Debra; Batalha, Natalie; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Fabrycky, Daniel; Désert, Jean-Michel; Bryson, Stephen T; Barclay, Thomas; Bastien, Fabienne; Boss, Alan; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Burke, Chris; Caldwell, Douglas A; Carter, Josh; Charbonneau, David; Crepp, Justin R; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Doyle, Laurance; Dupree, Andrea K; Endl, Michael; Everett, Mark E; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gould, Alan; Haas, Michael; Henze, Christopher; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M; Kjeldsen, Hans; Kolbl, Rea; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery; Latham, David W; Lee, Brian L; Lopez, Eric; Mullally, Fergal; Orosz, Jerome A; Prsa, Andrej; Quintana, Elisa V; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Sasselov, Dimitar; Seader, Shawn; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Still, Martin; Tenenbaum, Peter; Thompson, Susan E; Torres, Guillermo; Twicken, Joseph D; Welsh, William F; Winn, Joshua N

    2013-05-03

    We present the detection of five planets--Kepler-62b, c, d, e, and f--of size 1.31, 0.54, 1.95, 1.61 and 1.41 Earth radii (R⊕), orbiting a K2V star at periods of 5.7, 12.4, 18.2, 122.4, and 267.3 days, respectively. The outermost planets, Kepler-62e and -62f, are super-Earth-size (1.25 R⊕ planet radius ≤ 2.0 R⊕) planets in the habitable zone of their host star, respectively receiving 1.2 ± 0.2 times and 0.41 ± 0.05 times the solar flux at Earth's orbit. Theoretical models of Kepler-62e and -62f for a stellar age of ~7 billion years suggest that both planets could be solid, either with a rocky composition or composed of mostly solid water in their bulk.

  13. THE ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN PLANET SEARCH. XXI. A GAS-GIANT PLANET IN A ONE YEAR ORBIT AND THE HABITABILITY OF GAS-GIANT SATELLITES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tinney, C. G.; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Bailey, Jeremy A.; Horner, J.; Butler, R. Paul; Jones, Hugh R. A.; O'Toole, Simon J.; Carter, Brad D.

    2011-01-01

    We have detected the Doppler signature of a gas-giant exoplanet orbiting the star HD 38283, in an eccentric orbit with a period of almost exactly one year (P = 363.2 ± 1.6 d, m sin i = 0.34 ± 0.02 M Jup , e = 0.41 ± 0.16). The detection of a planet with period very close to one year critically relied on year-round observation of this circumpolar star. Discovering a planet in a 1 AU orbit around a G dwarf star has prompted us to look more closely at the question of the habitability of the satellites of such planets. Regular satellites orbit all the giant planets in our solar system, suggesting that their formation is a natural by-product of the planet formation process. There is no reason for exomoon formation not to be similarly likely in exoplanetary systems. Moreover, our current understanding of that formation process does not preclude satellite formation in systems where gas giants undergo migration from their formation locations into the terrestrial planet habitable zone. Indeed, regular satellite formation and Type II migration are both linked to the clearing of a gap in the protoplanetary disk by a planet, and so may be inextricably linked. Migration would also multiply the chances of capturing both irregular satellites and Trojan companions sufficiently massive to be habitable. The habitability of such exomoons and exo-Trojans will critically depend on their mass, whether or not they host a magnetosphere, and (for the exomoon case) their orbital radius around the host exoplanet.

  14. Demarcating Circulation Regimes of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets within the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Wolf, Eric. T.; Joshi, Manoj; Zhang, Xi; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2018-01-01

    We investigate the atmospheric dynamics of terrestrial planets in synchronous rotation within the habitable zone of low-mass stars using the Community Atmosphere Model. The surface temperature contrast between the day and night hemispheres decreases with an increase in incident stellar flux, which is opposite the trend seen in gas giants. We define three dynamical regimes in terms of the equatorial Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length. The slow rotation regime has a mean zonal circulation that spans from the day to the night sides, which occurs for planets around stars with effective temperatures of 3300–4500 K (rotation period > 20 days), with both the Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length exceeding the planetary radius. Rapid rotators have a mean zonal circulation that partially spans a hemisphere and with banded cloud formation beneath the substellar point, which occurs for planets orbiting stars with effective temperatures of less than 3000 K (rotation period days), with the Rossby deformation radius less than the planetary radius. In between is the Rhines rotation regime, which retains a thermally direct circulation from the day side to the night side but also features midlatitude turbulence-driven zonal jets. Rhines rotators occur for planets around stars in the range of 3000–3300 K (rotation period ∼5–20 days), where the Rhines length is greater than the planetary radius but the Rossby deformation radius is less than the planetary radius. The dynamical state can be observationally inferred from a comparison of the morphologies of the thermal emission phase curves of synchronously rotating planets.

  15. Climatic Evolution and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets: Perspectives from Coupled Atmosphere-Mantle Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu Sarkar, D.; Moore, W. B.

    2016-12-01

    A multitude of factors including the distance from the host star and the stage of planetary evolution affect planetary climate and habitability. The complex interactions between the atmosphere and dynamics of the deep interior of the planets along with stellar fluxes present a formidable challenge. This work employs simplified approaches to address these complex issues in a systematic way. To be specific, we are investigating the coupled evolution of atmosphere and mantle dynamics. The overarching goal here is to simulate the evolutionary history of the terrestrial planets, for example Venus, Earth and Mars. This research also aims at deciphering the history of Venus-like runaway greenhouse and thus explore the possibility of cataclysmic shifts in climate of Earth-like planets. We focus on volatile cycling within the solid planets to understand the role of carbon/water in climatic and tectonic outcomes of such planets. In doing so, we are considering the feedbacks in the coupled mantle-atmosphere system. The primary feedback between the atmosphere and mantle is the surface temperature established by the greenhouse effect, which regulates the temperature gradient that drives the mantle convection and controls the rate at which volatiles are exchanged through weathering. We start our models with different initial assumptions to determine the final climate outcomes within a reasonable parameter space. Currently, there are very few planetary examples, to sample the climate outcomes, however this will soon change as exoplanets are discovered and examined. Therefore, we will be able to work with a significant number of potential candidates to answer questions like this one: For every Earth is there one Venus? ten? a thousand?

  16. On the Growth and Detectability of Land Plants on Habitable Planets around M Dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Duo; Tian, Feng; Wang, Yuwei; Li, Changshen; Yu, Chaoqing; Yu, Le

    2017-12-01

    One signature of life on Earth is the vegetation red edge (VRE) feature of land plants, a dramatic change of reflectivity at wavelength near 0.7 μm. Potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs are tidally locked, which can limit the distribution of land plants. In this study, we used a biogeochemical model to investigate the distribution of land plants on potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs driven by climate data produced in a general circulation model (GCM). When considering the effects of clouds, the observation time needed for VRE detection on nearby p = 1 exoplanets around nearby M dwarfs is on the order of days using a 25 m 2 telescope if a large continent faces Earth during observations. For p = 1.5 exoplanets, the detection time could be similar if land plants developed the capability to endure a dark/cold environment for extended periods of time and the continent configuration favors observations. Our analysis suggests that hypothetical exovegetation VRE features are easier to detect than Earth vegetation and that VRE detection is possible for nearby exoplanets even under cloudy conditions. Key Words: Vegetation red edge-Exoplanets-M dwarfs-Biosignature detection. Astrobiology 17, 1219-1232.

  17. The Carbonate-Silicate Cycle on Earth-like Planets Near The End Of Their Habitable Lifetimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushby, A. J.; Mills, B.; Johnson, M.; Claire, M.

    2016-12-01

    The terrestrial cycle of silicate weathering and metamorphic outgassing buffers atmospheric CO2 and global climate over geological time on Earth. To first order, the operation of this cycle is assumed to occur on Earth-like planets in the orbit of other main-sequence stars in the galaxy that exhibit similar continent/ocean configurations. This has important implications for studies of planetary habitability, atmospheric and climatic evolution, and our understanding of the potential distribution of life in the Universe. We present results from a simple biogeochemical carbon cycle model developed to investigate the operation of the carbonate-silicate cycle under conditions of differing planet mass and position within the radiative habitable zone. An active carbonate-silicate cycle does extend the length of a planet's habitable period through the regulation of the CO2 greenhouse. However, the breakdown of the negative feedback between temperature, pCO2, and weathering rates towards the end of a planet's habitable lifespan results in a transitory regime of `carbon starvation' that would inhibit the ability of oxygenic photoautotrophs to metabolize, and result in the collapse of any putative biosphere supported by these organisms, suggesting an earlier limit for the initiation of inhabitable conditions than when considering temperature alone. This conclusion stresses the importance of considering the full suite of planetary properties when determining potential habitability. A small sample of exoplanets was tested using this model, and the length of their habitable periods were found to be significantly longer than that of the Earth, primarily as a function of the differential rates of stellar evolution expected from their host stars. Furthermore, we carried out statistical analysis of a series of model input parameters, determining that both the mass of the planet and the sensitivity of seafloor weathering processes to dissolved CO2 exhibit significant controls on the

  18. Extreme water loss and abiotic O2 buildup on planets throughout the habitable zones of M dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luger, R; Barnes, R

    2015-02-01

    We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars.

  19. The Effect of Varying Atmospheric Pressure upon Habitability and Biosignatures of Earth-like Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keles, Engin; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Stracke, Barbara; Rauer, Heike

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the possible climatic conditions on rocky extrasolar planets, and thereby their potential habitability, is one of the major subjects of exoplanet research. Determining how the climate, as well as potential atmospheric biosignatures, changes under different conditions is a key aspect when studying Earth-like exoplanets. One important property is the atmospheric mass, hence pressure and its influence on the climatic conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand the influence of atmospheric mass on climate, hence habitability, and the spectral appearance of planets with Earth-like, that is, N 2 -O 2 dominated, atmospheres orbiting the Sun at 1 AU. This work utilizes a 1D coupled, cloud-free, climate-photochemical atmospheric column model; varies atmospheric surface pressure from 0.5 to 30 bar; and investigates temperature and key species profiles, as well as emission and brightness temperature spectra in a range between 2 and 20 μm. Increasing the surface pressure up to 4 bar leads to an increase in the surface temperature due to increased greenhouse warming. Above this point, Rayleigh scattering dominates, and the surface temperature decreases, reaching surface temperatures below 273 K (approximately at ∼34 bar surface pressure). For ozone, nitrous oxide, water, methane, and carbon dioxide, the spectral response either increases with surface temperature or pressure depending on the species. Masking effects occur, for example, for the bands of the biosignatures ozone and nitrous oxide by carbon dioxide, which could be visible in low carbon dioxide atmospheres. Key Words: Planetary habitability and biosignatures-Atmospheres-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 18, 116-132.

  20. Equilibrium Temperatures and Albedos of Habitable Earth-Like Planets in a Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Genio, Anthony; Way, Michael; Amundsen, David; Sohl, Linda; Fujii, Yuka; Ebihara, Yuka; Kiang, Nancy; Chandler, Mark; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell

    2017-01-01

    The potential habitability of detected exoplanets is typically assessed using the concept of equilibrium temperature (T[subscript] e) based on cloud-free 1-D models with assumed albedo equal to Earth's (0.3) to determine whether a planet lies in the habitable zone. Incident stellar flux appears to be a better metric for stars unlike the Sun. These estimates, however, ignore the effect of clouds on planetary albedo and the fact that the climates of synchronously rotating planets are not well predicted by 1-D models. Given that most planet candidates that will be detected in the next few years will be tidally locked and orbiting M stars, how might the habitable zone e tailored to better in-form characterization with scarce observing resources?

  1. VALIDATION OF 12 SMALL KEPLER TRANSITING PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kipping, David M.; Fressin, Francois; Newton, Elisabeth R. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Caldwell, Douglas A.; Twicken, Joseph D. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ballard, Sarah [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Henze, Christopher E.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Isaacson, Howard T.; Petigura, Erik A. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Muirhead, Philip S. [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Crepp, Justin R. [University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); Everett, Mark E., E-mail: gtorres@cfa.harvard.edu [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); and others

    2015-02-20

    We present an investigation of 12 candidate transiting planets from Kepler with orbital periods ranging from 34 to 207 days, selected from initial indications that they are small and potentially in the habitable zone (HZ) of their parent stars. Few of these objects are known. The expected Doppler signals are too small to confirm them by demonstrating that their masses are in the planetary regime. Here we verify their planetary nature by validating them statistically using the BLENDER technique, which simulates large numbers of false positives and compares the resulting light curves with the Kepler photometry. This analysis was supplemented with new follow-up observations (high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, adaptive optics imaging, and speckle interferometry), as well as an analysis of the flux centroids. For 11 of them (KOI-0571.05, 1422.04, 1422.05, 2529.02, 3255.01, 3284.01, 4005.01, 4087.01, 4622.01, 4742.01, and 4745.01) we show that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive, to a confidence level of 99.73% (3σ) or higher. For KOI-4427.01 the confidence level is about 99.2% (2.6σ). With our accurate characterization of the GKM host stars, the derived planetary radii range from 1.1 to 2.7 R {sub ⊕}. All 12 objects are confirmed to be in the HZ, and nine are small enough to be rocky. Excluding three of them that have been previously validated by others, our study doubles the number of known rocky planets in the HZ. KOI-3284.01 (Kepler-438b) and KOI-4742.01 (Kepler-442b) are the planets most similar to the Earth discovered to date when considering their size and incident flux jointly.

  2. Design-considerations For A Ground-based Transit Survey To Find Habitable Planets Around L And T Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tata, Ramarao; Martin, E.

    2011-09-01

    Detection of planets in the habitable zone is one of the key drivers of the exoplanet science community. We present a detailed strategy for such detection around L and T dwarfs. We plan to implement the outcome of the analysis as a transit survey to search for planets around known L and T dwarfs. Understanding of the variability of these cool objects will be a worth-while byproduct of such a survey.

  3. High-resolution simulations of the final assembly of Earth-like planets. 2. Water delivery and planetary habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Sean N; Quinn, Thomas; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2007-02-01

    The water content and habitability of terrestrial planets are determined during their final assembly, from perhaps 100 1,000-km "planetary embryos " and a swarm of billions of 1-10-km "planetesimals. " During this process, we assume that water-rich material is accreted by terrestrial planets via impacts of water-rich bodies that originate in the outer asteroid region. We present analysis of water delivery and planetary habitability in five high-resolution simulations containing about 10 times more particles than in previous simulations. These simulations formed 15 terrestrial planets from 0.4 to 2.6 Earth masses, including five planets in the habitable zone. Every planet from each simulation accreted at least the Earth's current water budget; most accreted several times that amount (assuming no impact depletion). Each planet accreted at least five water-rich embryos and planetesimals from the past 2.5 astronomical units; most accreted 10-20 water-rich bodies. We present a new model for water delivery to terrestrial planets in dynamically calm systems, with low-eccentricity or low-mass giant planets-such systems may be very common in the Galaxy. We suggest that water is accreted in comparable amounts from a few planetary embryos in a " hit or miss " way and from millions of planetesimals in a statistically robust process. Variations in water content are likely to be caused by fluctuations in the number of water-rich embryos accreted, as well as from systematic effects, such as planetary mass and location, and giant planet properties.

  4. A SUPER-EARTH-SIZED PLANET ORBITING IN OR NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE AROUND A SUN-LIKE STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barclay, Thomas; Burke, Christopher J.; Howell, Steve B.; Rowe, Jason F.; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Borucki, William J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Christiansen, Jessie L; Coughlin, Jeffrey L. [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Isaacson, Howard; Kolbl, Rea; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Ciardi, David [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Fischer, Debra A. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); and others

    2013-05-10

    We present the discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. The host is Kepler-69, a 13.7 mag G4V-type star. We detect two periodic sets of transit signals in the 3-year flux time series of Kepler-69, obtained with the Kepler spacecraft. Using the very high precision Kepler photometry, and follow-up observations, our confidence that these signals represent planetary transits is >99.3%. The inner planet, Kepler-69b, has a radius of 2.24{sup +0.44}{sub -0.29} R{sub Circled-Plus} and orbits the host star every 13.7 days. The outer planet, Kepler-69c, is a super-Earth-sized object with a radius of 1.7{sup +0.34}{sub -0.23} R{sub Circled-Plus} and an orbital period of 242.5 days. Assuming an Earth-like Bond albedo, Kepler-69c has an equilibrium temperature of 299 {+-} 19 K, which places the planet close to the habitable zone around the host star. This is the smallest planet found by Kepler to be orbiting in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star and represents an important step on the path to finding the first true Earth analog.

  5. A REVISED ESTIMATE OF THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES AROUND KEPLER M-DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Because of their large numbers, low-mass stars may be the most abundant planet hosts in our Galaxy. Furthermore, terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) around M-dwarfs can potentially be characterized in the near future and hence may be the first such planets to be studied. Recently, Dressing and Charbonneau used Kepler data and calculated the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZ of cool stars to be 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 per star for Earth-size planets (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ). However, this estimate was derived using the Kasting et al. HZ limits, which were not valid for stars with effective temperatures lower than 3700 K. Here we update their result using new HZ limits from Kopparapu et al. for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 K and 7200 K, which includes the cool M stars in the Kepler target list. The new HZ boundaries increase the number of planet candidates in the HZ. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-1.4 R ⊕ , when we reanalyze their results, we obtain a terrestrial planet frequency of 0.48 +0.12 -0.24 and 0.53 +0.08 -0.17 planets per M-dwarf star for conservative and optimistic limits of the HZ boundaries, respectively. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-2 R ⊕ , the frequency increases to 0.51 +0.10 -0.20 per star for the conservative estimate and to 0.61 +0.07 -0.15 per star for the optimistic estimate. Within uncertainties, our optimistic estimates are in agreement with a similar optimistic estimate from the radial velocity survey of M-dwarfs (0.41 +0.54 -0.13 ). So, the potential for finding Earth-like planets around M stars may be higher than previously reported.

  6. Extreme Water Loss and Abiotic O2 Buildup on Planets Throughout the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars. Key Words: Astrobiology—Biosignatures—Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 15, 119–143. PMID:25629240

  7. Obliquity Variations of Habitable Zone Planets Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Yutong; Li, Gongjie

    2018-06-01

    Obliquity variability could play an important role in the climate and habitability of a planet. Orbital modulations caused by planetary companions and the planet’s spin axis precession due to the torque from the host star may lead to resonant interactions and cause large-amplitude obliquity variability. Here we consider the spin axis dynamics of Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f, both of which reside in the habitable zone around their host stars. Using N-body simulations and secular numerical integrations, we describe their obliquity evolution for particular realizations of the planetary systems. We then use a generalized analytic framework to characterize regions in parameter space where the obliquity is variable with large amplitude. We find that the locations of variability are fine-tuned over the planetary properties and system architecture in the lower-obliquity regimes (≲40°). As an example, assuming a rotation period of 24 hr, the obliquities of both Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f are stable below ∼40°, whereas the high-obliquity regions (60°–90°) allow moderate variabilities. However, for some other rotation periods of Kepler-62f or Kepler-186f, the lower-obliquity regions could become more variable owing to resonant interactions. Even small deviations from coplanarity (e.g., mutual inclinations ∼3°) could stir peak-to-peak obliquity variations up to ∼20°. Undetected planetary companions and/or the existence of a satellite could also destabilize the low-obliquity regions. In all cases, the high-obliquity region allows for moderate variations, and all obliquities corresponding to retrograde motion (i.e., >90°) are stable.

  8. The Role of Clouds in the Long-Term Habitability of Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Owen B.; Tolbert, Margaret

    2000-01-01

    We proposed to conduct theoretical and laboratory investigations of the role that clouds play in the long-term climate history of the Earth and other habitable planets. We made significant progress in the first area we proposed to consider- the properties of carbon dioxide clouds in atmospheres that are rich in carbon dioxide. We submitted a modeling paper on the microphysical properties of the clouds to Icarus showing that such clouds are unlikely to play an important role in the early greenhouses on Earth or Mars. The model was based on lab studies of the nucleation and growth of carbon dioxide. We have also submitted a manuscript describing these lab studies to Icarus. These lab studies are critical not only to the ancient Mars atmosphere, but also to the current one. We also submitted a paper to Nature describing modeling of current Martian CO2 clouds. We will also model the properties of water clouds in the early history of Earth. Early in Earth's history the atmosphere contained no free oxygen. Without oxygen, sulfate aerosols that are currently the dominant cloud nuclei, cannot form. Without such nuclei the cloud structure would have been far different than it is now. We initiated studies of the aerosols on Titan as part of this work. We reported these studies in a short paper on nucleation and in several conferences.

  9. Energy Balance Models of planetary climate as a tool for investigating the habitability of terrestrial planets and its evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, G.; Murante, G.; Provenzale, A.; Silva, L.; Vladilo, G.

    2012-04-01

    The study of the habitability and potential for life formation of terrestrial planets requires a considerable work of modelization owing to the limited amount of experimental constraints typical of this type of research. As an example, the paucity of experimental Archean data severely limits the study of the habitability of the primitive Earth at the epoch of the origin of life. In the case of exoplanets the amount of experimental information available is quite limited and the need for modelization strong. Here we focus on the modelization of the surface planetary temperature, a key thermodynamical quantity used to define the habitability. Energy Balance Models (EBM) of planetary climate provide a simple way to calculate the temperature-latitude profile of terrestrial planets with a small amount of computing resources. Thanks to this fact EBMs offer an excellent tool to exploring a wide range of parameter space and therefore testing the effects of variations of physical/chemical quantities unconstrained by experimental data. In particular, one can easily probe possible scenarios of habitability at different stages of planetary evolution. We have recently implemented one-dimensional EBMs featuring the possibility of probing variations of astronomical and geophysical parameters, such as stellar luminosity, orbital semi-major axis and eccentricity, obliquity of the planetary axis, planet rotational velocity, land/ocean surface fractions and thermal capacities, and latitudinal heat diffusion. After testing our models against results obtained in previous work (Williams & Kasting 1997, Icarus, 129, 254; Spiegel et al. 2008, ApJ, 681, 1609), we introduced a novel parametrization of the diffusion coefficient as a function of the stellar zenith distance. Our models have been validated using the mean temperature-latitude profiles of the present Earth and its seasonal variations; the global albedo has been used as an additional constraint. In this work we present specific

  10. Reflected Light from Giant Planets in Habitable Zones: Tapping into the Power of the Cross-Correlation Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, J H C; Santos, N C; Figueira, P; Melo, C

    2016-11-01

    The direct detection of reflected light from exoplanets is an excellent probe for the characterization of their atmospheres. The greatest challenge for this task is the low planet-to-star flux ratio, which even in the most favourable case is of the order of 10 -4 in the optical. This ratio decreases even more for planets in their host's habitable zone, typically lower than 10 -7 . To reach the signal-to-noise level required for such detections, we propose to unleash the power of the Cross Correlation Function in combination with the collecting power of next generation observing facilities. The technique we propose has already yielded positive results by detecting the reflected spectral signature of 51 Pegasi b (see Martins et al. 2015). In this work, we attempted to infer the number of hours required for the detection of several planets in their host's habitable zone using the aforementioned technique from theoretical EELT observations. Our results show that for 5 of the selected planets it should be possible to directly recover their reflected spectral signature.

  11. The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kuchner, Marc; Schneider, Adam; Meisner, Aaron; Gagné, Jonathan; Filippazzo, Joeseph; Trouille, Laura; Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Collaboration; Jacqueline Faherty

    2018-01-01

    In February of 2017 our team launched a new citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 to scan the cosmos for fast moving stars, brown dwarfs, and even planets. This Zooniverse website, BackyardWorlds.org, invites anyone with a computer or smartphone to flip through WISE images taken over a several year baseline and mark any point source that appears to move. This “blinking technique” is the same that Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto with over 80 years ago. In the first few days of our program we recruited over 30,000 volunteers. After 3/4 of a year with the program we have completed 30% of the sky and our participants have identified several hundred candidate movers. These include (1) over 20 candidate Y-type brown dwarfs, (2) a handful of new co-moving systems containing a previously unidentified low mass object and a known nearby star, (3) over 100 previously missed M dwarfs, (4) and more than 200 candidate L and T brown dwarfs, many of which occupy outlier positions on reduced proper motion diagrams. Our first publication credited four citizen scientists as co-authors. The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project is both scientifically fruitful and empowering for any mind across the globe that has ever wanted to participate in a discovery-driven astronomy research project.

  12. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia's response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit. Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres. A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than approx.1.6 Earth radii.

  13. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-10-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia’s response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit.Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres.A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than ~1.6 Earth radii.

  14. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO2 degassing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E.

    2014-01-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO 2 degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO 2 degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowball climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO 2 degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.

  15. The occurrence of Jovian planets and the habitability of planetary systems

    OpenAIRE

    Lunine, Jonathan I.

    2001-01-01

    Planets of mass comparable to or larger than Jupiter's have been detected around over 50 stars, and for one such object a definitive test of its nature as a gas giant has been accomplished with data from an observed planetary transit. By virtue of their strong gravitational pull, giant planets define the dynamical and collisional environment within which terrestrial planets form. In our solar system, the position and timing of the formation of Jupiter determined the am...

  16. How to Directly Image a Habitable Planet Around Alpha Centauri with a 30-45 cm Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belikov, Ruslan; Bendek, Eduardo; Thomas, Sandrine; Males, Jared

    2015-01-01

    Several mission concepts are being studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet around a Sun-like star requires space telescopes with apertures of at least 1m. A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri (A and B), which is an extreme outlier among FGKM stars in terms of apparent habitable zone size: the habitable zones are approximately 3x wider in apparent size than around any other FGKM star. This enables a approximately 30-45cm visible light space telescope equipped with a modern high performance coronagraph or star shade to resolve the habitable zone at high contrast and directly image any potentially habitable planet that may exist in the system. The raw contrast requirements for such an instrument can be relaxed to 1e-8 if the mission spends 2 years collecting tens of thousands of images on the same target, enabling a factor of 500-1000 speckle suppression in post processing using a new technique called Orbital Difference Imaging (ODI). The raw light leak from both stars is controllable with a special wave front control algorithm known as Multi-Star Wave front Control (MSWC), which independently suppresses diffraction and aberrations from both stars using independent modes on the deformable mirror. This paper will present an analysis of the challenges involved with direct imaging of Alpha Centauri with a small telescope and how the above technologies are used together to solve them. We also show an example of a small coronagraphic mission concepts to take advantage of this opportunity called "ACESat: Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite" submitted to NASA's small Explorer (SMEX) program in December of 2014.

  17. THE STEPPENWOLF: A PROPOSAL FOR A HABITABLE PLANET IN INTERSTELLAR SPACE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbot, D. S.; Switzer, E. R.

    2011-01-01

    Rogue planets have been ejected from their planetary system. We investigate the possibility that a rogue planet could maintain a liquid ocean under layers of thermally insulating water ice and frozen gas as a result of geothermal heat flux. We find that a rogue planet of Earth-like composition and age could maintain a subglacial liquid ocean if it were ∼3.5 times more massive than Earth, corresponding to ∼8 km of ice. Suppression of the melting point by contaminants, a layer of frozen gas, or a larger complement of water could significantly reduce the planetary mass that is required to maintain a liquid ocean. Such a planet could be detected from reflected solar radiation, and its thermal emission could be characterized in the far-IR if it were to pass within O(1000) AU of Earth.

  18. Habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, T W; Costa, Rui M

    2017-11-20

    What is a habit? One problem with the concept of habit has been that virtually everyone has their own ideas of what is meant by such a term. Whilst not eschewing folk psychology, it is useful to re-examine dictionary definitions of 'habit'. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines habit as "a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up" and also "an automatic reaction to a specific situation". The latter, reassuringly, is not too far from what has come to be known as stimulus-response theory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Methodology for the AutoRegressive Planet Search (ARPS) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feigelson, Eric; Caceres, Gabriel; ARPS Collaboration

    2018-01-01

    The detection of periodic signals of transiting exoplanets is often impeded by the presence of aperiodic photometric variations. This variability is intrinsic to the host star in space-based observations (typically arising from magnetic activity) and from observational conditions in ground-based observations. The most common statistical procedures to remove stellar variations are nonparametric, such as wavelet decomposition or Gaussian Processes regression. However, many stars display variability with autoregressive properties, wherein later flux values are correlated with previous ones. Providing the time series is evenly spaced, parametric autoregressive models can prove very effective. Here we present the methodology of the Autoregessive Planet Search (ARPS) project which uses Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models to treat a wide variety of stochastic short-memory processes, as well as nonstationarity. Additionally, we introduce a planet-search algorithm to detect periodic transits in the time-series residuals after application of ARIMA models. Our matched-filter algorithm, the Transit Comb Filter (TCF), replaces the traditional box-fitting step. We construct a periodogram based on the TCF to concentrate the signal of these periodic spikes. Various features of the original light curves, the ARIMA fits, the TCF periodograms, and folded light curves at peaks of the TCF periodogram can then be collected to provide constraints for planet detection. These features provide input into a multivariate classifier when a training set is available. The ARPS procedure has been applied NASA's Kepler mission observations of ~200,000 stars (Caceres, Dissertation Talk, this meeting) and will be applied in the future to other datasets.

  20. Clouds in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. V. The impact of CO2 ice clouds on the outer boundary of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    Kitzmann, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Clouds have a strong impact on the climate of planetary atmospheres. The potential scattering greenhouse effect of CO2 ice clouds in the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets is of particular interest because it might influence the position and thus the extension of the outer boundary of the classic habitable zone around main sequence stars. Here, the impact of CO2 ice clouds on the surface temperatures of terrestrial planets with CO2 dominated atmospheres, orbiting different types of...

  1. Extrasolar planets : - From gaseous giant planets to rocky planets. - Steps towards the detection of life biomarkers.

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2017-01-01

    Today, great efforts are made to detect Earth-mass rocky planets in the so-called habitable zone of their host stars. What are the difficulties, the instrumental projects  and the already detected interesting systems ?

  2. Redox Evolution via Gravitational Differentiation on Low-mass Planets: Implications for Abiotic Oxygen, Water Loss, and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Schaefer, L. K.; Fischer, R. A.

    2018-05-01

    The oxidation of rocky planet surfaces and atmospheres, which arises from the twin forces of stellar nucleosynthesis and gravitational differentiation, is a universal process of key importance to habitability and exoplanet biosignature detection. Here we take a generalized approach to this phenomenon. Using a single parameter to describe the redox state, we model the evolution of terrestrial planets around nearby M stars and the Sun. Our model includes atmospheric photochemistry, diffusion and escape, line-by-line climate calculations, and interior thermodynamics and chemistry. In most cases, we find abiotic atmospheric {{{O}}}2 buildup around M stars during the pre-main-sequence phase to be much less than calculated previously, because the planet’s magma ocean absorbs most oxygen liberated from {{{H}}}2{{O}} photolysis. However, loss of noncondensing atmospheric gases after the mantle solidifies remains a significant potential route to abiotic atmospheric {{{O}}}2 subsequently. In all cases, we predict that exoplanets that receive lower stellar fluxes, such as LHS1140b and TRAPPIST-1f and g, have the lowest probability of abiotic {{{O}}}2 buildup and hence may be the most interesting targets for future searches for biogenic {{{O}}}2. Key remaining uncertainties can be minimized in future by comparing our predictions for the atmospheres of hot, sterile exoplanets such as GJ1132b and TRAPPIST-1b and c with observations.

  3. Impact of clouds in the JWST and LUVOIR simulated transmission spectra of TRAPPIST-1 planets in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauchez, Thomas; Turbet, Martin; Mandell, Avi; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2018-06-01

    M-dwarfs are the most common type of stars in our galaxy. Ultra-cool dwarfs (T Earth and frequent planetary transits.Atmospheric properties are major components of planet habitability. However, the detectability of gaseous features on rocky planets in the HZ may be severely impacted by the presence of clouds and/or hazes in their atmosphere. We have already seen this phenomenon in the “flat” transit transmission spectra of larger exoplanets such as GJ 1214b, WASP-31b, WASP-12b and HATP-12b.In this work, we use the LMDG global climate model to simulate several possibilities of atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 e, f and 1g: 1) Archean Earth, 2) modern Earth and 3) CO2-dominated atmospheres. We also calculate synthetic transit spectra using the GSFC Planetary Spectrum Generator (PSG), and determine the number of transits needed to observe key spectral features for both JWST and future telescopes (ARIEL, LUVOIR, HabEx). We will identify differences in the spectra of cloudy vs non-cloudy, and determine how much information on spatial variability in atmosphere characteristics can be extracted from time-resolved transit and eclipse mapping. A particular attention will be given to the impact of the atmospheric variability when adding transit spectra, and how this may affect atmospheric parameter retrievals.

  4. Carbon Monoxide and the Potential for Prebiotic Chemistry on Habitable Planets Around Main Sequence M Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava-Sedeno, J. Manik; Ortiz-Cervantes, Adrian; Segura, Antigona; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.

    2016-01-01

    Lifeless planets with CO2 atmospheres produce CO by CO2 photolysis. On planets around M dwarfs, CO is a long-lived atmospheric compound, as long as UV emission due to the stars chromospheric activity lasts, and the sink of CO and O2 in seawater is small compared to its atmospheric production. Atmospheres containing reduced compounds, like CO, may undergo further energetic and chemical processing to give rise to organic compounds of potential importance for the origin of life. We calculated the yield of organic compounds from CO2-rich atmospheres of planets orbiting M dwarf stars, which were previously simulated by Domagal- Goldman et al. (2014) and Harman et al. (2015), by cosmic rays and lightning using results of experiments by Miyakawaet al. (2002) and Schlesinger and Miller (1983a, 1983b). Stellar protons from active stars may be important energy sources for abiotic synthesis and increase production rates of biological compounds by at least 2 orders of magnitude compared to cosmic rays. Simple compounds such as HCN and H2CO are more readily synthesized than more complex ones, such as amino acids and uracil (considered here as an example), resulting in higher yields for the former and lower yields for the latter. Electric discharges are most efficient when a reducing atmosphere is present. Nonetheless, atmospheres with high quantities of CO2 are capable of producing higher amounts of prebiotic compounds, given that CO is constantly produced in the atmosphere. Our results further support planetary systems around M dwarf stars as candidates for supporting life or its origin.

  5. Tracing the ingredients for a habitable earth from interstellar space through planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergin, Edwin A; Blake, Geoffrey A; Ciesla, Fred; Hirschmann, Marc M; Li, Jie

    2015-07-21

    We use the C/N ratio as a monitor of the delivery of key ingredients of life to nascent terrestrial worlds. Total elemental C and N contents, and their ratio, are examined for the interstellar medium, comets, chondritic meteorites, and terrestrial planets; we include an updated estimate for the bulk silicate Earth (C/N = 49.0 ± 9.3). Using a kinetic model of disk chemistry, and the sublimation/condensation temperatures of primitive molecules, we suggest that organic ices and macromolecular (refractory or carbonaceous dust) organic material are the likely initial C and N carriers. Chemical reactions in the disk can produce nebular C/N ratios of ∼1-12, comparable to those of comets and the low end estimated for planetesimals. An increase of the C/N ratio is traced between volatile-rich pristine bodies and larger volatile-depleted objects subjected to thermal/accretional metamorphism. The C/N ratios of the dominant materials accreted to terrestrial planets should therefore be higher than those seen in carbonaceous chondrites or comets. During planetary formation, we explore scenarios leading to further volatile loss and associated C/N variations owing to core formation and atmospheric escape. Key processes include relative enrichment of nitrogen in the atmosphere and preferential sequestration of carbon by the core. The high C/N bulk silicate Earth ratio therefore is best satisfied by accretion of thermally processed objects followed by large-scale atmospheric loss. These two effects must be more profound if volatile sequestration in the core is effective. The stochastic nature of these processes hints that the surface/atmospheric abundances of biosphere-essential materials will likely be variable.

  6. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar systems longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

  7. Why O2 is required by complex life on habitable planets and the concept of planetary "oxygenation time".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C; Glein, Christopher R; Zahnle, Kevin J; McKay, Christopher P

    2005-06-01

    's main sequence lifetime. Consequently, we argue that the oxygenation time is likely to be a key rate-limiting step in the evolution of complex life on other habitable planets. The oxygenation time could preclude complex life on Earth-like planets orbiting short-lived stars that end their main sequence lives before planetary oxygenation takes place. Conversely, Earth-like planets orbiting long-lived stars are potentially favorable habitats for complex life.

  8. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A SATURN-MASS PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE NEARBY M4V STAR HIP 57050

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Laughlin, Greg; Meschiari, Stefano; Paul Butler, R.; Henry, Gregory W.

    2010-01-01

    Precision radial velocities (RV) from Keck/HIRES reveal a Saturn-mass planet orbiting the nearby M4V star HIP 57050. The planet has a minimum mass of Msin i ∼ 0.3 M J , an orbital period of 41.4 days, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.31. V-band photometry reveals a clear stellar rotation signature of the host star with a period of 98 days, well separated from the period of the RV variations and reinforcing a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. The orbital period of this planet corresponds to an orbit in the habitable zone of HIP 57050, with an expected planetary temperature of ∼230 K. The star has a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.32 ± 0.06 dex, of order twice solar and among the highest metallicity stars in the immediate solar neighborhood. This newly discovered planet provides further support that the well-known planet-metallicity correlation for F, G, and K stars also extends down into the M-dwarf regime. The a priori geometric probability for transits of this planet is only about 1%. However, the expected eclipse depth is ∼7%, considerably larger than that yet observed for any transiting planet. Though long on the odds, such a transit is worth pursuing as it would allow for high quality studies of the atmosphere via transmission spectroscopy with Hubble Space Telescope. At the expected planetary effective temperature, the atmosphere may contain water clouds.

  9. The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A Saturn-Mass Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M4V Star HIP 57050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Laughlin, Greg; Meschiari, Stefano; Henry, Gregory W.

    2010-05-01

    Precision radial velocities (RV) from Keck/HIRES reveal a Saturn-mass planet orbiting the nearby M4V star HIP 57050. The planet has a minimum mass of Msin i ~ 0.3 M J, an orbital period of 41.4 days, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.31. V-band photometry reveals a clear stellar rotation signature of the host star with a period of 98 days, well separated from the period of the RV variations and reinforcing a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. The orbital period of this planet corresponds to an orbit in the habitable zone of HIP 57050, with an expected planetary temperature of ~230 K. The star has a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.32 ± 0.06 dex, of order twice solar and among the highest metallicity stars in the immediate solar neighborhood. This newly discovered planet provides further support that the well-known planet-metallicity correlation for F, G, and K stars also extends down into the M-dwarf regime. The a priori geometric probability for transits of this planet is only about 1%. However, the expected eclipse depth is ~7%, considerably larger than that yet observed for any transiting planet. Though long on the odds, such a transit is worth pursuing as it would allow for high quality studies of the atmosphere via transmission spectroscopy with Hubble Space Telescope. At the expected planetary effective temperature, the atmosphere may contain water clouds.

  10. Suppression of the water ice and snow albedo feedback on planets orbiting red dwarf stars and the subsequent widening of the habitable zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Manoj M; Haberle, Robert M

    2012-01-01

    M stars comprise 80% of main sequence stars, so their planetary systems provide the best chance for finding habitable planets, that is, those with surface liquid water. We have modeled the broadband albedo or reflectivity of water ice and snow for simulated planetary surfaces orbiting two observed red dwarf stars (or M stars), using spectrally resolved data of Earth's cryosphere. The gradual reduction of the albedos of snow and ice at wavelengths greater than 1 μm, combined with M stars emitting a significant fraction of their radiation at these same longer wavelengths, means that the albedos of ice and snow on planets orbiting M stars are much lower than their values on Earth. Our results imply that the ice/snow albedo climate feedback is significantly weaker for planets orbiting M stars than for planets orbiting G-type stars such as the Sun. In addition, planets with significant ice and snow cover will have significantly higher surface temperatures for a given stellar flux if the spectral variation of cryospheric albedo is considered, which in turn implies that the outer edge of the habitable zone around M stars may be 10-30% farther away from the parent star than previously thought.

  11. Tidal locking of habitable exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory

    2017-12-01

    Potentially habitable planets can orbit close enough to their host star that the differential gravity across their diameters can produce an elongated shape. Frictional forces inside the planet prevent the bulges from aligning perfectly with the host star and result in torques that alter the planet's rotational angular momentum. Eventually the tidal torques fix the rotation rate at a specific frequency, a process called tidal locking. Tidally locked planets on circular orbits will rotate synchronously, but those on eccentric orbits will either librate or rotate super-synchronously. Although these features of tidal theory are well known, a systematic survey of the rotational evolution of potentially habitable exoplanets using classic equilibrium tide theories has not been undertaken. I calculate how habitable planets evolve under two commonly used models and find, for example, that one model predicts that the Earth's rotation rate would have synchronized after 4.5 Gyr if its initial rotation period was 3 days, it had no satellites, and it always maintained the modern Earth's tidal properties. Lower mass stellar hosts will induce stronger tidal effects on potentially habitable planets, and tidal locking is possible for most planets in the habitable zones of GKM dwarf stars. For fast-rotating planets, both models predict eccentricity growth and that circularization can only occur once the rotational frequency is similar to the orbital frequency. The orbits of potentially habitable planets of very late M dwarfs ([InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]) are very likely to be circularized within 1 Gyr, and hence, those planets will be synchronous rotators. Proxima b is almost assuredly tidally locked, but its orbit may not have circularized yet, so the planet could be rotating super-synchronously today. The evolution of the isolated and potentially habitable Kepler planet candidates is computed and about half could be tidally locked. Finally, projected TESS planets

  12. Nuclear planetology: understanding habitable planets as Galactic bulge stellar remnants (black dwarfs) in a Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roller, Goetz

    2016-04-01

    model constraining the evolution of a rocky planet like Earth or Mercury from a stellar precursor of the oldest population to a Fe-C BLD, shifting through different spectral classes in a HR diagram after massive decompression and tremendous energy losses. In the light of WD/BLD cosmochronology [1], solar system bodies like Earth, Mercury and Moon are regarded as captured interlopers from the Galactic bulge, Earth and Moon possibly representing remnants of an old binary system. Such a preliminary scenario is supported by similar ages obtained from WD's for the Galactic halo [1] and, independently, by means of 187Re-232Th-238U nuclear geochronometry [2, 4, 5], together with recent observations extremely metal-poor stars from the cosmic dawn in the bulge of the Milky Way [6]. This might be further elucidated in the near future by Th/U cosmochronometry based upon a nuclear production ratio Th/U = 0.96 [5] and additionally by means of a newly developed nucleogeochronometric age dating method for stellar spectroscopy, which will be presented in a forthcoming paper. The model shall stimulate geochemical data interpretation from a different perspective to constrain the (thermal) evolution of a habitable planet as to its geo-, bio-, hydro- and atmosphere. [1] Fontaine et al. (2001), Public. Astron. Soc. of the Pacific 113, 409-435. [2] Roller (2015), Abstract T34B-0407, AGU Spring Meeting 2015. [3] Arevalo et al. (2010), Chem. Geol. 271, 70-85. [4] Roller (2015), Geophys. Res. Abstr. 17, EGU2015-2399. [5] Roller (2015), 78th Annu. Meeting Met. Soc., Abstract #5041. [6] Howes et al. (2015), Nature 527, 484-487.

  13. The giant planets; Galileo Galilei to Project Galileo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hide, R.

    1984-01-01

    This article outlines some of the main characteristics of the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn, and discusses aspects of their study in which the author has been interested for a number of years, namely the circulation of their atmospheres, the structure of their interiors, and the origin of their magnetic fields. (author)

  14. CONSTRAINTS ON PLANET OCCURRENCE AROUND NEARBY MID-TO-LATE M DWARFS FROM THE MEARTH PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berta, Zachory K.; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David

    2013-01-01

    The MEarth Project is a ground-based photometric survey intended to find planets transiting the closest and smallest main-sequence stars. In its first four years, MEarth discovered one transiting exoplanet, the 2.7 R ⊕ planet GJ1214b. Here, we answer an outstanding question: in light of the bounty of small planets transiting small stars uncovered by the Kepler mission, should MEarth have found more than just one planet so far? We estimate MEarth's ensemble sensitivity to exoplanets by performing end-to-end simulations of 1.25 × 10 6 observations of 988 nearby mid-to-late M dwarfs, gathered by MEarth between 2008 October and 2012 June. For 2-4 R ⊕ planets, we compare this sensitivity to results from Kepler and find that MEarth should have found planets at a rate of 0.05-0.36 planets yr –1 in its first four years. As part of this analysis, we provide new analytic fits to the Kepler early M dwarf planet occurrence distribution. When extrapolating between Kepler's early M dwarfs and MEarth's mid-to-late M dwarfs, we find that assuming the planet occurrence distribution stays fixed with respect to planetary equilibrium temperature provides a good match to our detection of a planet with GJ1214b's observed properties. For larger planets, we find that the warm (600-700 K), Neptune-sized (4 R ⊕ ) exoplanets that transit early M dwarfs like Gl436 and GJ3470 occur at a rate of –1 (at 95% confidence) around MEarth's later M dwarf targets. We describe a strategy with which MEarth can increase its expected planet yield by 2.5 × without new telescopes by shifting its sensitivity toward the smaller and cooler exoplanets that Kepler has demonstrated to be abundant

  15. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, James F; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M; Harman, Chester E

    2014-09-02

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet's atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, "Dune" planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, S(eff), the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus--1.78; runaway greenhouse--1.04; moist greenhouse--1.01; maximum greenhouse--0.35; and early Mars--0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4-0.5.

  16. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO{sub 2} degassing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadoya, S. [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Kiban Bldg. 408, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Tajika, E., E-mail: kadoya@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tajika@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Kiban Bldg. 409, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan)

    2014-08-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO{sub 2} degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowball climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.

  17. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dvorak, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    This latest, up-to-date resource for research on extrasolar planets covers formation, dynamics, atmospheres and detection. After a look at the formation of giant planets, the book goes on to discuss the formation and dynamics of planets in resonances, planets in double stars, atmospheres and habitable zones, detection via spectra and transits, and the history and prospects of ESPs as well as satellite projects.Edited by a renowned expert in solar system dynamics with chapters written by the leading experts in the method described -- from the US and Europe -- this is an ideal textbook for g

  18. EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION BY PROXY: A TRANSITING 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} PLANET NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE LATE K DWARF KEPLER-61

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mann, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Horch, Elliott P. [Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515 (United States); Everett, Mark E., E-mail: sarahba@uw.edu [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2013-08-20

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} planet orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of a low-mass star. Our characterization of the host star Kepler-61 is based upon a comparison with a set of spectroscopically similar stars with directly measured radii and temperatures. We apply a stellar prior drawn from the weighted mean of these properties, in tandem with the Kepler photometry, to infer a planetary radius for Kepler-61b of 2.15 {+-} 0.13 R{sub Circled-Plus} and an equilibrium temperature of 273 {+-} 13 K (given its period of 59.87756 {+-} 0.00020 days and assuming a planetary albedo of 0.3). The technique of leveraging the physical properties of nearby ''proxy'' stars allows for an independent check on stellar characterization via the traditional measurements with stellar spectra and evolutionary models. In this case, such a check had implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b: the planet is 10% warmer and larger than inferred from K-band spectral characterization. From the Kepler photometry, we estimate a stellar rotation period of 36 days, which implies a stellar age of >1 Gyr. We summarize the evidence for the planetary nature of the Kepler-61 transit signal, which we conclude is 30,000 times more likely to be due to a planet than a blend scenario. Finally, we discuss possible compositions for Kepler-61b with a comparison to theoretical models as well as to known exoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses.

  19. EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION BY PROXY: A TRANSITING 2.15 R⊕ PLANET NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE LATE K DWARF KEPLER-61

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi; Mann, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B.; Horch, Elliott P.; Everett, Mark E.

    2013-01-01

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R ⊕ planet orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of a low-mass star. Our characterization of the host star Kepler-61 is based upon a comparison with a set of spectroscopically similar stars with directly measured radii and temperatures. We apply a stellar prior drawn from the weighted mean of these properties, in tandem with the Kepler photometry, to infer a planetary radius for Kepler-61b of 2.15 ± 0.13 R ⊕ and an equilibrium temperature of 273 ± 13 K (given its period of 59.87756 ± 0.00020 days and assuming a planetary albedo of 0.3). The technique of leveraging the physical properties of nearby ''proxy'' stars allows for an independent check on stellar characterization via the traditional measurements with stellar spectra and evolutionary models. In this case, such a check had implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b: the planet is 10% warmer and larger than inferred from K-band spectral characterization. From the Kepler photometry, we estimate a stellar rotation period of 36 days, which implies a stellar age of >1 Gyr. We summarize the evidence for the planetary nature of the Kepler-61 transit signal, which we conclude is 30,000 times more likely to be due to a planet than a blend scenario. Finally, we discuss possible compositions for Kepler-61b with a comparison to theoretical models as well as to known exoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses

  20. Exoplanet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

    The search for exoplanets includes the promise to eventually find and identify habitable worlds. The thousands of known exoplanets and planet candidates are extremely diverse in terms of their masses or sizes, orbits, and host star type. The diversity extends to new kinds of planets, which are very common yet have no solar system counterparts. Even with the requirement that a planet's surface temperature must be compatible with liquid water (because all life on Earth requires liquid water), a new emerging view is that planets very different from Earth may have the right conditions for life. The broadened possibilities will increase the future chances of discovering an inhabited world.

  1. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets . XXXII. New multi-planet systems in the HARPS volume limited sample: a super-Earth and a Neptune in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Hébrard, G.; Lovis, C.; Moutou, C.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2013-03-01

    The vast diversity of planetary systems detected to date is defying our capability of understanding their formation and evolution. Well-defined volume-limited surveys are the best tool at our disposal to tackle the problem, via the acquisition of robust statistics of the orbital elements. We are using the HARPS spectrograph to conduct our survey of ≈850 nearby solar-type stars, and in the course of the past nine years we have monitored the radial velocity of HD 103774, HD 109271, and BD-061339. In this work we present the detection of five planets orbiting these stars, with msin (i) between 0.6 and 7 Neptune masses, four of which are in two multiple systems, comprising one super-Earth and one planet within the habitable zone of a late-type dwarf. Although for strategic reasons we chose efficiency over precision in this survey, we have the capability to detect planets down to the Neptune and super-Earth mass range as well as multiple systems, provided that enough data points are made available. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla (Chile), under the GTO program ID 072.C-0488 and the regular programs: 085.C-0019, 087.C-0831 and 089.C-0732. RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A59

  2. Domotics in existing houses for elderly people. Evaluation of the project Lidwinahof. People, Planet, Profit; Domotica in bestaande seniorenwoningen. Evaluatie project Lidwinahof. People, Planet, Profit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schouw, J.; Corpeleijn, M.; Poiesz, E. [CEA, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

    2003-08-01

    Domotics is applied in 49 houses for elderly people of the building complex Lidwinahof in Best, Netherlands. The domotics application concerns the functions safety (burglary, control of access, fire), care (emergency call, measurement of activity) and comfort (lighting). Among all residents an evaluation has been carried out from the perspective of sustainable development. A precondition for sustainable development is a balance between social, ecological and economical benefits (People, Planet and Profit). Results before and after the application of domotics are compared. [Dutch] De afgelopen jaren hebben diverse woningcorporaties een pilot-project met domotica uitgevoerd, met name met toepassingen op het gebied van wonen en zorg. Domein (woningcorporatie in Eindhoven, Best en Son en Breugel) was in het voorjaar van 2002 de eerste woningcorporatie die domotica heeft toegepast in de bestaande bouw (49 seniorenwoningen van het complex Lidwinahof in Best). Het systeem bevatte de functies veiligheid (inbraak, toegangscontrole, brand), zorg (noodoproep, activiteitsmeting) en comfort (verlichting). Onder alle bewoners is een evaluatie uitgevoerd vanuit het perspectief van duurzame ontwikkeling. Voorwaarde voor duurzame ontwikkeling is een balans tussen sociale, ecologische en economische opbrengsten (People, Planet en Profit). De resultaten op deze drie gebieden voor en na toepassing van domotica zijn vergeleken.

  3. Planetary Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, James F.

    1997-01-01

    This grant was entitled 'Planetary Habitability' and the work performed under it related to elucidating the conditions that lead to habitable, i.e. Earth-like, planets. Below are listed publications for the past two and a half years that came out of this work. The main thrusts of the research involved: (1) showing under what conditions atmospheric O2 and O3 can be considered as evidence for life on a planet's surface; (2) determining whether CH4 may have played a role in warming early Mars; (3) studying the effect of varying UV levels on Earth-like planets around different types of stars to see whether this would pose a threat to habitability; and (4) studying the effect of chaotic obliquity variations on planetary climates and determining whether planets that experienced such variations might still be habitable. Several of these topics involve ongoing research that has been carried out under a new grant number, but which continues to be funded by NASA's Exobiology program.

  4. Response of atmospheric biomarkers to NO(x)-induced photochemistry generated by stellar cosmic rays for earth-like planets in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenfell, John Lee; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A Beate C; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-12-01

    Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N(2)), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O(3)). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NO(x) production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O(3) formation proceeds via the reaction O+O(2)+M→O(3)+M. At high NO(x) abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO(2) photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O(2)). For the flaring case, O(3) is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O(3)→NO(2)+O(2), and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O(3), Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O(2), N(2), and CO(2)) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O(3) survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong

  5. Response of Atmospheric Biomarkers to NOx-Induced Photochemistry Generated by Stellar Cosmic Rays for Earth-like Planets in the Habitable Zone of M Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A. Beate C.; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N2), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O3). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NOx production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O3 formation proceeds via the reaction O+O2+M→O3+M. At high NOx abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO2 photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O2). For the flaring case, O3 is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O3→NO2+O2, and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O3, Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O2, N2, and CO2) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O3 survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong case, whereas the biomarker

  6. THE PTF ORION PROJECT: A POSSIBLE PLANET TRANSITING A T-TAURI STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ciardi, David R.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Plavchan, Peter; Akeson, Rachel L.; Beichman, Charles A.; Gelino, Dawn M. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, 770 South Wilson Avenue, M/S 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Brown, Timothy M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Crepp, Justin R. [Cahill Center for Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Howell, Steve B. [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Szkody, Paula [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Boden, Andrew F. [Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hoard, D. W., E-mail: vaneyken@ipac.caltech.edu [Spitzer Science Center, M/S 220-6, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); and others

    2012-08-10

    We report observations of a possible young transiting planet orbiting a previously known weak-lined T-Tauri star in the 7-10 Myr old Orion-OB1a/25-Ori region. The candidate was found as part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) Orion project. It has a photometric transit period of 0.448413 {+-} 0.000040 days, and appears in both 2009 and 2010 PTF data. Follow-up low-precision radial velocity (RV) observations and adaptive optics imaging suggest that the star is not an eclipsing binary, and that it is unlikely that a background source is blended with the target and mimicking the observed transit. RV observations with the Hobby-Eberly and Keck telescopes yield an RV that has the same period as the photometric event, but is offset in phase from the transit center by Almost-Equal-To - 0.22 periods. The amplitude (half range) of the RV variations is 2.4 km s{sup -1} and is comparable with the expected RV amplitude that stellar spots could induce. The RV curve is likely dominated by stellar spot modulation and provides an upper limit to the projected companion mass of M{sub p}sin i{sub orb} {approx}< 4.8 {+-} 1.2 M{sub Jup}; when combined with the orbital inclination, i{sub orb}, of the candidate planet from modeling of the transit light curve, we find an upper limit on the mass of the planetary candidate of M{sub p} {approx}< 5.5 {+-} 1.4 M{sub Jup}. This limit implies that the planet is orbiting close to, if not inside, its Roche limiting orbital radius, so that it may be undergoing active mass loss and evaporation.

  7. THE PTF ORION PROJECT: A POSSIBLE PLANET TRANSITING A T-TAURI STAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ciardi, David R.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Plavchan, Peter; Akeson, Rachel L.; Beichman, Charles A.; Gelino, Dawn M.; Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Brown, Timothy M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Crepp, Justin R.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howell, Steve B.; Szkody, Paula; Boden, Andrew F.; Hoard, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    We report observations of a possible young transiting planet orbiting a previously known weak-lined T-Tauri star in the 7-10 Myr old Orion-OB1a/25-Ori region. The candidate was found as part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) Orion project. It has a photometric transit period of 0.448413 ± 0.000040 days, and appears in both 2009 and 2010 PTF data. Follow-up low-precision radial velocity (RV) observations and adaptive optics imaging suggest that the star is not an eclipsing binary, and that it is unlikely that a background source is blended with the target and mimicking the observed transit. RV observations with the Hobby-Eberly and Keck telescopes yield an RV that has the same period as the photometric event, but is offset in phase from the transit center by ≈ – 0.22 periods. The amplitude (half range) of the RV variations is 2.4 km s –1 and is comparable with the expected RV amplitude that stellar spots could induce. The RV curve is likely dominated by stellar spot modulation and provides an upper limit to the projected companion mass of M p sin i orb ∼ Jup ; when combined with the orbital inclination, i orb , of the candidate planet from modeling of the transit light curve, we find an upper limit on the mass of the planetary candidate of M p ∼ Jup . This limit implies that the planet is orbiting close to, if not inside, its Roche limiting orbital radius, so that it may be undergoing active mass loss and evaporation.

  8. The First Brown Dwarf Discovered by the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchner, Marc J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Schneider, Adam C.; Meisner, Aaron M.; Filippazzo, Joseph C.; Gagne, Jonathan; Trouille, Laura; Silverberg, Steven M.; Castro, Rosa; Fletcher, Bob; hide

    2017-01-01

    The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a powerful tool for finding nearby brown dwarfs and searching for new planets in the outer solar system, especially with the incorporation of NEOWISE and NEOWISE Reactivation data. However, so far, searches for brown dwarfs in WISE data have yet to take advantage of the full depth of the WISE images. To efficiently search this unexplored space via visual inspection, we have launched anew citizen science project, called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9," which asks volunteers to examine short animations composed of difference images constructed from time-resolved WISE co adds. We report the first new substellar object discovered by this project, WISEA J110125.95+540052.8, a T5.5 brown dwarf located approximately 34 pc from the Sun with a total proper motion of approx.0. "7/ yr. WISEA J110125.95+540052.8 has a WISE W2 magnitude of W2 = 15.37+/- 0.09; our sensitivity to this source demonstrates the ability of citizen scientists to identify moving objects via visual inspection that are 0.9 mag fainter than the W2 single-exposure sensitivity, a threshold that has limited prior motion-based brown dwarf searches with WISE.

  9. Effect of dietary habits on the risk of metabolic syndrome: Yazd Healthy Heart Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarebanhassanabadi, Mohammadtaghi; Mirhosseini, Seyed Jalil; Mirzaei, Masoud; Namayandeh, Seyedeh Mahdieh; Soltani, Mohammad Hossein; Pakseresht, Mohammadreza; Pedarzadeh, Ali; Baramesipour, Zahra; Faraji, Reza; Salehi-Abargouei, Amin

    2018-04-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) refers to a group of risk factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Dietary habits are among the most important risk factors for MetS. The current study aimed at assessing the effect of dietary habits on the risk of MetS in a 10-year follow-up study in central Iran. Cohort study. Yazd, Iran. Participants aged 20-74 years without any history of MetS, who were originally recruited for Yazd Healthy Heart Project (YHHP) during 2005-2006, were revisited during 2015-2016. At phase I of YHHP, demographic data, anthropometric measurements, five components of MetS, biochemical tests and dietary habits were evaluated; and the same data were collected in phase II. A total of 1092 participants were eligible to be included in the present study. After follow-up, the 10-year cumulative incidence of MetS was 56·1 %. After adjustment for potential confounders, increased risk of MetS (hazard ratio; 95 % CI) was found in those who did not try to control their body weight (1·57; 1·06, 2·35), did not usually eat salad (1·91; 1·22, 3·00) and added salt to their food (1·57, 1·06, 2·33). These associations were stronger in men than in the total population after subgroup analysis, but were not present in women. Dietary habits affect the risk of MetS in the Iranian population. Lifestyle interventions are needed to improve dietary habits to reduce the risk of MetS. Future studies are highly recommended to confirm our results in other populations.

  10. Habitable Trinity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Dohm

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Habitable Trinity is a newly proposed concept of a habitable environment. This concept indicates that the coexistence of an atmosphere (consisting largely of C and N, an ocean (H and O, and a landmass (supplier of nutrients accompanying continuous material circulation between these three components driven by the Sun is one of the minimum requirements for life to emerge and evolve. The life body consists of C, O, H, N and other various nutrients, and therefore, the presence of water, only, is not a sufficient condition. Habitable Trinity environment must be maintained to supply necessary components for life body. Our Habitable Trinity concept can also be applied to other planets and moons such as Mars, Europa, Titan, and even exoplanets as a useful index in the quest for life-containing planetary bodies.

  11. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, C.; Fischer, D.; Smith, A. M.; Boyajian, T. S.; Brewer, J. M.; Giguere, M. J.; Lynn, S.; Parrish, M.; Schawinski, K.; Schmitt, J.; Simpson, R.; Wang, J.

    2014-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org), part of the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) collection of online citizen science projects, uses the World Wide Web to enlist the general public to identify transits in the pubic Kepler light curves. Planet Hunters utilizes human pattern recognition to identify planet transits that may be missed by automated detection algorithms looking for periodic events. Referred to as ‘crowdsourcing’ or ‘citizen science’, the combined assessment of many non-expert human classifiers with minimal training can often equal or best that of a trained expert and in many cases outperform the best machine-learning algorithm. Visitors to the Planet Hunters' website are presented with a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment from one of Kepler’s ~160,000 target stars and are asked to draw boxes to mark the locations of visible transits in the web interface. 5-10 classifiers review each 30-day light curve segment. Since December 2010, more than 260,000 volunteers world wide have participated, contributing over 20 million classifications. We have demonstrated the success of a citizen science approach with the project’s more than 20 planet candidates, the discovery of PH1b, a transiting circumbinary planet in a quadruple star system, and the discovery of PH2-b, a confirmed Jupiter-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. I will provide an overview of Planet Hunters, highlighting several of project's most recent exoplanet and astrophysical discoveries. Acknowledgements: MES was supported in part by a NSF AAPF under award AST-1003258 and a American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant. We acknowledge support from NASA ADAP12-0172 grant to PI Fischer.

  12. Determining Factors and Critical Periods in the Formation of Eating Habits: Results from the Habeat Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issanchou, Sylvie

    2017-01-01

    Eating habits form early during childhood and are likely to track until the beginning of adulthood. Thus, understanding the formation of eating habits is important. Consequently, the population targeted in the European project Habeat comprised infants and young children up to 6 years of age. Habeat mainly focused on the qualitative dimension of eating habits with a particular attention on vegetables and to a lesser extent on fruit. Food intake of young children was also studied in 2 challenging situations where overeating may occur and the relation between children's behaviour and feeding parental practices was examined. Key Messages: Habeat found evidence that breastfeeding may facilitate the consumption of vegetables and fruit and a greater variety of healthy foods in later childhood. Introduction of a variety of vegetables at the beginning of the complementary feeding period increases later acceptance of novel foods. Repeated exposure is a powerful mechanism to increase children's intake of a novel vegetable in infants and young children. Offering energy-dense snacks before or after meals should be avoided. Moreover, food should be offered to children in response to their feelings of hunger, and not used as reward for a good behaviour or for any other reason. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. The Kepler Mission: A Mission to Determine the Frequency of Inner Planets Near the Habitable Zone of a Wide Range of Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.; Dunham, E. W.; Jenkins, J. M.

    1997-01-01

    The surprising discovery of giant planets in inner orbits around solar-like stars has brought into question our understanding of the development and evolution of planetary systems, including our solar system. To make further progress, it is critical to detect and obtain data on the frequency and characteristics of Earth-class planets. The Kepler Mission is designed to be a quick, low-cost approach to accomplish that objective. Transits by Earth-class planets produce a fractional change. in stellar brightness of 5 x 10(exp -5) to 40 x 10(exp -5) lasting for 4 to 16 hours. From the period and depth of the transits, the orbit and size of the planets can be calculated. The proposed instrument is a one-meter aperture photometer with a 12 deg. field-of-view (FOV). To obtain the required precision and to avoid interruptions caused by day-night and seasonal cycles, the photometer will be launched into a heliocentric orbit. It will continuously and simultaneously monitor the flux from 80,000 dwarf stars brighter than 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation. The mission tests the hypothesis that the formation of most stars produces Earth-class planets in inner orbits. Based on this assumption and the recent observations that 2% of the stars have giant planets in inner orbits, several types of results are expected from the mission: 1. From transits of Earth-class planets, about 480 planet detections and 60 cases where two or more planets are found in the same system. 2. From transits of giant planets, about 160 detections of inner-orbit planets and 24 detections of outer-orbit planets. 3. From the phase modulation of the reflected light from giant planets, about 1400 planet detections with periods less than a week, albedos for 160 of these giant planets, and densities for seven planets.

  14. The Kepler Mission: A Mission to Determine the Frequency of Inner Planets Neat the Habitable Zone of a Wide Range of Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.; Dunham, E. W.; Jenkins, J. M.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    The surprising discovery of giant planets in inner orbits around solar-like stars has brought into question our understanding of the development and evolution of planetary systems, including our solar system. To make further progress, it is critical to detect and obtain data on the frequency and characteristics of Earth-class planets. The Kepler Mission is designed to be a quick, low-cost approach to accomplish that objective. Transits by Earth-class planets produce a fractional change in stellar brightness of 5 x 10(exp -5) to 40 x 10(exp -5) lasting for 4 to 16 hours, From the period and depth of the transits, the orbit and size of the planets can be calculated. The proposed instrument is a one-meter aperture photometer with a 12 deg field-of-view (FOV). To obtain the required precision and to avoid interruptions caused by day-night and seasonal cycles, the photometer will be launched into a heliocentric orbit. It will continuously and simultaneously monitor the flux from 80,000 dwarf stars brighter than 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation. The mission tests the hypothesis that the formation of most stars produces Earth-class planets in inner orbits. Based on this assumption and the recent observations that 2% of the stars have giant planets in inner orbits, several types of results are expected from the mission: 1. From transits of Earth-class planets, about 480 planet detections and 60 cases where two or more planets are found in the same system. 2. From transits of giant planets, about 160 detections of inner-orbit planets and 24 detections of outer-orbit planets. 3. From the phase modulation of the reflected light from giant planets, about 1400 planet detections with periods less than a week, albedos for 160 of these giant planets, and densities for seven planets.

  15. DYNAMICAL ACCRETION OF PRIMORDIAL ATMOSPHERES AROUND PLANETS WITH MASSES BETWEEN 0.1 AND 5 M {sub ⊕} IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stökl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst A.; Johnstone, Colin P. [Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Lammer, Helmut, E-mail: alexander.stoekl@astro.univie.ac.at [Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstr. 6, A-8042, Graz (Austria)

    2016-07-10

    In the early, disk-embedded phase of evolution of terrestrial planets, a protoplanetary core can accumulate gas from the circumstellar disk into a planetary envelope. In order to relate the accumulation and structure of this primordial atmosphere to the thermal evolution of the planetary core, we calculated atmosphere models characterized by the surface temperature of the core. We considered cores with masses between 0.1 and 5 M {sub ⊕} situated in the habitable zone around a solar-like star. The time-dependent simulations in 1D-spherical symmetry include the hydrodynamics equations, gray radiative transport, and convective energy transport. Using an implicit time integration scheme, we can use large time steps and and thus efficiently cover evolutionary timescales. Our results show that planetary atmospheres, when considered with reference to a fixed core temperature, are not necessarily stable, and multiple solutions may exist for one core temperature. As the structure and properties of nebula-embedded planetary atmospheres are an inherently time-dependent problem, we calculated estimates for the amount of primordial atmosphere by simulating the accretion process of disk gas onto planetary cores and the subsequent evolution of the embedded atmospheres. The temperature of the planetary core is thereby determined from the computation of the internal energy budget of the core. For cores more massive than about one Earth mass, we obtain that a comparatively short duration of the disk-embedded phase (∼10{sup 5} years) is sufficient for the accumulation of significant amounts of hydrogen atmosphere that are unlikely to be removed by later atmospheric escape processes.

  16. Habitability and the Multiverse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandora, M. E.

    2017-11-01

    Are the laws of physics set to maximize the habitability of the universe? We study how plate tectonics, core and mantle composition, homochirality, photosynthesis, and planet size depend on physics, and make predictions for where life will be found.

  17. A Versatile Technique to Enable Sub-milli-Kelvin Instrument Stability for Precise Radial Velocity Measurements: Tests with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefansson, Gudmundur; Hearty, Frederick; Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Anderson, Tyler; Levi, Eric; Bender, Chad; Nelson, Matthew; Monson, Andrew; Blank, Basil; Halverson, Samuel; Henderson, Chuck; Ramsey, Lawrence; Roy, Arpita; Schwab, Christian; Terrien, Ryan

    2016-12-01

    Insufficient instrument thermomechanical stability is one of the many roadblocks for achieving 10 cm s-1 Doppler radial velocity precision, the precision needed to detect Earth-twins orbiting solar-type stars. Highly temperature and pressure stabilized spectrographs allow us to better calibrate out instrumental drifts, thereby helping in distinguishing instrumental noise from astrophysical stellar signals. We present the design and performance of the Environmental Control System (ECS) for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF), a high-resolution (R = 50,000) fiber-fed near-infrared (NIR) spectrograph for the 10 {{m}} Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory. HPF will operate at 180 {{K}}, driven by the choice of an H2RG NIR detector array with a 1.7 μ {{m}} cutoff. This ECS has demonstrated 0.6 {mK} rms stability over 15 days at both 180 and 300 {{K}}, and maintained high-quality vacuum (\\lt {10}-7 {Torr}) over months, during long-term stability tests conducted without a planned passive thermal enclosure surrounding the vacuum chamber. This control scheme is versatile and can be applied as a blueprint to stabilize future NIR and optical high-precision Doppler instruments over a wide temperature range from ˜77 {{K}} to elevated room temperatures. A similar ECS is being implemented to stabilize NEID, the NASA/NSF NN-EXPLORE spectrograph for the 3.5 {{m}} WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak, operating at 300 {{K}}. A [full SolidWorks 3D-CAD model] and a comprehensive parts list of the HPF ECS are included with this manuscript to facilitate the adaptation of this versatile environmental control scheme in the broader astronomical community. Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this paper in order to specify the experimental procedure adequately. Such identification is not intended to imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor is it intended to imply that the materials or equipment

  18. ``Planetário e Teatro Digital Johannes Kepler'' and its Institutional Pedagogical Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, R. Z.; Calil, M. R.; Perez, E. R.; Kanashiro, M.; Silva, L. C. P.; Calipo, F.

    2014-10-01

    This work relates the reception of schools, started on August 2012, in the astronomic laboratory of the "Planetário e Teatro Digital Johannes Kepler", located in the "Sabina - Escola Parque do Conhecimento" in Santo André, São Paulo. The idealization of this project, authorship of Marcos Calil, PhD, consists in four apprenticeship environments disposed around the planetary dome. They make reference to the System Sun - Earth - Moon (Tellurium), Solar System, Astronautic and Stars. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the astronomic laboratory is used by Santo André municipal schools for focused lessons, being possible on Thursdays scheduling for private and public schools. On weekends and holidays is opened for the visitors. Since the inauguration to the beginning of activities with students, the monitor team was guided and trained on contents of Astronomy and Aeronautic to execute the schools service. This is done in four stages, which are: reception, course trough the astronomic laboratory, dome session and activities closure. During the reception the acquaintance rules are passed on for a better visit. Before starting the course the monitors do a survey about the previous knowledge of the students. On the astronomic laboratory resources of the environment are used to explain the contents of Astronomy and Astronautic, always considering the age group and the curriculum developed in classroom. After the course the students watch a planetary session supporting the contents seen on the astronomic laboratory. At the end a feedback is done with the students about the subject discussed. During the visit the teachers fulfill an evaluation about the place and the service. From August 2012 to November 2012 were attended between municipal, public and private schools. From the 4932 students attended, 92% belonged to the municipal network, 5% to the private network and 3% to the public network. From the 189 evaluations done by the teachers, 97.8% were satisfied, 2.1% partially

  19. The Earth Microbiome Project and modeling the planets microbial potential (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The understanding of Earth's climate and ecology requires multiscale observations of the biosphere, of which microbial life are a major component. However, to acquire and process physical samples of soil, water and air that comprise the appropriate spatial and temporal resolution to capture the immense variation in microbial dynamics, would require a herculean effort and immense financial resources dwarfing even the most ambitious projects to date. To overcome this hurdle we created the Earth Microbiome Project, a crowd-sourced effort to acquire physical samples from researchers around the world that are, importantly, contextualized with physical, chemical and biological data detailing the environmental properties of that sample in the location and time it was acquired. The EMP leverages these existing efforts to target a systematic analysis of microbial taxonomic and functional dynamics across a vast array of environmental parameter gradients. The EMP captures the environmental gradients, location, time and sampling protocol information about every sample donated by our valued collaborators. Physical samples are then processed using a standardized DNA extraction, PCR, and shotgun sequencing protocol to generate comparable data regarding the microbial community structure and function in each sample. To date we have processed >17,000 samples from 40 different biomes. One of the key goals of the EMP is to map the spatiotemporal variability of microbial communities to capture the changes in important functional processes that need to be appropriately expressed in models to provide reliable forecasts of ecosystem phenotype across our changing planet. This is essential if we are to develop economically sound strategies to be good stewards of our Earth. The EMP recognizes that environments are comprised of complex sets of interdependent parameters and that the development of useful predictive computational models of both terrestrial and atmospheric systems requires

  20. Planets in Binary Star Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets over the past decade has had major impacts on our understanding of the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. There are features and characteristics unseen in our solar system and unexplainable by the current theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these new surprises is the discovery of planets in binary and multiple-star systems. The discovery of such "binary-planetary" systems has confronted astrodynamicists with many new challenges, and has led them to re-examine the theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these challenges are: How are planets formed in binary star systems? What would be the notion of habitability in such systems? Under what conditions can binary star systems have habitable planets? How will volatiles necessary for life appear on such planets? This volume seeks to gather the current research in the area of planets in binary and multistar systems and to familiarize readers with its associated theoretical and observation...

  1. Habitable worlds with no signs of life

    OpenAIRE

    Cockell, Charles S.

    2014-01-01

    ‘Most habitable worlds in the cosmos will have no remotely detectable signs of life’ is proposed as a biological hypothesis to be tested in the study of exoplanets. Habitable planets could be discovered elsewhere in the Universe, yet there are many hypothetical scenarios whereby the search for life on them could yield negative results. Scenarios for habitable worlds with no remotely detectable signatures of life include: planets that are habitable, but have no biosphere (Uninhabited Habitable...

  2. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borucki...[], William J.; Koch, David; Buchhave, Lars C. Astrup

    2010-01-01

    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet’s surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler...... is one of the lowest-density planets (~0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets....

  3. Effectiveness of Implementing Initial Education Strategies to Promote Awareness and Healthy Habits in Childhood Obesity: A Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jester, Anastacia; Kreider, Kathryn Evans; Ochberg, Richard; Meek, Judith

    Rising incidence and prevalence of childhood obesity and related costly health consequences suggest the need for an effective training tool at the primary care level. Evidence-based studies show how a healthy diet and physical activity help reduce the incidence of obesity. The objective for this quality improvement project was to evaluate the effectiveness of an evidence-based educational tool in improving healthy eating and physical activity habits among overweight and obese children in a primary care setting over 3 months. There was a positive statistically significant change in behavior in eating more fruits and vegetables and decreased intake of sugary drinks and sedentary habits (p healthy lifestyle changes with regard to nutrition and physical activity, pediatric patients adopted better diet and physical activity habits. However, there was little effect on reducing body mass index in a 3-month timeframe. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Kepler-22b: a 2.4 Earth-radius Planet in the Habitable Zone of a Sun-like Star

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borucki, W.J.; Koch, D.G.; Batalha, N.; Bryson, S.T.; Rowe, J.; Fressin, F.; Torres, G.; Caldwell, D.A.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Cochran, W.D.; DeVore, E.; Gautier, T.N.; Geary, J.C.; Gilliland, R.; Gould, A.; Howell, S.B.; Jenkins, J.M.; Latham, D.W.; Lissauer, J.J.; Marcy, G.W.; Sasselov, D.; Boss, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Ciardi, D.; Kaltenegger, L.; Doyle, L.; Dupree, A.K.; Ford, E.B.; Fortney, J.; Holman, M.J.; Steffen, J.H.; Mullally, F.; Still, M.; Tarter, J.; Ballard, S.; Buchhave, L.A.; Carter, J.; Christiansen, J.L.; Demory, B.O.; Désert, J.M.; Dressing, C.; Endl, M.; Fabrycky, D.; Fischer, D.; Haas, M.R.; Henze, C.; Horch, E.; Howard, A.W.; Isaacson, H.; Kjeldsen, H.; Johnson, J.A.; Klaus, T.; Kolodziejczak, J.; Barclay, T.; Li, J.; Meibom, S.; Prsa, A.; Quinn, S.N.; Quintana, E.V.; Robertson, P.; Sherry, W.; Shporer, A.; Tenenbaum, P.; Thompson, S.E.; Twicken, J.D.; Van Cleve, J.; Welsh, W.F.; Basu, S.; Chaplin, W.; Miglio, A.; Kawaler, S.D.; Arentoft, T.; Stello, D.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Verner, G.A.; Karoff, C.; Lundkvist, M.; Lund, M.N.; Handberg, R.; Elsworth, Y.; Hekker, S.; Huber, D.; Bedding, T.R.; Rapin, W.

    2012-01-01

    A search of the time-series photometry from NASA's Kepler spacecraft reveals a transiting planet candidate orbiting the 11th magnitude G5 dwarf KIC 10593626 with a period of 290 days. The characteristics of the host star are well constrained by high-resolution spectroscopy combined with an

  5. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batalha, N.M.; Borucki, W.J.; Bryson, S.T.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were...... tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright...

  6. Tides and the evolution of planetary habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory; Raymond, Sean N; Jackson, Brian; Greenberg, Richard

    2008-06-01

    Tides raised on a planet by the gravity of its host star can reduce the planet's orbital semi-major axis and eccentricity. This effect is only relevant for planets orbiting very close to their host stars. The habitable zones of low-mass stars are also close in, and tides can alter the orbits of planets in these locations. We calculate the tidal evolution of hypothetical terrestrial planets around low-mass stars and show that tides can evolve planets past the inner edge of the habitable zone, sometimes in less than 1 billion years. This migration requires large eccentricities (>0.5) and low-mass stars ( less or similar to 0.35 M(circle)). Such migration may have important implications for the evolution of the atmosphere, internal heating, and the Gaia hypothesis. Similarly, a planet that is detected interior to the habitable zone could have been habitable in the past. We consider the past habitability of the recently discovered, approximately 5 M(circle) planet, Gliese 581 c. We find that it could have been habitable for reasonable choices of orbital and physical properties as recently as 2 Gyr ago. However, when constraints derived from the additional companions are included, most parameter choices that indicate past habitability require the two inner planets of the system to have crossed their mutual 3:1 mean motion resonance. As this crossing would likely have resulted in resonance capture, which is not observed, we conclude that Gl 581 c was probably never habitable.

  7. The Supergalactic Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Paul

    2018-01-01

    Habitability in the local universe is examined. Constrained by metal abundance and exposure to sterilizing events, life as we know it requires significantly long periods of stable environmental conditions. Planets within galaxies undergoing major mergers, active AGN, starburst episodes, and merging black holes pose serious threats to long-term habitability. Importantly, the development of several layers of protection from high-energy particles such as a thick atmosphere, a strong planetary magnetic field, an astrosphere, and a galactic magnetic field is of great benefit. Factors such as star type and activity, planet type and composition, the location of a planet within its host galaxy, and even the location within a supercluster of galaxies can affect the potential habitability of planets. We discuss the concept of the Supergalactic Habitable Zone introduced by Mason and Biermann in terms of habitability in the local universe and find that galaxies near the center of the Virgo cluster, for example, have a much lower probability for the development of life as we know it as compared to locations in the Milky Way.

  8. Habitability: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C S; Bush, T; Bryce, C; Direito, S; Fox-Powell, M; Harrison, J P; Lammer, H; Landenmark, H; Martin-Torres, J; Nicholson, N; Noack, L; O'Malley-James, J; Payler, S J; Rushby, A; Samuels, T; Schwendner, P; Wadsworth, J; Zorzano, M P

    2016-01-01

    Habitability is a widely used word in the geoscience, planetary science, and astrobiology literature, but what does it mean? In this review on habitability, we define it as the ability of an environment to support the activity of at least one known organism. We adopt a binary definition of "habitability" and a "habitable environment." An environment either can or cannot sustain a given organism. However, environments such as entire planets might be capable of supporting more or less species diversity or biomass compared with that of Earth. A clarity in understanding habitability can be obtained by defining instantaneous habitability as the conditions at any given time in a given environment required to sustain the activity of at least one known organism, and continuous planetary habitability as the capacity of a planetary body to sustain habitable conditions on some areas of its surface or within its interior over geological timescales. We also distinguish between surface liquid water worlds (such as Earth) that can sustain liquid water on their surfaces and interior liquid water worlds, such as icy moons and terrestrial-type rocky planets with liquid water only in their interiors. This distinction is important since, while the former can potentially sustain habitable conditions for oxygenic photosynthesis that leads to the rise of atmospheric oxygen and potentially complex multicellularity and intelligence over geological timescales, the latter are unlikely to. Habitable environments do not need to contain life. Although the decoupling of habitability and the presence of life may be rare on Earth, it may be important for understanding the habitability of other planetary bodies.

  9. From Pixels to Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Its telescope consists of a 1.5-m primary mirror and a 0.95-m aperture. The 42 charge-coupled devices in its focal plane are read out every half hour, compressed, and then downlinked monthly. After four years, the second of four reaction wheels failed, ending the original mission. Back on earth, the Science Operations Center developed the Science Pipeline to analyze about 200,000 target stars in Keplers field of view, looking for evidence of periodic dimming suggesting that one or more planets had crossed the face of its host star. The Pipeline comprises several steps, from pixel-level calibration, through noise and artifact removal, to detection of transit-like signals and the construction of a suite of diagnostic tests to guard against false positives. The Kepler Science Pipeline consists of a pipeline infrastructure written in the Java programming language, which marshals data input to and output from MATLAB applications that are executed as external processes. The pipeline modules, which underwent continuous development and refinement even after data started arriving, employ several analytic techniques, many developed for the Kepler Project. Because of the large number of targets, the large amount of data per target and the complexity of the pipeline algorithms, the processing demands are daunting. Some pipeline modules require days to weeks to process all of their targets, even when run on NASA's 128-node Pleiades supercomputer. The software developers are still seeking ways to increase the throughput. To date, the Kepler project has discovered more than 4000 planetary candidates, of which more than 1000 have been independently confirmed or validated to be exoplanets. Funding for this mission is provided by NASAs Science Mission Directorate.

  10. [ANDALIES project: consumption, offer and promotion of healthy eating habits within secondary schools in Andalusia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Rodríguez, Angustias; García Padilla, Francisca M; Martos Cerezuela, Ildefonso; Silvano Arranz, Agustina; Fernández Lao, Isabel

    2015-04-01

    The school context stands out as one of the factors influencing the food practices of adolescents. Food consumption during the school day, the cafeterias' supply and the promotional activities proposed by the centers are objects of increasing attention to community health services. To describe students' eating habits during the school day; to analyze the food on offer by the cafeterias and surrounding establishments; and to assess whether secondary schools are suitable environments for the promotion of healthy eating habits. Cross-sectional study during 2010-2012 courses. Sampling units: public secondary schools (95) and students (8.068). Multistage cluster sampling: random and stratified selection by province and habitat size. Selection of students: systematic sampling of classrooms. 77.5% of students have breakfast at home: cereals and a dairy product (40.9%) or a liquid (29.2%); 70.3% eat something at school and most of them choose a cold meat sandwich. Fruit consumption is infrequent (2.5%) while packed juices are very common (63.3%). 75% eat sweets, the figure increasing significantly in schools with cafeterias. Cafeterias offer a large number of non-recommended products: soft drinks (97,3%), cold meats (91,8%), sweets and chips (89%). Lack of control of the products on offer is common (68.42%); only 28.4% of the managers know the law. 72.5% of the centers undertake isolated activities for the promotion of healthy eating habits. 71.5% of the centers are surrounded by shops that supply the students. Low protection of students' food health is evident, resulting from: students' nutritional deficits, the low quality of the food offered by the cafeterias and the lack of activities to encourage healthy habits. For which reason, educational, health and local administrations must accept shared responsibility on this subject. Copyright AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2014. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.

  11. The habitable zone and extreme planetary orbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Stephen R; Gelino, Dawn M

    2012-10-01

    The habitable zone for a given star describes the range of circumstellar distances from the star within which a planet could have liquid water on its surface, which depends upon the stellar properties. Here we describe the development of the habitable zone concept, its application to our own solar system, and its subsequent application to exoplanetary systems. We further apply this to planets in extreme eccentric orbits and show how they may still retain life-bearing properties depending upon the percentage of the total orbit which is spent within the habitable zone. Key Words: Extrasolar planets-Habitable zone-Astrobiology.

  12. The TROY project: Searching for co-orbital bodies to known planets. I. Project goals and first results from archival radial velocity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillo-Box, J.; Barrado, D.; Figueira, P.; Leleu, A.; Santos, N. C.; Correia, A. C. M.; Robutel, P.; Faria, J. P.

    2018-01-01

    Context. The detection of Earth-like planets, exocomets or Kuiper belts show that the different components found in the solar system should also be present in other planetary systems. Trojans are one of these components and can be considered fossils of the first stages in the life of planetary systems. Their detection in extrasolar systems would open a new scientific window to investigate formation and migration processes. Aims: In this context, the main goal of the TROY project is to detect exotrojans for the first time and to measure their occurrence rate (η-Trojan). In this first paper, we describe the goals and methodology of the project. Additionally, we used archival radial velocity data of 46 planetary systems to place upper limits on the mass of possible trojans and investigate the presence of co-orbital planets down to several tens of Earth masses. Methods: We used archival radial velocity data of 46 close-in (P 1σ evidence for a mass imbalance between L4 and L5. Two of these systems provide >2σ detection, but no significant detection is found among our sample. We also report upper limits to the masses at L4/L5 in all studied systems and discuss the results in the context of previous findings. Radial velocity data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/609/A96

  13. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnes, Rory; Meadows, Victoria S.; Evans, Nicole, E-mail: rory@astro.washington.edu [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 951580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)

    2015-12-01

    Exoplanet habitability is traditionally assessed by comparing a planet’s semimajor axis to the location of its host star’s “habitable zone,” the shell around a star for which Earth-like planets can possess liquid surface water. The Kepler space telescope has discovered numerous planet candidates near the habitable zone, and many more are expected from missions such as K2, TESS, and PLATO. These candidates often require significant follow-up observations for validation, so prioritizing planets for habitability from transit data has become an important aspect of the search for life in the universe. We propose a method to compare transiting planets for their potential to support life based on transit data, stellar properties and previously reported limits on planetary emitted flux. For a planet in radiative equilibrium, the emitted flux increases with eccentricity, but decreases with albedo. As these parameters are often unconstrained, there is an “eccentricity-albedo degeneracy” for the habitability of transiting exoplanets. Our method mitigates this degeneracy, includes a penalty for large-radius planets, uses terrestrial mass–radius relationships, and, when available, constraints on eccentricity to compute a number we call the “habitability index for transiting exoplanets” that represents the relative probability that an exoplanet could support liquid surface water. We calculate it for Kepler objects of interest and find that planets that receive between 60% and 90% of the Earth’s incident radiation, assuming circular orbits, are most likely to be habitable. Finally, we make predictions for the upcoming TESS and James Webb Space Telescope missions.

  14. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnes, Rory; Meadows, Victoria S.; Evans, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanet habitability is traditionally assessed by comparing a planet’s semimajor axis to the location of its host star’s “habitable zone,” the shell around a star for which Earth-like planets can possess liquid surface water. The Kepler space telescope has discovered numerous planet candidates near the habitable zone, and many more are expected from missions such as K2, TESS, and PLATO. These candidates often require significant follow-up observations for validation, so prioritizing planets for habitability from transit data has become an important aspect of the search for life in the universe. We propose a method to compare transiting planets for their potential to support life based on transit data, stellar properties and previously reported limits on planetary emitted flux. For a planet in radiative equilibrium, the emitted flux increases with eccentricity, but decreases with albedo. As these parameters are often unconstrained, there is an “eccentricity-albedo degeneracy” for the habitability of transiting exoplanets. Our method mitigates this degeneracy, includes a penalty for large-radius planets, uses terrestrial mass–radius relationships, and, when available, constraints on eccentricity to compute a number we call the “habitability index for transiting exoplanets” that represents the relative probability that an exoplanet could support liquid surface water. We calculate it for Kepler objects of interest and find that planets that receive between 60% and 90% of the Earth’s incident radiation, assuming circular orbits, are most likely to be habitable. Finally, we make predictions for the upcoming TESS and James Webb Space Telescope missions

  15. Planet Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  16. Jupiter: as a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The planet Jupiter, its planetary mass and atmosphere, radio waves emitted from Jupiter, thermal radiation, internal structure of Jupiter, and the possibility of life on Jupiter are discussed. Educational study projects are included

  17. Jupiter and planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included

  18. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We have now confirmed the existence of > 1800 planets orbiting stars other thanthe Sun; known as extrasolar planets or exoplanets. The different methods for detectingsuch planets are sensitive to different regions of parameter space, and so, we are discoveringa wide diversity of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems. Characterizing such planets isdifficult, but we are starting to be able to determine something of their internal compositionand are beginning to be able to probe their atmospheres, the first step towards the detectionof bio-signatures and, hence, determining if a planet could be habitable or not. Here, Iwill review how we detect exoplanets, how we characterize exoplanetary systems and theexoplanets themselves, where we stand with respect to potentially habitable planets and howwe are progressing towards being able to actually determine if a planet could host life or not.

  19. THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, D. J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Tinney, C. G.; Bentley, J. S.; Zhao, Jinglin, E-mail: duncan.wright@unsw.edu.au [Department of Astronomy and Australian Centre for Astrobiology, School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052 (Australia)

    2016-02-01

    We use archival HARPS spectra to detect three planets orbiting the M3 dwarf Wolf 1061 (GJ 628). We detect a 1.36 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with an orbital period P = 4.888 days (Wolf 1061b), a 4.25 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 17.867 days (Wolf 1061c), and a likely 5.21 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 67.274 days (Wolf 1061d). All of the planets are of sufficiently low mass that they may be rocky in nature. The 17.867 day planet falls within the habitable zone for Wolf 1061 and the 67.274 day planet falls just outside the outer boundary of the habitable zone. There are no signs of activity observed in the bisector spans, cross-correlation FWHMs, calcium H and K indices, NaD indices, or Hα indices near the planetary periods. We use custom methods to generate a cross-correlation template tailored to the star. The resulting velocities do not suffer the strong annual variation observed in the HARPS DRS velocities. This differential technique should deliver better exploitation of the archival HARPS data for the detection of planets at extremely low amplitudes.

  20. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  1. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF SMALL PLANETS AROUND SMALL STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David

    2013-01-01

    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to the number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R ⊕ planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90 +0.04 -0.03 planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51 -0.05 +0.06 Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R ⊕ planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.

  2. Mapping the Habitable Zone of Exoplanets with a 2D Energy Balance Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Nicole Taylor; Dr. Lisa Kaltenegger, Dr. Ramses Ramirez

    2018-01-01

    Traditionally, the habitable zone has been defined as the distance at which liquid water could exist on the surface of a rocky planet. However, different complexity models (simplified and fast:1D, and complex and time-intense:3D) models derive different boundaries for the habitable zone. The goal of this project was to test a new intermediate complexity 2D Energy Balance model, add a new ice albedo feedback mechanism, and derive the habitable zone boundaries. After completing this first project, we also studied how other feedback mechanisms, such as the presence of clouds and the carbonate-silicate cycle, effected the location of the habitable zone boundaries using this 2D model. This project was completed as part of a 2017 summer REU program hosted by Cornell's Center for Astrophysics and Plantary Sciecne and in partnership with the Carl Sagan Institute.

  3. Atmospheric studies of habitability in the Gliese 581 system

    OpenAIRE

    von Paris, P.; Gebauer, S.; Godolt, M.; Rauer, H.; Stracke, B.

    2011-01-01

    The M-type star Gliese 581 is orbited by at least one terrestrial planet candidate in the habitable zone, i.e. GL 581 d. Orbital simulations have shown that additional planets inside the habitable zone of GL 581 would be dynamically stable. Recently, two further planet candidates have been claimed, one of them in the habitable zone. In view of the ongoing search for planets around M stars which is expected to result in numerous detections of potentially habitable Super-Earths, we take the GL ...

  4. Gaian bottlenecks and planetary habitability maintained by evolving model biospheres: the ExoGaia model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Arwen E.; Wilkinson, David M.; Williams, Hywel T. P.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2018-06-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets inspires the question - how do habitable planets form? Planet habitability models traditionally focus on abiotic processes and neglect a biotic response to changing conditions on an inhabited planet. The Gaia hypothesis postulates that life influences the Earth's feedback mechanisms to form a self-regulating system, and hence that life can maintain habitable conditions on its host planet. If life has a strong influence, it will have a role in determining a planet's habitability over time. We present the ExoGaia model - a model of simple `planets' host to evolving microbial biospheres. Microbes interact with their host planet via consumption and excretion of atmospheric chemicals. Model planets orbit a `star' that provides incoming radiation, and atmospheric chemicals have either an albedo or a heat-trapping property. Planetary temperatures can therefore be altered by microbes via their metabolisms. We seed multiple model planets with life while their atmospheres are still forming and find that the microbial biospheres are, under suitable conditions, generally able to prevent the host planets from reaching inhospitable temperatures, as would happen on a lifeless planet. We find that the underlying geochemistry plays a strong role in determining long-term habitability prospects of a planet. We find five distinct classes of model planets, including clear examples of `Gaian bottlenecks' - a phenomenon whereby life either rapidly goes extinct leaving an inhospitable planet or survives indefinitely maintaining planetary habitability. These results suggest that life might play a crucial role in determining the long-term habitability of planets.

  5. Effect of smoking habit on the frequency of micronuclei in human lymphocytes: results from the human micronucleus project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonassi, Stefano; Neri, M.; Lando, Cecilia

    2004-01-01

    Full text: The effect of tobacco smoking on the frequency of micronuclei (MN) in human lymphocytes has been the object of many population studies. In most reports, the results were unexpectedly negative, and in many instances smokers had lower frequencies of MN than non-smokers. A pooled re-analysis of 24 databases from the HUMN international collaborative project has been performed with the aim of understanding the impact of smoking habits on MN frequency. The complete database included 5710 subjects, with 3501 non-smokers, 1409 current smokers, and 800 former smokers, among subjects in occupational and environmental surveys. The overall result of the re-analysis confirmed the small decrease of MN frequencies in current smokers (frequency ratio (FR =0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI =0.93-1.01) and in former smokers (FR =0.96, 95% CI =0.91-1.01), when compared to non-smokers. MN frequency was not influenced by the number of cigarettes smoked per day among subjects occupationally exposed to genotoxic agents, whereas a typical U-shaped curve is observed for non-exposed smokers, showing a significant increase of MN frequency in individuals smoking 30 cigarettes or more per day (FR =1.59, 95% CI =1.35-1.88). This analysis confirmed that smokers do not experience an overall increase in MN frequency, although when the interaction with occupational exposure is taken into account, heavy smokers were the only group showing a significant increase in genotoxic damage as measured by the micronucleus assay in lymphocytes. From these results some general recommendations for the design of bio monitoring studies involving smokers can be formulated. Quantitative data about smoking habit should always be collected because, in the absence of such data, the simple comparison of smokers versus non-smokers could be misleading. The sub-group of heavy smokers (≥30 cigarettes per day) should be specifically evaluated whenever it is large enough to satisfy statistical requirements. The

  6. Information Presentation: Human Research Program - Space Human Factors and Habitability, Space Human Factors Engineering Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, Kristina L.; Sandor, Aniko; Thompson, Shelby G.; Kaiser, Mary K.; McCann, Robert S.; Begault, D. R.; Adelstein, B. D.; Beutter, B. R.; Wenzel, E. M.; Godfroy, M.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The goal of the Information Presentation Directed Research Project (DRP) is to address design questions related to the presentation of information to the crew. The major areas of work, or subtasks, within this DRP are: 1) Displays, 2) Controls, 3) Electronic Procedures and Fault Management, and 4) Human Performance Modeling. This DRP is a collaborative effort between researchers atJohnson Space Center and Ames Research Center. T

  7. Dynamical habitability of planetary systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, Rudolf; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Bois, Eric; Schwarz, Richard; Funk, Barbara; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Lammer, Helmut; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Frank; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The problem of the stability of planetary systems, a question that concerns only multiplanetary systems that host at least two planets, is discussed. The problem of mean motion resonances is addressed prior to discussion of the dynamical structure of the more than 350 known planets. The difference with regard to our own Solar System with eight planets on low eccentricity is evident in that 60% of the known extrasolar planets have orbits with eccentricity e > 0.2. We theoretically highlight the studies concerning possible terrestrial planets in systems with a Jupiter-like planet. We emphasize that an orbit of a particular nature only will keep a planet within the habitable zone around a host star with respect to the semimajor axis and its eccentricity. In addition, some results are given for individual systems (e.g., Gl777A) with regard to the stability of orbits within habitable zones. We also review what is known about the orbits of planets in double-star systems around only one component (e.g., gamma Cephei) and around both stars (e.g., eclipsing binaries).

  8. All for the Planet, the Planet for everyone!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drndarski, Marina

    2014-05-01

    The Eco-Musketeers are unique voluntary group of students. They have been established in Belgrade, in Primary school 'Drinka Pavlović'. Since the founding in year 2000, Eco-Musketeers have been involved in peer and citizens education guided by motto: All for the planet, the planet for all! Main goals of this group are spreading and popularization of environmental approach as well as gaining knowledge through collaborative projects and research. A great number of students from other schools in Serbia have joined Eco-Musketeers in observations aiming to better understand the problem of global climate change. In the past several years Eco-Musketeers have also participated in many national and international projects related to the active citizenship and rising the awareness of the importance of biodiversity and environment for sustainable development of society. In this presentation we will show some of the main activities, eco-performances and actions of our organization related to the environment, biodiversity, conservation and recycling, such as: spring cleaning the streets of Belgrade, cleaning the Sava and the Danube river banks, removing insect moth pupae in the area of Lipovica forest near Belgrade. Also, Eco-Musketeers worked on education of employees of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia about energy efficiency. All the time, we have working on raising public awareness of the harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment, too. In order to draw attention on rare and endangered species in Serbia and around the globe, there were several performing street-plays about biodiversity and also the plays about the water ecological footprint. Eco-Musketeers also participated in international projects Greenwave-signs of spring (Fibonacci project), European Schools For A Living Planet (WWF Austria and Erste stiftung) and Eco Schools. The eco dream of Eco-Musketeers is to influence the Government of the Republic of Serbia to determine and declare a 'green habits week'. This should

  9. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2009-01-01

    Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november......Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november...

  10. Planet Detectability in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lily; Fischer, Debra A.; Brewer, John; Giguere, Matt; Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara

    2018-01-01

    We use more than a decade of radial-velocity measurements for α {Cen} A, B, and Proxima Centauri from the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, CTIO High Resolution Spectrograph, and the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph to identify the M\\sin i and orbital periods of planets that could have been detected if they existed. At each point in a mass–period grid, we sample a simulated, Keplerian signal with the precision and cadence of existing data and assess the probability that the signal could have been produced by noise alone. Existing data places detection thresholds in the classically defined habitable zones at about M\\sin i of 53 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} A, 8.4 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} B, and 0.47 {M}\\oplus for Proxima Centauri. Additionally, we examine the impact of systematic errors, or “red noise” in the data. A comparison of white- and red-noise simulations highlights quasi-periodic variability in the radial velocities that may be caused by systematic errors, photospheric velocity signals, or planetary signals. For example, the red-noise simulations show a peak above white-noise simulations at the period of Proxima Centauri b. We also carry out a spectroscopic analysis of the chemical composition of the α {Centauri} stars. The stars have super-solar metallicity with ratios of C/O and Mg/Si that are similar to the Sun, suggesting that any small planets in the α {Cen} system may be compositionally similar to our terrestrial planets. Although the small projected separation of α {Cen} A and B currently hampers extreme-precision radial-velocity measurements, the angular separation is now increasing. By 2019, α {Cen} A and B will be ideal targets for renewed Doppler planet surveys.

  11. The Habitable Zone and Extreme Planetary Orbits

    OpenAIRE

    Kane, Stephen R.; Gelino, Dawn M.

    2012-01-01

    The habitable zone for a given star describes the range of circumstellar distances from the star within which a planet could have liquid water on its surface, which depends upon the stellar properties. Here we describe the development of the habitable zone concept, its application to our own solar system, and its subsequent application to exoplanetary systems. We further apply this to planets in extreme eccentric orbits and show how they may still retain life-bearing properties depending upon...

  12. Conducting Closed Habitation Experiments: Experience from the Lunar Mars Life Support Test Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.; Edeen, Marybeth A.; Henninger, Donald L.

    2006-01-01

    The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP) was conducted from 1995 through 1997 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) to demonstrate increasingly longer duration operation of integrated, closed-loop life support systems that employed biological and physicochemical techniques for water recycling, waste processing, air revitalization, thermal control, and food production. An analog environment for long-duration human space travel, the conditions of isolation and confinement also enabled studies of human factors, medical sciences (both physiology and psychology) and crew training. Four tests were conducted, Phases I, II, IIa and III, with durations of 15, 30, 60 and 91 days, respectively. The first phase focused on biological air regeneration, using wheat to generate enough oxygen for one experimental subject. The systems demonstrated in the later phases were increasingly complex and interdependent, and provided life support for four crew members. The tests were conducted using two human-rated, atmospherically-closed test chambers, the Variable Pressure Growth Chamber (VPGC) and the Integrated Life Support Systems Test Facility (ILSSTF). Systems included test articles (the life support hardware under evaluation), human accommodations (living quarters, kitchen, exercise equipment, etc.) and facility systems (emergency matrix system, power, cooling, etc.). The test team was managed by a lead engineer and a test director, and included test article engineers responsible for specific systems, subsystems or test articles, test conductors, facility engineers, chamber operators and engineering technicians, medical and safety officers, and science experimenters. A crew selection committee, comprised of psychologists, engineers and managers involved in the test, evaluated male and female volunteers who applied to be test subjects. Selection was based on the skills mix anticipated for each particular test, and utilized

  13. MAGNETIC SHIELDING OF EXOMOONS BEYOND THE CIRCUMPLANETARY HABITABLE EDGE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heller, René [McMaster University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1 (Canada); Zuluaga, Jorge I., E-mail: rheller@physics.mcmaster.ca, E-mail: jzuluaga@fisica.udea.edu.co [FACom - Instituto de Física - FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín (Colombia)

    2013-10-20

    With most planets and planetary candidates detected in the stellar habitable zone (HZ) being super-Earths and gas giants rather than Earth-like planets, we naturally wonder if their moons could be habitable. The first detection of such an exomoon has now become feasible, and due to observational biases it will be at least twice as massive as Mars. However, formation models predict that moons can hardly be as massive as Earth. Hence, a giant planet's magnetosphere could be the only possibility for such a moon to be shielded from cosmic and stellar high-energy radiation. Yet, the planetary radiation belt could also have detrimental effects on exomoon habitability. Here we synthesize models for the evolution of the magnetic environment of giant planets with thresholds from the runaway greenhouse (RG) effect to assess the habitability of exomoons. For modest eccentricities, we find that satellites around Neptune-sized planets in the center of the HZ around K dwarf stars will either be in an RG state and not be habitable, or they will be in wide orbits where they will not be affected by the planetary magnetosphere. Saturn-like planets have stronger fields, and Jupiter-like planets could coat close-in habitable moons soon after formation. Moons at distances between about 5 and 20 planetary radii from a giant planet can be habitable from an illumination and tidal heating point of view, but still the planetary magnetosphere would critically influence their habitability.

  14. MAGNETIC SHIELDING OF EXOMOONS BEYOND THE CIRCUMPLANETARY HABITABLE EDGE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heller, René; Zuluaga, Jorge I.

    2013-01-01

    With most planets and planetary candidates detected in the stellar habitable zone (HZ) being super-Earths and gas giants rather than Earth-like planets, we naturally wonder if their moons could be habitable. The first detection of such an exomoon has now become feasible, and due to observational biases it will be at least twice as massive as Mars. However, formation models predict that moons can hardly be as massive as Earth. Hence, a giant planet's magnetosphere could be the only possibility for such a moon to be shielded from cosmic and stellar high-energy radiation. Yet, the planetary radiation belt could also have detrimental effects on exomoon habitability. Here we synthesize models for the evolution of the magnetic environment of giant planets with thresholds from the runaway greenhouse (RG) effect to assess the habitability of exomoons. For modest eccentricities, we find that satellites around Neptune-sized planets in the center of the HZ around K dwarf stars will either be in an RG state and not be habitable, or they will be in wide orbits where they will not be affected by the planetary magnetosphere. Saturn-like planets have stronger fields, and Jupiter-like planets could coat close-in habitable moons soon after formation. Moons at distances between about 5 and 20 planetary radii from a giant planet can be habitable from an illumination and tidal heating point of view, but still the planetary magnetosphere would critically influence their habitability

  15. Quantitative habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shock, Everett L; Holland, Melanie E

    2007-12-01

    A framework is proposed for a quantitative approach to studying habitability. Considerations of environmental supply and organismal demand of energy lead to the conclusions that power units are most appropriate and that the units for habitability become watts per organism. Extreme and plush environments are revealed to be on a habitability continuum, and extreme environments can be quantified as those where power supply only barely exceeds demand. Strategies for laboratory and field experiments are outlined that would quantify power supplies, power demands, and habitability. An example involving a comparison of various metabolisms pursued by halophiles is shown to be well on the way to a quantitative habitability analysis.

  16. Habit formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kyle S; Graybiel, Ann M

    2016-03-01

    Habits, both good ones and bad ones, are pervasive in animal behavior. Important frameworks have been developed to understand habits through psychological and neurobiological studies. This work has given us a rich understanding of brain networks that promote habits, and has also helped us to understand what constitutes a habitual behavior as opposed to a behavior that is more flexible and prospective. Mounting evidence from studies using neural recording methods suggests that habit formation is not a simple process. We review this evidence and take the position that habits could be sculpted from multiple dissociable changes in neural activity. These changes occur across multiple brain regions and even within single brain regions. This strategy of classifying components of a habit based on different brain signals provides a potentially useful new way to conceive of disorders that involve overly fixed behaviors as arising from different potential dysfunctions within the brain's habit network.

  17. Habit formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kyle S.; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    Habits, both good ones and bad ones, are pervasive in animal behavior. Important frameworks have been developed to understand habits through psychological and neurobiological studies. This work has given us a rich understanding of brain networks that promote habits, and has also helped us to understand what constitutes a habitual behavior as opposed to a behavior that is more flexible and prospective. Mounting evidence from studies using neural recording methods suggests that habit formation is not a simple process. We review this evidence and take the position that habits could be sculpted from multiple dissociable changes in neural activity. These changes occur across multiple brain regions and even within single brain regions. This strategy of classifying components of a habit based on different brain signals provides a potentially useful new way to conceive of disorders that involve overly fixed behaviors as arising from different potential dysfunctions within the brain's habit network. PMID:27069378

  18. Are eating habits effective screening indicators for anemia in elderly Japanese people? The Kyushu-Asakura Project (KAP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirakawa, Yoshihisa

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to explore whether the presence of unhealthy eating habits is an effective indicator of anemia among older people or not. We used data from a prospective observational cohort study of all users who underwent an annual health checkup at a public clinic in a rural area. The subjects of the present study were 150 users aged 75 years and older who underwent the checkup between January and September 2010. The subjects were first divided by gender and further separated into anemic and non-anemic subgroups according to their estimated anemia prevalences: Hb eating habits between the anemic and non-anemic groups. Both among the women and the men aged 75 and over, there were no significant differences in any items including eating habits between the two anemic subgroups. Our results suggest that the presence of unhealthy eating habits is not an effective indicator of anemia among older people.

  19. The Habitable Zone Gallery and its Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelino, Dawn M.; Kane, S. R.

    2012-05-01

    The Habitable Zone Gallery (www.hzgallery.org) is a service to the exoplanet community which provides Habitable Zone (HZ) information for each of the exoplanetary systems with known planetary orbital parameters. The service includes a sortable table, a plot with the period and eccentricity of each of the planets with respect to their time spent in the HZ, a gallery of known systems which plot the orbits and the location of the HZ with respect to those orbits, and orbital movies. Here we discuss various educational and scientific applications of the site such as target selection, exploring planets with eccentric orbits, and investigating habitability.

  20. Planets in a Room

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, l.; Aloisi, F.; De Angelis, I.

    2017-09-01

    Teaching planetary science using a spherical projector to show the planets' surfaces is a very effective but usually very expensive idea. Whatsmore, it usually assumes the availability of a dedicated space and a trained user. "Planets in a room" is a prototypal low cost version of a small, spherical projector that teachers, museum, planetary scientists and other individuals can easily build and use on their own, to show and teach the planets The project of "Planets in a Room" was made by the italian non-profit association Speak Science with the collaboration of INAF-IAPS of Rome and the Roma Tre University (Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica). This proposal was funded by the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme in 2016. "Planets in a room" will be presented during EPSC 2017 to give birth to the second phase of the project, when the outreach and research community will be involved and schools from all over Europe will be invited to participate with the aim of bringing planetary science to a larger audience.

  1. Habitable worlds with no signs of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-04-28

    'Most habitable worlds in the cosmos will have no remotely detectable signs of life' is proposed as a biological hypothesis to be tested in the study of exoplanets. Habitable planets could be discovered elsewhere in the Universe, yet there are many hypothetical scenarios whereby the search for life on them could yield negative results. Scenarios for habitable worlds with no remotely detectable signatures of life include: planets that are habitable, but have no biosphere (Uninhabited Habitable Worlds); planets with life, but lacking any detectable surface signatures of that life (laboratory examples are provided); and planets with life, where the concentrations of atmospheric gases produced or removed by biota are impossible to disentangle from abiotic processes because of the lack of detailed knowledge of planetary conditions (the 'problem of exoplanet thermodynamic uncertainty'). A rejection of the hypothesis would require that the origin of life usually occurs on habitable planets, that spectrally detectable pigments and/or metabolisms that produce unequivocal biosignature gases (e.g. oxygenic photosynthesis) usually evolve and that the organisms that harbour them usually achieve a sufficient biomass to produce biosignatures detectable to alien astronomers.

  2. Scratching the Surface of Martian Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.

    2014-01-01

    Earth and Mars, though formed at the same time from the same materials, look very different today. Early in their histories they evolved through some of the same processes, but at some point their evolutionary paths diverged, sending them in perhaps irrevocably different directions. Knowledge of the factors that contributed to such different outcomes will help to determine how planets become habitable and how common habitable planets may be. The Mars surface environment is harsh today, but in situ measurements of ancient sedimentary rock by Mars Science Laboratory reveal chemical and mineralogical evidence of past conditions that might have been more favorable for life to exist. But chemistry is only part of what is required to make an environment habitable. Physical conditions constrain the chemical reactions that underlie life processes; the chemical and physical characteristics that make planets habitable are thus entangled.

  3. Trajectories of martian habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-02-01

    Beginning from two plausible starting points-an uninhabited or inhabited Mars-this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments.

  4. ESTRUCTURAS DEL HABITAR. COLECTIVIDAD Y RESILIENCIA COMO ESTRATEGIAS DE PROYECTO / HABITATIONAL STRUCTURES. COLLECTIVITY AND RESILIENCE AS PROJECT STRATEGIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Peñín Llobell

    2016-05-01

    it the resilient dwelling. It will take many different forms; progressive, unfinished, refurbished, adaptable dwelling, etc. In both cases, it is but a matter of systematizing previous experiences, among which it is remarkable a sort of historic continuity between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the 1960s, and the contemporary era, interrupted by periods of non-critical development. Today, unlike in earlier periods, these new habitational structures integrate in contemporary projects in an articulated manner, questioning its limits, both legal and in regards to authorship, and opening up the field for academic research. Lastly, the article proposes some project mechanisms that will help characterize and promote these new strategies.

  5. Planetesimals early differentiation and consequences for planets

    CERN Document Server

    Weiss, Benjamin P

    2017-01-01

    Processes governing the evolution of planetesimals are critical to understanding how rocky planets are formed, how water is delivered to them, the origin of planetary atmospheres, how cores and magnetic dynamos develop, and ultimately, which planets have the potential to be habitable. Theoretical advances and new data from asteroid and meteorite observations, coupled with spacecraft missions such as Rosetta and Dawn, have led to major advances in this field over the last decade. This transdisciplinary volume presents an authoritative overview of the latest in our understanding of the processes of planet formation. Combining meteorite, asteroid and icy body observations with theory and modelling of accretion and orbital dynamics, this text also provides insights into the exoplanetary system and the search for habitable worlds. This is an essential reference for those interested in planetary formation, solar system dynamics, exoplanets and planetary habitability.

  6. Association of Dietary Habits with Psychosocial Outcomes in Women with Fibromyalgia : The al-Ándalus Project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiz-Cabello, Pilar; Soriano-Maldonado, Alberto; Delgado-Fernandez, M; Alvarez-Gallardo, I C; Segura-Jimenez, V; Estevez-Lopez, F; Camiletti-Moirón, Daniel; Aparicio, Virgina A

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex multidimensional disorder with pain as its main symptom. Fibromyalgia imposes a psychosocial burden on individuals that negatively impacts quality of life. The relationship of dietary habits with these psychosocial aspects is still unclear. OBJECTIVE: The

  7. The Possibility of Multiple Habitable Worlds Orbiting Binary Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, P. A.

    2014-03-01

    Are there planetary systems for which there is life on multiple worlds? Where are these fruitful planetary systems and how do we detect them? In order to address these questions; conditions which enable life and those that prevent or destroy it must be considered. Many constraints are specific to planetary systems, independent of the number of worlds in habitable zones. For instance, life on rocky planets or moons likely requires the right abundance of volatiles and radiogenic elements for prolonged geologic activity. Catastrophic sterilization events such as nearby supernovae and gamma-ray bursts affect entire planetary systems not just specific worlds. Giant planets may either enhance or disrupt the development of complex life within a given system. It might be rare for planetary systems to possess qualities that promote life and lucky enough to avoid cataclysm. However, multiple habitable planets may provide enhanced chances for advanced life to develop. The best predictor of life on one habitable zone planet might be the presence of life on its neighbor as panspermia may occur in planetary systems with several habitable worlds. Circumbinary habitability may go hand in hand with habitability of multiple worlds. The circumstances in which the Binary Habitability Mechanism (BHM) operates are reviewed. In some cases, the early synchronization of the primary's rotation with the binary period results in a reduction of XUV flux and stellar winds. Main sequence binaries with periods in the 10-50 days provide excellent habitable environments, within which multiple worlds may thrive. Planets and moons in these habitable zones need less magnetic protection than their single star counterparts. Exomoons orbiting a Neptune-like planet, within a BHM protected habitable zone, are expected to be habitable over a wide range of semimajor axes due to a larger planetary Hill radius. A result confirmed by numerical orbital calculations. Binaries containing a solar type star with a

  8. Exomoon Habitability Constrained by Illumination and Tidal Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The detection of moons orbiting extrasolar planets (“exomoons”) has now become feasible. Once they are discovered in the circumstellar habitable zone, questions about their habitability will emerge. Exomoons are likely to be tidally locked to their planet and hence experience days much shorter than their orbital period around the star and have seasons, all of which works in favor of habitability. These satellites can receive more illumination per area than their host planets, as the planet reflects stellar light and emits thermal photons. On the contrary, eclipses can significantly alter local climates on exomoons by reducing stellar illumination. In addition to radiative heating, tidal heating can be very large on exomoons, possibly even large enough for sterilization. We identify combinations of physical and orbital parameters for which radiative and tidal heating are strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse. By analogy with the circumstellar habitable zone, these constraints define a circumplanetary “habitable edge.” We apply our model to hypothetical moons around the recently discovered exoplanet Kepler-22b and the giant planet candidate KOI211.01 and describe, for the first time, the orbits of habitable exomoons. If either planet hosted a satellite at a distance greater than 10 planetary radii, then this could indicate the presence of a habitable moon. Key Words: Astrobiology—Extrasolar planets—Habitability—Habitable zone—Tides. Astrobiology 13, 18–46. PMID:23305357

  9. HABITABLE CLIMATES: THE INFLUENCE OF ECCENTRICITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Spiegel, David S.; Scharf, Caleb A.; Menou, Kristen; Raymond, Sean N.

    2010-01-01

    In the outer regions of the habitable zone, the risk of transitioning into a globally frozen 'snowball' state poses a threat to the habitability of planets with the capacity to host water-based life. Here, we use a one-dimensional energy balance climate model (EBM) to examine how obliquity, spin rate, orbital eccentricity, and the fraction of the surface covered by ocean might influence the onset of such a snowball state. For an exoplanet, these parameters may be strikingly different from the values observed for Earth. Since, for a constant semimajor axis, the annual mean stellar irradiation scales with (1 - e 2 ) -1/2 , one might expect the greatest habitable semimajor axis (for fixed atmospheric composition) to scale as (1 - e 2 ) -1/4 . We find that this standard simple ansatz provides a reasonable lower bound on the outer boundary of the habitable zone, but the influence of both obliquity and ocean fraction can be profound in the context of planets on eccentric orbits. For planets with eccentricity 0.5, for instance, our EBM suggests that the greatest habitable semimajor axis can vary by more than 0.8 AU (78%!) depending on obliquity, with higher obliquity worlds generally more stable against snowball transitions. One might also expect that the long winter at an eccentric planet's apoastron would render it more susceptible to global freezing. Our models suggest that this is not a significant risk for Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars, as considered here, since such planets are buffered by the thermal inertia provided by oceans covering at least 10% of their surface. Since planets on eccentric orbits spend much of their year particularly far from the star, such worlds might turnout to be especially good targets for direct observations with missions such as TPF-Darwin. Nevertheless, the extreme temperature variations achieved on highly eccentric exo-Earths raise questions about the adaptability of life to marginally or transiently habitable conditions.

  10. The lonely life of a double planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-01-01

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.)

  11. Lonely life of a double planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-08-25

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.).

  12. RAPID WATER LOSS CAN EXTEND THE LIFETIME OF PLANETARY HABITABILITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kodama, Takanori; Abe, Yutaka [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Genda, Hidenori [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152-8550 (Japan); Zahnle, Kevin J., E-mail: koda@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Space Science and Astrobiology Division, NASA Ames Research Center, California 94035 (United States)

    2015-10-20

    Two habitable planetary states are proposed: an aqua planet like the Earth and a land planet that has a small amount of water. Land planets keep liquid water under larger solar radiation compared to aqua planets. Water loss may change an aqua planet into a land planet, and the planet can remain habitable for a longer time than if it had remained an aqua planet. We calculate planetary evolution with hydrogen escape for different initial water inventories and different distances from the central star. We find that there are two conditions necessary to evolve an aqua planet into a land planet: the critical amount of water on the surface (M{sub ml}) consistent with a planet being a land planet, and the critical amount of water vapor in the atmosphere (M{sub cv}) that defines the onset of the runaway greenhouse state. We find that Earth-sized aqua planets with initial oceans <10% of the Earth's can evolve into land planets if M{sub cv} = 3 m in precipitable water and M{sub ml} = 5% of the Earth's ocean mass. Such planets can keep liquid water on their surface for another 2 Gyr. The initial amount of water and M{sub cv} are shown to be important dividing parameters of the planetary evolution path. Our results indicate that massive hydrogen escape could give a fresh start as another kind of habitable planet rather than the end of its habitability.

  13. RAPID WATER LOSS CAN EXTEND THE LIFETIME OF PLANETARY HABITABILITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kodama, Takanori; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori; Zahnle, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    Two habitable planetary states are proposed: an aqua planet like the Earth and a land planet that has a small amount of water. Land planets keep liquid water under larger solar radiation compared to aqua planets. Water loss may change an aqua planet into a land planet, and the planet can remain habitable for a longer time than if it had remained an aqua planet. We calculate planetary evolution with hydrogen escape for different initial water inventories and different distances from the central star. We find that there are two conditions necessary to evolve an aqua planet into a land planet: the critical amount of water on the surface (M ml ) consistent with a planet being a land planet, and the critical amount of water vapor in the atmosphere (M cv ) that defines the onset of the runaway greenhouse state. We find that Earth-sized aqua planets with initial oceans <10% of the Earth's can evolve into land planets if M cv = 3 m in precipitable water and M ml = 5% of the Earth's ocean mass. Such planets can keep liquid water on their surface for another 2 Gyr. The initial amount of water and M cv are shown to be important dividing parameters of the planetary evolution path. Our results indicate that massive hydrogen escape could give a fresh start as another kind of habitable planet rather than the end of its habitability

  14. The Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, David; Borucki, W.; Mayer, D.; Caldwell, D.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; Geary, J.; Bachtell, E.; Deininger, W.; Philbrick, R.

    2003-01-01

    We have embarked on a mission to detect terrestrial planets. The space mission has been optimized to search for earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. Given this design, the mission will necessarily be capable of not only detecting Earth analogs, but a wide range of planetary types and characteristics ranging from Mercury-size objects with orbital periods of days to gas-giants in decade long orbits that have undeniable signatures even with only one transit detected. The mission is designed to survey the full range of spectral-type dwarf stars. The approach is to detect the periodic signal of transiting planets. Three or more transits of a star exceeding a combined threshold of eight sigma with a statistically consistent period, brightness change and duration provide a rigorous method of detection. From the relative brightness change the planet size can be calculated. From the period the orbital size can be calculated and its location relative to the HZ determined. Presented here are: the mission goals, the top level system design requirements derived from these goals that drive the flight system design, a number of the trades that have lead to the mission concept, expected photometric performance dependence on stellar brightness and spectral type based on the system 'noise tree' analysis. Updated estimates are presented of the numbers of detectable planets versus size, orbit, stellar spectral type and distances based on a planet frequency hypothesis. The current project schedule and organization are given.

  15. A comparison between the 19th century early proposals and the 20th-21st centuries realized projects intended to contact other planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raulin Cerceau, Florence; Bilodeau, Bénédicte

    2012-09-01

    Methods dealing with how to contact other planets that are supposed to be inhabited by “intelligent” civilizations have begun more than one century and a half ago. The historical question has been already treated in several studies and the aim of this paper is not to provide details on that aspect. On the other hand, it could be interesting to make a comparison between the different approaches to contact planets, formulated at different epochs (even if obviously techniques were not in the same state of advancement). The most important characteristics of the earliest messages, remained only on a theoretical form, will be presented. The main features of modern messages, which have been concretely realized, will also be emphasized. Drawing a parallel between these two series of projects could demonstrate what has been considered as unavoidable by both pioneer and modern messages creators, while it has not been proved that the first ones have had any influence on the second ones. The common points emerging from this comparison could then (perhaps) help to select adequate models for an intelligible message intended to ETs, particularly concerning the language forms. Besides this, the differences could illustrate the human cultural advances in the field of METI and underline the tendencies that have been chosen in that field since the last decades.

  16. HABEBEE: habitability of eyeball-exo-Earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Sapers, Haley; Citron, Robert; Bergantini, Alexandre; Lutz, Stefanie; Queiroz, Luciano Lopes; da Rosa Alexandre, Marcelo; Araujo, Ana Carolina Vieira

    2013-03-01

    Extrasolar Earth and super-Earth planets orbiting within the habitable zone of M dwarf host stars may play a significant role in the discovery of habitable environments beyond Earth. Spectroscopic characterization of these exoplanets with respect to habitability requires the determination of habitability parameters with respect to remote sensing. The habitable zone of dwarf stars is located in close proximity to the host star, such that exoplanets orbiting within this zone will likely be tidally locked. On terrestrial planets with an icy shell, this may produce a liquid water ocean at the substellar point, one particular "Eyeball Earth" state. In this research proposal, HABEBEE: exploring the HABitability of Eyeball-Exo-Earths, we define the parameters necessary to achieve a stable icy Eyeball Earth capable of supporting life. Astronomical and geochemical research will define parameters needed to simulate potentially habitable environments on an icy Eyeball Earth planet. Biological requirements will be based on detailed studies of microbial communities within Earth analog environments. Using the interdisciplinary results of both the physical and biological teams, we will set up a simulation chamber to expose a cold- and UV-tolerant microbial community to the theoretically derived Eyeball Earth climate states, simulating the composition, atmosphere, physical parameters, and stellar irradiation. Combining the results of both studies will enable us to derive observable parameters as well as target decision guidance and feasibility analysis for upcoming astronomical platforms.

  17. Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

  18. HABITABILITY OF EXOMOONS AT THE HILL OR TIDAL LOCKING RADIUS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kane, Stephen R., E-mail: natalie.hinkel@gmail.com [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, MS 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2013-09-01

    Moons orbiting extrasolar planets are the next class of object to be observed and characterized for possible habitability. Like the host-planets to their host-star, exomoons have a limiting radius at which they may be gravitationally bound, or the Hill radius. In addition, they also have a distance at which they will become tidally locked and therefore in synchronous rotation with the planet. We have examined the flux phase profile of a simulated, hypothetical moon orbiting at a distant radius around the confirmed exoplanets {mu} Ara b, HD 28185 b, BD +14 4559 b, and HD 73534 b. The irradiated flux on a moon at its furthest, stable distance from the planet achieves its largest flux gradient, which places a limit on the flux ranges expected for subsequent (observed) moons closer in orbit to the planet. We have also analyzed the effect of planetary eccentricity on the flux on the moon, examining planets that traverse the habitable zone either fully or partially during their orbit. Looking solely at the stellar contributions, we find that moons around planets that are totally within the habitable zone experience thermal equilibrium temperatures above the runaway greenhouse limit, requiring a small heat redistribution efficiency. In contrast, exomoons orbiting planets that only spend a fraction of their time within the habitable zone require a heat redistribution efficiency near 100% in order to achieve temperatures suitable for habitability. This means that a planet does not need to spend its entire orbit within the habitable zone in order for the exomoon to be habitable. Because the applied systems comprise giant planets around bright stars, we believe that the transit detection method is most likely to yield an exomoon discovery.

  19. HABITABILITY OF EXOMOONS AT THE HILL OR TIDAL LOCKING RADIUS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kane, Stephen R.

    2013-01-01

    Moons orbiting extrasolar planets are the next class of object to be observed and characterized for possible habitability. Like the host-planets to their host-star, exomoons have a limiting radius at which they may be gravitationally bound, or the Hill radius. In addition, they also have a distance at which they will become tidally locked and therefore in synchronous rotation with the planet. We have examined the flux phase profile of a simulated, hypothetical moon orbiting at a distant radius around the confirmed exoplanets μ Ara b, HD 28185 b, BD +14 4559 b, and HD 73534 b. The irradiated flux on a moon at its furthest, stable distance from the planet achieves its largest flux gradient, which places a limit on the flux ranges expected for subsequent (observed) moons closer in orbit to the planet. We have also analyzed the effect of planetary eccentricity on the flux on the moon, examining planets that traverse the habitable zone either fully or partially during their orbit. Looking solely at the stellar contributions, we find that moons around planets that are totally within the habitable zone experience thermal equilibrium temperatures above the runaway greenhouse limit, requiring a small heat redistribution efficiency. In contrast, exomoons orbiting planets that only spend a fraction of their time within the habitable zone require a heat redistribution efficiency near 100% in order to achieve temperatures suitable for habitability. This means that a planet does not need to spend its entire orbit within the habitable zone in order for the exomoon to be habitable. Because the applied systems comprise giant planets around bright stars, we believe that the transit detection method is most likely to yield an exomoon discovery

  20. Exomoon habitability constrained by illumination and tidal heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Barnes, Rory

    2013-01-01

    The detection of moons orbiting extrasolar planets ("exomoons") has now become feasible. Once they are discovered in the circumstellar habitable zone, questions about their habitability will emerge. Exomoons are likely to be tidally locked to their planet and hence experience days much shorter than their orbital period around the star and have seasons, all of which works in favor of habitability. These satellites can receive more illumination per area than their host planets, as the planet reflects stellar light and emits thermal photons. On the contrary, eclipses can significantly alter local climates on exomoons by reducing stellar illumination. In addition to radiative heating, tidal heating can be very large on exomoons, possibly even large enough for sterilization. We identify combinations of physical and orbital parameters for which radiative and tidal heating are strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse. By analogy with the circumstellar habitable zone, these constraints define a circumplanetary "habitable edge." We apply our model to hypothetical moons around the recently discovered exoplanet Kepler-22b and the giant planet candidate KOI211.01 and describe, for the first time, the orbits of habitable exomoons. If either planet hosted a satellite at a distance greater than 10 planetary radii, then this could indicate the presence of a habitable moon.

  1. Are eating habits effective screening indicators for anemia in elderly Japanese people? The Kyushu-Asakura Project (KAP)

    OpenAIRE

    Hirakawa, Yoshihisa

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The aim of the present study was to explore whether the presence of unhealthy eating habits is an effective indicator of anemia among older people or not. Methods: We used data from a prospective observational cohort study of all users who underwent an annual health checkup at a public clinic in a rural area. The subjects of the present study were 150 users aged 75 years and older who underwent the checkup between January and September 2010. The subjects were first divided by gende...

  2. Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  3. Exoplanets Detection, Formation, Properties, Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, John W

    2008-01-01

    This edited, multi-author volume will be an invaluable introduction and reference to all key aspects in the field of exoplanet research. The reviews cover: Detection methods and properties of known exoplanets, Detection of extrasolar planets by gravitational microlensing. The formation and evolution of terrestrial planets in protoplanetary and debris disks. The brown dwarf-exoplanet connection. Formation, migration mechanisms and properties of hot Jupiters. Dynamics of multiple exoplanet systems. Doppler exoplanet surveys. Searching for exoplanets in the stellar graveyard. Formation and habitability of extra solar planets in multiple star systems. Exoplanet habitats and the possibilities for life. Moons of exoplanets: habitats for life. Contributing authors: •Rory Barnes •David P. Bennett •Jian Ge •Nader Haghighipour •Patrick Irwin •Hugh Jones •Victoria Meadows •Stanimir Metchev •I. Neill Reid •George Rieke •Caleb Scharf •Steinn Sigurdsson

  4. Avoiding 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' In Exoplanet Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, N. R.

    2017-11-01

    I will discuss the short-comings in the current definition of the habitable zone as well as how to move forward, taking into account both the physical and chemical relationships between a star and its planet.

  5. POST-CAPTURE EVOLUTION OF POTENTIALLY HABITABLE EXOMOONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Porter, Simon B.; Grundy, William M.

    2011-01-01

    The satellites of extrasolar planets (exomoons) have been recently proposed as astrobiological targets. Since giant planets in the habitable zone are thought to have migrated there, it is possible that they may have captured a former terrestrial planet or planetesimal. We therefore attempt to model the dynamical evolution of a terrestrial planet captured into orbit around a giant planet in the habitable zone of a star. We find that approximately half of loose elliptical orbits result in stable circular orbits over timescales of less than a few million years. We also find that those orbits are mostly at low inclination, but have no prograde/retrograde preference. In addition, we calculate the transit timing and duration variations for the resulting systems, and find that potentially habitable Earth-mass exomoons should be detectable.

  6. Habit persistence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinther Møller, Stig

    2009-01-01

    This paper uses an iterated GMM approach to estimate and test the consumption based habit persistence model of Campbell and Cochrane (1999) on the US stock market. The empirical evidence shows that the model is able to explain the size premium, but fails to explain the value premium. Further...

  7. Effects of Extreme Obliquity Variations on the Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, J. C.; Barnes, R.; Domagal-Goldman, S.; Breiner, J.; Quinn, T. R.; Meadows, V. S.

    2014-01-01

    We explore the impact of obliquity variations on planetary habitability in hypothetical systems with high mutual inclination. We show that large-amplitude, high-frequency obliquity oscillations on Earth-like exoplanets can suppress the ice-albedo feedback, increasing the outer edge of the habitable zone. We restricted our exploration to hypothetical systems consisting of a solar-mass star, an Earth-mass planet at 1 AU, and 1 or 2 larger planets. We verified that these systems are stable for 108 years with N-body simulations and calculated the obliquity variations induced by the orbital evolution of the Earth-mass planet and a torque from the host star. We ran a simplified energy balance model on the terrestrial planet to assess surface temperature and ice coverage on the planet's surface, and we calculated differences in the outer edge of the habitable zone for planets with rapid obliquity variations. For each hypothetical system, we calculated the outer edge of habitability for two conditions: (1) the full evolution of the planetary spin and orbit and (2) the eccentricity and obliquity fixed at their average values. We recovered previous results that higher values of fixed obliquity and eccentricity expand the habitable zone, but we also found that obliquity oscillations further expand habitable orbits in all cases. Terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone may be more likely to support life in systems that induce rapid obliquity oscillations as opposed to fixed-spin planets. Such planets may be the easiest to directly characterize with space-borne telescopes.

  8. Effects of extreme obliquity variations on the habitability of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, J C; Barnes, R; Domagal-Goldman, S; Breiner, J; Quinn, T R; Meadows, V S

    2014-04-01

    We explore the impact of obliquity variations on planetary habitability in hypothetical systems with high mutual inclination. We show that large-amplitude, high-frequency obliquity oscillations on Earth-like exoplanets can suppress the ice-albedo feedback, increasing the outer edge of the habitable zone. We restricted our exploration to hypothetical systems consisting of a solar-mass star, an Earth-mass planet at 1 AU, and 1 or 2 larger planets. We verified that these systems are stable for 10(8) years with N-body simulations and calculated the obliquity variations induced by the orbital evolution of the Earth-mass planet and a torque from the host star. We ran a simplified energy balance model on the terrestrial planet to assess surface temperature and ice coverage on the planet's surface, and we calculated differences in the outer edge of the habitable zone for planets with rapid obliquity variations. For each hypothetical system, we calculated the outer edge of habitability for two conditions: (1) the full evolution of the planetary spin and orbit and (2) the eccentricity and obliquity fixed at their average values. We recovered previous results that higher values of fixed obliquity and eccentricity expand the habitable zone, but we also found that obliquity oscillations further expand habitable orbits in all cases. Terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone may be more likely to support life in systems that induce rapid obliquity oscillations as opposed to fixed-spin planets. Such planets may be the easiest to directly characterize with space-borne telescopes.

  9. Possible Habitability of Ocean Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Höning, Dennis; Bredehöft, Jan H.; Lammer, Helmut

    2014-05-01

    In the last decade, the number of detected exoplanets has increased to over thousand confirmed planets and more as yet unconfirmed planet candidates. The scientific community mainly concentrates on terrestrial planets (up to 10 Earth masses) in the habitable zone, which describes the distance from the host star where liquid water can exist at the surface (Kasting et al., 1993). Another target group of interest are ocean worlds, where a terrestrial-like body (i.e. with an iron core and a silicate mantle) is covered by a thick water-ice layer - similar to the icy moons of our solar system but with several Earth masses (e.g. Grasset et al., 2009). When an exoplanet is detected and confirmed as a planet, typically the radius and the mass of it are known, leading to the mean density of the planet that gives hints to possible interior structures. A planet with a large relative iron core and a thick ocean on top of the silicate mantle for example would have the same average planet density as a planet with a more Earth-like appearance (where the main contributor to the mass is the silicate mantle). In this study we investigate how the radius and mass of a planet depend on the amount of water, silicates and iron present (after Wagner et al., 2011) the occurence of high-pressure-ice in the water-ice layer (note: we only consider surface temperatures at which liquid water exists at the surface) if the ocean layer influences the initiation of plate tectonics We assume that ocean worlds with a liquid ocean layer (and without the occurence of high-pressure ice anywhere in the water layer) and plate tectonics (especially the occurence of subduction zones, hydrothermal vents and continental formation) may be called habitable (Class III/IV habitats after Lammer et al., 2009). References: Kasting, J.F., Whitmire, D.P., and Reynolds, R.T. (1993). Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars. Icarus 101, 108-128. Grasset, O., Schneider, J., and Sotin, C. (2009). A study of the accuracy

  10. Planets, stars and stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Howard; McLean, Ian; Barstow, Martin; Gilmore, Gerard; Keel, William; French, Linda

    2013-01-01

    This is volume 3 of Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems, a six-volume compendium of modern astronomical research covering subjects of key interest to the main fields of contemporary astronomy. This volume on “Solar and Stellar Planetary Systems” edited by Linda French and Paul Kalas presents accessible review chapters From Disks to Planets, Dynamical Evolution of Planetary Systems, The Terrestrial Planets, Gas and Ice Giant Interiors, Atmospheres of Jovian Planets, Planetary Magnetospheres, Planetary Rings, An Overview of the Asteroids and Meteorites, Dusty Planetary Systems and Exoplanet Detection Methods. All chapters of the handbook were written by practicing professionals. They include sufficient background material and references to the current literature to allow readers to learn enough about a specialty within astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology to get started on their own practical research projects. In the spirit of the series Stars and Stellar Systems published by Chicago University Press in...

  11. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2009-01-01

    We study the final architecture of planetary systems that evolve under the combined effects of planet-planet and planetesimal scattering. Using N-body simulations we investigate the dynamics of marginally unstable systems of gas and ice giants both in isolation and when the planets form interior to a planetesimal belt. The unstable isolated systems evolve under planet-planet scattering to yield an eccentricity distribution that matches that observed for extrasolar planets. When planetesimals are included the outcome depends upon the total mass of the planets. For M tot ∼> 1 M J the final eccentricity distribution remains broad, whereas for M tot ∼ J a combination of divergent orbital evolution and recircularization of scattered planets results in a preponderance of nearly circular final orbits. We also study the fate of marginally stable multiple planet systems in the presence of planetesimal disks, and find that for high planet masses the majority of such systems evolve into resonance. A significant fraction leads to resonant chains that are planetary analogs of Jupiter's Galilean satellites. We predict that a transition from eccentric to near-circular orbits will be observed once extrasolar planet surveys detect sub-Jovian mass planets at orbital radii of a ≅ 5-10 AU.

  12. An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumusque, Xavier; Pepe, Francesco; Lovis, Christophe; Ségransan, Damien; Sahlmann, Johannes; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Mayor, Michel; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno; Udry, Stéphane

    2012-11-08

    Exoplanets down to the size of Earth have been found, but not in the habitable zone--that is, at a distance from the parent star at which water, if present, would be liquid. There are planets in the habitable zone of stars cooler than our Sun, but for reasons such as tidal locking and strong stellar activity, they are unlikely to harbour water-carbon life as we know it. The detection of a habitable Earth-mass planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun is extremely difficult, because such a signal is overwhelmed by stellar perturbations. Here we report the detection of an Earth-mass planet orbiting our neighbour star α Centauri B, a member of the closest stellar system to the Sun. The planet has an orbital period of 3.236 days and is about 0.04 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Earth-Sun distance).

  13. Des habitations à bon marché au Việt Nam. La question du logement social en situation coloniale Public Housing Projects in Việt Nam: the Problem of Habitation in a Colonial Situation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Herbelin

    2009-10-01

    in particular the struggle between inertia and enthusiasm in attitudes regarding social housing projects reveals contradictions in the colonial system when faced with a habitation crisis. Furthermore, the complexity of the situation implicated different actors at different levels, including the Governor General of Indochina, the Superior Resident in Tonkin, the municipalities, the private associations, and to a lesser degree, the construction companies. Finally, from an architectural point of view, the projects put in place were hybrid creations that clearly showed an attempt to adapt to a Vietnamese lifestyle.

  14. On the habitability of exoplanets orbiting Proxima Centauri

    OpenAIRE

    Lopez, Madeleine; Cardenas, Rolando; Rodriguez, Lien

    2014-01-01

    We apply a mathematical model for photosynthesis to quantitatively assess the habitability of a hypothetical planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, inside the so called habitability zone. Results suggest significant viability for primary biological productivity, provided living organisms have evolved to reach the ability of using infrared light for photosynthesis.

  15. Stars and Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neta, Miguel

    2014-05-01

    'Estrelas e Planetas' (Stars and Planets) project was developed during the academic year 2009/2010 and was tested on three 3rd grade classes of one school in Quarteira, Portugal. The aim was to encourage the learning of science and the natural and physical phenomena through the construction and manipulation of materials that promote these themes - in this case astronomy. Throughout the project the students built a small book containing three themes of astronomy: differences between stars and planets, the solar system and the phases of the Moon. To each topic was devoted two sessions of about an hour each: the first to teach the theoretical aspects of the theme and the second session to assembly two pages of the book. All materials used (for theoretical sessions and for the construction of the book) and videos of the finished book are available for free use in www.miguelneta.pt/estrelaseplanetas. So far there is only a Portuguese version but soon will be published in English as well. This project won the Excellency Prize 2011 of Casa das Ciências, a portuguese site for teachers supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Fundation (www.casadasciencias.org).

  16. Kepler planet-detection mission: introduction and first results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Caldwell, Douglas; Caldwell, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Dunham, Edward W; Dupree, Andrea K; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald; Gould, Alan; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Kondo, Yoji; Latham, David W; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Meibom, Søren; Kjeldsen, Hans; Lissauer, Jack J; Monet, David G; Morrison, David; Sasselov, Dimitar; Tarter, Jill; Boss, Alan; Brownlee, Don; Owen, Toby; Buzasi, Derek; Charbonneau, David; Doyle, Laurance; Fortney, Jonathan; Ford, Eric B; Holman, Matthew J; Seager, Sara; Steffen, Jason H; Welsh, William F; Rowe, Jason; Anderson, Howard; Buchhave, Lars; Ciardi, David; Walkowicz, Lucianne; Sherry, William; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Everett, Mark E; Fischer, Debra; Torres, Guillermo; Johnson, John Asher; Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip; Bryson, Stephen T; Dotson, Jessie; Haas, Michael; Kolodziejczak, Jeffrey; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Chandrasekaran, Hema; Twicken, Joseph D; Quintana, Elisa V; Clarke, Bruce D; Allen, Christopher; Li, Jie; Wu, Haley; Tenenbaum, Peter; Verner, Ekaterina; Bruhweiler, Frederick; Barnes, Jason; Prsa, Andrej

    2010-02-19

    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet's surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 and 1.6 Jupiter radii and orbital periods from 3.2 to 4.9 days were discovered. The density of the Neptune-sized Kepler-4b is similar to that of Neptune and GJ 436b, even though the irradiation level is 800,000 times higher. Kepler-7b is one of the lowest-density planets (approximately 0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets.

  17. Habitability from Tidally Induced Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia, Diana; Tan, Vivian Yun Yan; Zajac, Zachary

    2018-04-01

    The stability of Earth’s climate on geological timescales is enabled by the carbon–silicate cycle that acts as a negative feedback mechanism stabilizing surface temperatures via the intake and outgassing of atmospheric carbon. On Earth, this thermostat is enabled by plate tectonics that sequesters outgassed CO2 back into the mantle via weathering and subduction at convergent margins. Here we propose a separate tectonic mechanism—vertical recycling—that can serve as the vehicle for CO2 outgassing and sequestration over long timescales. The mechanism requires continuous tidal heating, which makes it particularly relevant to planets in the habitable zone of M stars. Dynamical models of this vertical recycling scenario and stability analysis show that temperate climates stable over timescales of billions of years are realized for a variety of initial conditions, even as the M star dims over time. The magnitude of equilibrium surface temperatures depends on the interplay of sea weathering and outgassing, which in turn depends on planetary carbon content, so that planets with lower carbon budgets are favored for temperate conditions. The habitability of planets such as found in the Trappist-1 system may be rooted in tidally driven tectonics.

  18. TIDAL LIMITS TO PLANETARY HABITABILITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnes, Rory; Jackson, Brian; Greenberg, Richard; Raymond, Sean N.

    2009-01-01

    The habitable zones (HZs) of main-sequence stars have traditionally been defined as the range of orbits that intercept the appropriate amount of stellar flux to permit surface water on a planet. Terrestrial exoplanets discovered to orbit M stars in these zones, which are close-in due to decreased stellar luminosity, may also undergo significant tidal heating. Tidal heating may span a wide range for terrestrial exoplanets and may significantly affect conditions near the surface. For example, if heating rates on an exoplanet are near or greater than that on Io (where tides drive volcanism that resurfaces the planet at least every 1 Myr) and produce similar surface conditions, then the development of life seems unlikely. On the other hand, if the tidal heating rate is less than the minimum to initiate plate tectonics, then CO 2 may not be recycled through subduction, leading to a runaway greenhouse that sterilizes the planet. These two cases represent potential boundaries to habitability and are presented along with the range of the traditional HZ for main-sequence, low-mass stars. We propose a revised HZ that incorporates both stellar insolation and tidal heating. We apply these criteria to GJ 581 d and find that it is in the traditional HZ, but its tidal heating alone may be insufficient for plate tectonics.

  19. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph High Accuracy Optical Propagation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) project is considering several approaches to discovering planets orbiting stars far from earth and assessing their suitability to...

  20. Dance of the Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  1. Evaluation of Preservation Planning within OAIS, based on the Planets Functional Model

    OpenAIRE

    Sierman, Barbara; Wheatley, Paul

    2010-01-01

    This report gives an overview of the Planets Functional Model and relates it to the Planets deliverables. It also gives a set of recommendations for the OAIS model. The Report was part of the European FP6 Project Planets

  2. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macintosh, B

    2005-01-01

    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that leads the

  3. What Can the Habitable Zone Gallery Do For You?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelino, Dawn M.; Kane, Stephen

    2015-12-01

    The Habitable Zone Gallery (www.hzgallery.org) came online in August 2011 as a service to the exoplanet community that provides Habitable Zone (HZ) information for each of the exoplanetary systems with known planetary orbital parameters. The service includes a sortable table, a plot with the period and eccentricity of each of the planets with respect to their time spent in the HZ, a gallery of known systems which plot the orbits and the location of the HZ with respect to those orbits, and orbital movies. Recently, we have added new features including: implementation of both conservative and optimistic HZs, more user-friendly table and movies, movies for circumbinary planets, and a count of planets whose orbits lie entirely within the system's HZ. Here we discuss various educational and scientific applications of the site such as target selection, exploring planets with eccentric or circumbinary orbits, and investigating habitability.

  4. Prospects for Habitable World Detections Using James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Doppler and transit surveys are finding extrasolar planets of ever smaller mass and radius, and are now sampling the domain of superEarths. Recent results from the Doppler surveys suggest that discovery of a transiting superEarth in the habitable zone of a lower main sequence star may be possible. We evaluate the prospects for an all-sky transit survey targeted to the brightest stars I that would find the most favorable cases for photometric and spectroscopic characterization using the James Webb Space Telescope. We use the proposed Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) as representative of an all-sky survey. We couple the simulated TESS yield to a sensitivity model for the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments on JWST. Our sensitivity model includes all currently known and anticipated sources of random and systematic error for these instruments. We focus on the TESS planets with radii between Earth and Neptune. Our simulations consider secondary eclipse filter photometry using JWST/MIRI, comparing the 11- and 15- micron bands to measure carbon dioxide absorption in superEarths, as well as JWST!NIRSpec spectroscopy of water absorption from 1.7-3.0 microns, and carbon dioxide absorption at 4.3 microns. We find that JWST will be capable of characterizing dozens of TESS superEarths with temperatures above the habitable range, using both MIRI and NIRspec. We project that TESS will discover about eight nearby habitable transiting superEarths, all orbiting lower main sequence stars. The principal sources of uncertainty in the prospects for JWST characterization of habitable superEarths are superEarth frequency and the nature of superEarth atmospheres. Based on our estimates of these uncertainties, we project that JWST will be able to measure the temperature, and identify molecular absorptions (water, carbon dioxide) in one to four nearby habitable TESS superEarths orbiting lower main sequence stars.

  5. How to build a planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Louisa

    2017-12-01

    It is a difficult project to tackle, in a book - the subject of exoplanets - as it is one of the fastest-moving branches of planetary science. In The Planet Factory Elizabeth Tasker, an astrophysicist at Japan's JAXA space agency, has bravely taken on the role of navigator for this incredible journey of planetary discovery, and the book does not disappoint.

  6. Monster telescope hunts blue planets

    CERN Multimedia

    Leake, J

    2003-01-01

    BRITAIN is to back a project to build the world's biggest telescope - so powerful that it could see life-bearing planets in other solar systems. It will need the largest mirror ever built at about 100 metres in diameter (1/2 page).

  7. Climate evolution on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasting, J.F.; Toon, O.B.

    1989-01-01

    The present comparative evaluation of the long-term evolution of the Venus, earth, and Mars climates suggests that the earth's climate has remained temperate over most of its history despite a secular solar luminosity increase in virtue of a negative-feedback cycle based on atmospheric CO 2 levels and climate. The examination of planetary climate histories suggests that an earth-sized planet should be able to maintain liquid water on its surface at orbital distances in the 0.9-1.5 AU range, comparable to the orbit of Mars; this, in turn, implies that there may be many other habitable planets within the Galaxy

  8. NEAR: Low-mass Planets in α Cen with VISIR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasper, M.; Arsenault, R.; Käufl, H.-U.; Jakob, G.; Fuenteseca, E.; Riquelme, M.; Siebenmorgen, R.; Sterzik, M.; Zins, G.; Ageorges, N.; Gutruf, S.; Reutlinger, A.; Kampf, D.; Absil, O.; Carlomagno, B.; Guyon, O.; Klupar, P.; Mawet, D.; Ruane, G.; Karlsson, M.; Pantin, E.; Dohlen, K.

    2017-09-01

    ESO, in collaboration with the Breakthrough Initiatives, is working to modify the Very Large Telescope mid-IR imager (VISIR) to greatly enhance its ability to search for potentially habitable planets around both components of the binary Alpha Centauri, part of the closest stellar system to the Earth. Much of the funding for the NEAR (New Earths in the Alpha Cen Region) project is provided by the Breakthrough Initiatives, and ESO mostly provides staff and observing time. The concept combines adaptive optics using the deformable secondary mirror at Unit Telescope 4, a new annular groove phase mask (AGPM) coronagraph optimised for the most sensitive spectral bandpass in the N-band, and a novel internal chopper system for noise filtering based on a concept for longer wavelengths invented by the microwave pioneer Robert Dicke. The NEAR experiment is relevant to the mid-infrared METIS instrument on the Extremely Large Telescope, as the knowledge gained and proof of concept will be transferable.

  9. Characterizing Exoplanet Habitability with Emission Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

    Results from NASA’s Kepler mission and other recent exoplanet surveys have demonstrated that potentially habitable exoplanets are relatively common, especially in the case of low-mass stellar hosts. The next key question that must be addressed for such planets is whether or not these worlds are actually habitable, implying they could sustain surface liquid water. Only through investigations of the potential habitability of exoplanets and through searches for biosignatures from these planets will we be able to understand if the emergence of life is a common phenomenon in our galaxy. Emission spectroscopy for transiting exoplanets (sometimes called secondary eclipse spectroscopy) is a powerful technique that future missions will use to study the atmospheres and surfaces of worlds orbiting in the habitable zones of nearby, low-mass stars. Emission observations that span the mid-infrared wavelength range for potentially habitable exoplanets provide opportunities to detect key habitability and life signatures, and also allow observers to probe atmospheric and surface temperatures. This presentation will outline the case for using emission spectroscopy to understand if an exoplanet can sustain surface liquid water, which is believed to be a critical precursor to the origin of life.

  10. WHERE TO FIND HABITABLE ''EARTHS'' IN CIRCUMBINARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Huigen; Zhang Hui; Zhou Jilin

    2013-01-01

    Six P-type planets have been found thus far around five binary systems, i.e., Kepler-16b, 34b, 35b, 38b, and 47b and c, which are all Neptune- or Jupiter-like planets. The stability of planets and the habitable zones are influenced by the gravitational and radiative perturbations of binary companions. In this Letter, we check the stability of an additional habitable Earth-mass planet in each system. Based on our simulations in 10 Myr, a habitable ''Earth'' is hardly stable in Kepler-16, while a stable ''Earth'' in Kepler-47 close to the boundaries of the habitable zone is possible. In contrast, Kepler-34, 35, and 38 seem to have high probabilities of being able to tolerante a stable ''Earth'' in their habitable zones. The affects of transit time variations are quite small due to the small mass of an undetected ''Earth,'' except that of Kepler-16b. With a time precision of 10 –3 day (∼88 s), an ''Earth'' in the corotational resonance with Kepler-16b can be detected in three years, while habitable ''Earths'' in the Kepler-34 and 38 systems can be detected in 10 yr. Habitable ''Earths'' in Kepler-35 and 47 are not likely to be detected in 10 yr under this precision.

  11. Orbital Dynamics and Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deitrick, Russell J.

    With the discoveries of thousands of extra-solar planets, a handful of which are terrestrial in size and located within the "habitable zone" of their host stars, the discovery of another instance of life in the universe seems increasingly within our grasp. Yet, a number of difficulties remain--with current and developing technologies, the full characterization of a terrestrial atmosphere and, hence, the detection of biosignatures will be extraordinarily difficult and expensive. Furthermore, observations will be ambiguous, as recent developments have shown that there is no "smoking gun" for the presence of life. Ultimately, the interpretation of observations will depend heavily upon our understanding of life's fundamental properties and the physical context of a planet's observed properties. This thesis is devoted to a development of the latter quantity, physical context, focusing on a topic oft-neglected in theoretical works of habitability: orbital dynamics. I show a number of ways in which orbital dynamics can affect the habitability of exoplanets. This work highlights the crucial role of stability, mutual inclinations, and resonances, demonstrating how these properties influence atmospheric states. Studies of exoplanetary systems tend to assume that the planets are coplanar, however, the large mutual inclination of the planets orbiting upsilon Andromedae suggests that coplanarity is not always a valid assumption. In my study of this system, I show that the large inclination between planets c and d and their large eccentricities lead to dramatic orbital variations. Though there is almost certainly no habitable planet orbiting upsilon And, the existence of this system demonstrates that we should expect other such dynamically "hot" planetary systems, some of which may contain potentially habitable planets. Minute variations in a planet's orbit can lead to changes in the global temperature, and indeed, these variations seem to be intimately connected to Earth

  12. Plate tectonics, habitability and life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spohn, Tilman; Breuer, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The role of plate tectonics in defining habitability of terrestrial planets is being increasingly discussed (e.g., Elkins-Tanton, 2015). Plate tectonics is a significantly evolved concept with a large variety of aspects. In the present context, cycling of material between near surface and mantle reservoirs is most important. But increased heat transport through mixing of cold lithosphere with the deep interior and formation of continental crust may also matter. An alternative mechanism of material cycling between these reservoirs is hot-spot volcanism combined with crust delamination. Hot-spot volcanism will transport volatiles to the atmosphere while delamination will mix crust, possibly altered by sedimentation and chemical reactions, with the mantle. The mechanism works as long as the stagnant lithosphere plate has not grown thicker than the crust and as long as volcanic material is added onto the crust. Thermal evolution studies suggest that the mechanism could work for the first 1-2 Ga of planetary evolution. The efficiency of the mechanism is limited by the ratio of extrusive to intrusive volcanism, which is thought to be less than 0.25. Plate tectonics would certainly have an advantage by working even for more evolved planets. A simple, most-used concept of habitability requires the thermodynamic stability of liquid water on the surface of a planet. Cycling of CO2between the atmosphere, oceans and interior through subduction and surface volcanism is an important element of the carbonate-silicate cycle, a thermostat feedback cycle that will keep the atmosphere from entering into a runaway greenhouse. Calculations for a model Earth lacking plate tectonics but degassing CO2, N, and H2O to form a surface ocean and a secondary atmosphere (Tosi et al, 2016) suggest that liquid water can be maintained on the surface for 4.5Ga. The model planet would then qualify as habitable. It is conceivable that the CO2 buffering capability of its ocean together with silicate

  13. Effective Physics Study Habits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettili, Nouredine

    2011-04-01

    We discuss the methods of efficient study habits and how they can be used by students to help them improve learning physics. In particular, we deal with ideas pertaining to the most effective techniques needed to help students improve their physics study skills. These ideas were developed as part of Project IMPACTSEED (IMproving Physics And Chemistry Teaching in SEcondary Education), an outreach grant funded by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. This project is motivated by a major pressing local need: A large number of high school physics teachers teach out of field. In the presentation, focus on topics such as the skills of how to develop long term memory, how to improve concentration power, how to take class notes, how to prepare for and take exams, how to study scientific subjects such as physics. We argue that the student who conscientiously uses the methods of efficient study habits will be able to achieve higher results than the student who does not; moreover, a student equipped with the proper study skills will spend much less time to learn a subject than a student who has no good study habits. The underlying issue here is not the quantity of time allocated to the study efforts by the student, but the efficiency and quality of actions. This work is supported by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education as part of IMPACTSEED grant.

  14. [Control of Chagas' disease in Guarani communities: knowledge and hygiene habits within the Project to Improve Living Conditions in Bolivia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdú, J; Ruiz, M T

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify knowledge and control of vectorial transmission (Triatoma infestans, known as vinchuca) of Chagas' disease in Guaraní Communities in Bolivia. We performed a descriptive study of a series of 98 individuals through a semi-structured questionnaire. Interviewees were asked about their familiarity with vinchuca, whether they thought vinchuca produced disease, the name of the disease and its consequences, as well as behavior related to eliminating the domestic insect vectors, such as cleaning of the home, backyard and corral.The insect vector was sufficiently well known (98%), although the name of the disease was identified by only 14.3% of the interviewees. Although the dwellings favored insect proliferation, they were not frequently cleaned: 28.6% cleaned their homes while and 42.9% cleaned the backyard and 7.1% cleaned the corral. Gender differences were found in the division of labor: women cleaned the homes and backyards, while men clean the corral. Experience has shown that the usefulness of projects for building healthy living areas and for health education depends on the value given to these projects by the community. Women are probably the best target group, because they perform a greater number of preventive tasks and seldom leave the community for extended periods of time.

  15. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia

    2000-01-01

    So far the searches for extrasolar planets have found 40 planetary companions orbiting around nearby stars. In December 1999 a transit has been observed for one of them, providing the first independent confirmation of the reality of close-in planets as well as a measurement of its density. The techniques used to detect planets are limited and the detection threshold is biased but a first picture of the planet diversity and distribution emerges. Results of the search for extra-solar planets and their impacts on planetary formation will be reviewed. Future instruments are foreseen to detect Earth-like planets and possible signatures of organic activity. An overview of these future projects will be presented and more particularly the Darwin-IRSI mission studied by ESA for Horizon 2015.

  16. On the inclination and habitability of the HD 10180 system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States); Gelino, Dawn M., E-mail: skane@sfsu.edu [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, MS 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2014-09-10

    There are numerous multi-planet systems that have now been detected via a variety of techniques. These systems exhibit a range of both planetary properties and orbital configurations. For those systems without detected planetary transits, a significant unknown factor is the orbital inclination. This produces an uncertainty in the mass of the planets and their related properties, such as atmospheric scale height. Here we investigate the HD 10180 system, which was discovered using the radial velocity technique. We provide a new orbital solution for the system which allows for eccentric orbits for all planets. We show how the inclination of the system affects the mass/radius properties of the planets and how the detection of phase signatures may resolve the inclination ambiguity. We finally evaluate the Habitable Zone properties of the system and show that the g planet spends 100% of an eccentric orbit within the Habitable Zone.

  17. PLANET HUNTERS: ASSESSING THE KEPLER INVENTORY OF SHORT-PERIOD PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris J.; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Simpson, Robert J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Over 24,000 volunteers reviewed the Kepler Quarter 1 data set. We examine the abundance of ≥2 R ⊕ planets on short-period ( ⊕ Planet Hunters ≥85% efficient at identifying transit signals for planets with periods less than 15 days for the Kepler sample of target stars. Our high efficiency rate for simulated transits along with recovery of the majority of Kepler ≥4 R ⊕ planets suggests that the Kepler inventory of ≥4 R ⊕ short-period planets is nearly complete.

  18. Habitable zone dependence on stellar parameter uncertainties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    An important property of exoplanetary systems is the extent of the Habitable Zone (HZ), defined as that region where water can exist in a liquid state on the surface of a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure. Both ground- and space-based observations have revealed a plethora of confirmed exoplanets and exoplanetary candidates, most notably from the Kepler mission using the transit detection technique. Many of these detected planets lie within the predicted HZ of their host star. However, as is the case with the derived properties of the planets themselves, the HZ boundaries depend on how well we understand the host star. Here we quantify the uncertainties of HZ boundaries on the parameter uncertainties of the host star. We examine the distribution of stellar parameter uncertainties from confirmed exoplanet hosts and Kepler candidate hosts and translate these into HZ boundary uncertainties. We apply this to several known systems with an HZ planet to determine the uncertainty in their HZ status.

  19. Habitable zone dependence on stellar parameter uncertainties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R., E-mail: skane@sfsu.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States)

    2014-02-20

    An important property of exoplanetary systems is the extent of the Habitable Zone (HZ), defined as that region where water can exist in a liquid state on the surface of a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure. Both ground- and space-based observations have revealed a plethora of confirmed exoplanets and exoplanetary candidates, most notably from the Kepler mission using the transit detection technique. Many of these detected planets lie within the predicted HZ of their host star. However, as is the case with the derived properties of the planets themselves, the HZ boundaries depend on how well we understand the host star. Here we quantify the uncertainties of HZ boundaries on the parameter uncertainties of the host star. We examine the distribution of stellar parameter uncertainties from confirmed exoplanet hosts and Kepler candidate hosts and translate these into HZ boundary uncertainties. We apply this to several known systems with an HZ planet to determine the uncertainty in their HZ status.

  20. THE HUNT FOR EXOMOONS WITH KEPLER (HEK). I. DESCRIPTION OF A NEW OBSERVATIONAL PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kipping, D. M.; Bakos, G. Á.; Buchhave, L.; Nesvorný, D.; Schmitt, A.

    2012-01-01

    Two decades ago, empirical evidence concerning the existence and frequency of planets around stars, other than our own, was absent. Since that time, the detection of extrasolar planets from Jupiter-sized to, most recently, Earth-sized worlds has blossomed and we are finally able to shed light on the plurality of Earth-like, habitable planets in the cosmos. Extrasolar moons may also be frequently habitable worlds, but their detection or even systematic pursuit remains lacking in the current literature. Here, we present a description of the first systematic search for extrasolar moons as part of a new observational project called 'The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler' (HEK). The HEK project distills the entire list of known transiting planet candidates found by Kepler (2326 at the time of writing) down to the most promising candidates for hosting a moon. Selected targets are fitted using a multimodal nested sampling algorithm coupled with a planet-with-moon light curve modeling routine. By comparing the Bayesian evidence of a planet-only model to that of a planet-with-moon, the detection process is handled in a Bayesian framework. In the case of null detections, upper limits derived from posteriors marginalized over the entire prior volume will be provided to inform the frequency of large moons around viable planetary hosts, η leftmoon. After discussing our methodologies for target selection, modeling, fitting, and vetting, we provide two example analyses.

  1. Observsational Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Fung, Jeffrey

    2017-06-01

    Planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars. As such, the most direct way to learn how they form from observations, is to directly watch them forming in disks. In the past, this was very difficult due to a lack of observational capabilities; as such, planet formation was largely a subject of pure theoretical astrophysics. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online recently, we have just started to unveil features in resolve images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are most likely associated with embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the masses and orbits of these still forming planets may be constrained. Such planets may help us to directly test various planet formation models. This marks the onset of a new field — observational planet formation. I will introduce the current status of this field.

  2. Search for a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tokovinin, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    The problem of search for star planets is discussed in a popular form. Two methods of search for planets are considered: astrometric and spectral. Both methods complement one another. An assumption is made that potential possessors of planets are in the first place yellow and red dwarfs with slow axial rotation. These stars are the most numerous representatives of Galaxy population

  3. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Nuno C; Benz, Willy; Mayor, Michel

    2005-10-14

    Since 1995, more than 150 extrasolar planets have been discovered, most of them in orbits quite different from those of the giant planets in our own solar system. The number of discovered extrasolar planets demonstrates that planetary systems are common but also that they may possess a large variety of properties. As the number of detections grows, statistical studies of the properties of exoplanets and their host stars can be conducted to unravel some of the key physical and chemical processes leading to the formation of planetary systems.

  4. Constraining Exoplanet Habitability with HabEx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging mission, or HabEx, is one of four flagship mission concepts currently under study for the upcoming 2020 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The broad goal of HabEx will be to image and study small, rocky planets in the Habitable Zones of nearby stars. Additionally, HabEx will pursue a range of other astrophysical investigations, including the characterization of non-habitable exoplanets and detailed observations of stars and galaxies. Critical to the capability of HabEx to understand Habitable Zone exoplanets will be its ability to search for signs of surface liquid water (i.e., habitability) and an active biosphere. Photometry and moderate resolution spectroscopy, spanning the ultraviolet through near-infrared spectral ranges, will enable constraints on key habitability-related atmospheric species and properties (e.g., surface pressure). In this poster, we will discuss approaches to detecting signs of habitability in reflected-light observations of rocky exoplanets. We will also present initial results for modeling experiments aimed at demonstrating the capabilities of HabEx to study and understand Earth-like worlds around other stars.

  5. The Trojan minor planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratt, Christopher E.

    1988-08-01

    There are (March, 1988) 3774 minor planets which have received a permanent number. Of these, there are some whose mean distance to the sun is very nearly equal to that of Jupiter, and whose heliocentric longitudes from that planet are about 60°, so that the three bodies concerned (sun, Jupiter, minor planet) make an approximate equilateral triangle. These minor planets, which occur in two distinct groups, one preceding Jupiter and one following, have received the names of the heroes of the Trojan war. This paper concerns the 49 numbered minor planets of this group.

  6. PLANET TOPERS: Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, V; Asael, D; Baland, R M; Baludikay, B K; Beghin, J; Belza, J; Beuthe, M; Breuer, D; Chernonozhkin, S; Claeys, Ph; Cornet, Y; Cornet, L; Coyette, A; Debaille, V; Delvigne, C; Deproost, M H; De WInter, N; Duchemin, C; El Atrassi, F; François, C; De Keyser, J; Gillmann, C; Gloesener, E; Goderis, S; Hidaka, Y; Höning, D; Huber, M; Hublet, G; Javaux, E J; Karatekin, Ö; Kodolanyi, J; Revilla, L Lobo; Maes, L; Maggiolo, R; Mattielli, N; Maurice, M; McKibbin, S; Morschhauser, A; Neumann, W; Noack, L; Pham, L B S; Pittarello, L; Plesa, A C; Rivoldini, A; Robert, S; Rosenblatt, P; Spohn, T; Storme, J -Y; Tosi, N; Trinh, A; Valdes, M; Vandaele, A C; Vanhaecke, F; Van Hoolst, T; Van Roosbroek, N; Wilquet, V; Yseboodt, M

    2016-11-01

    The Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) 'PLANET TOPERS' (Planets: Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their Reservoirs) addresses the fundamental understanding of the thermal and compositional evolution of the different reservoirs of planetary bodies (core, mantle, crust, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and space) considering interactions and feedback mechanisms. Here we present the first results after 2 years of project work.

  7. White dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsor Amy

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The recognition that planets may survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and the prospects for finding them around White Dwarfs, are growing. We discuss two aspects governing planetary survival through stellar evolution to the White Dwarf stage. First we discuss the case of a single planet, and its survival under the effects of stellar mass loss, radius expansion, and tidal orbital decay as the star evolves along the Asymptotic Giant Branch. We show that, for stars initially of 1 − 5 M⊙, any planets within about 1 − 5 AU will be engulfed, this distance depending on the stellar and planet masses and the planet's eccentricity. Planets engulfed by the star's envelope are unlikely to survive. Hence, planets surviving the Asymptotic Giant Branch phase will probably be found beyond ∼ 2 AU for a 1  M⊙ progenitor and ∼ 10 AU for a 5 M⊙ progenitor. We then discuss the evolution of two-planet systems around evolving stars. As stars lose mass, planet–planet interactions become stronger, and many systems stable on the Main Sequence become destabilised following evolution of the primary. The outcome of such instabilities is typically the ejection of one planet, with the survivor being left on an eccentric orbit. These eccentric planets could in turn be responsible for feeding planetesimals into the neighbourhood of White Dwarfs, causing observed pollution and circumstellar discs.

  8. On the Biohabitability of M-dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandel, A.

    2018-04-01

    The recent detection of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, Trappist-1, and many other nearby M-type stars has led to speculations whether liquid water and life actually exist on these planets. To a large extent, the answer depends on their yet unknown atmospheres, which may, however, be within observational reach in the near future by JWST, ELT, and other planned telescopes. We consider the habitability of planets of M-type stars in the context of their atmospheric properties, heat transport, and irradiation. Instead of the traditional definition of the habitable zone, we define the biohabitable zone, where liquid water and complex organic molecules can survive on at least part of the planetary surface. The atmospheric impact on the temperature is quantified in terms of the heating factor (a combination of greenhouse heating, stellar irradiation, albedo, etc.) and heat redistribution (horizontal energy transport). We investigate the biohabitable domain (where planets can support surface liquid water and organics) in terms of these two factors. Our results suggest that planets orbiting M-type stars may have life-supporting temperatures, at least on part of their surface, for a wide range of atmospheric properties. We apply this analyses to Proxima Cen b and the Trappist-1 system. Finally, we discuss the implications for the search of biosignatures and demonstrate how they may be used to estimate the abundance of photosynthesis and biotic planets.

  9. Creating one planet communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilts, R.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation discussed low carbon communities that used a variety of sustainable energy technologies to reduce energy consumption and waste. The presentation was given by a company who has adopted a One Planet framework to ensure the development of zero carbon, zero waste, sustainable communities.The Dockside Green project was awarded North America's highest leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) score. The community includes a waste biomass plant and an on-site wastewater treatment plant. Excess heat produced by the community's greenhouse gas (GHG) neutral biomass district heating system is sold to neighbouring communities. The BedZED project in the United Kingdom uses a high-density format to support a community living and workspace environment that uses rainwater harvesting, passive solar heating, high performance envelopes, and green roofs. The site includes 40 electric car charging stations. A combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant provides electricity and hot water to all buildings. Neighbourhood-scale sustainable development is expected to have a significant impact on the ecological footprint of North American cities. Carbon neutral projects in Canada were also listed. tabs., figs.

  10. High Contrast Imaging of Extrasolar Planets with a Vector Vortex Coronagraph

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The discovery of rocky planets orbiting their parent stars in the habitable zone, the area where the temperature is such that water is able to exist in liquid form,...

  11. Constraining the volatile fraction of planets from transit observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibert, Y.

    2016-06-01

    gas, the measured mass and radius imply at least 20% of volatiles in the interior. For planets at larger distances, we show that the observation of transiting planets at different evolutionary ages can be used to set statistical constraints on the volatile content of planets. Conclusions: These results can be used in the context of future missions like PLATO to better understand the internal composition of planets, and based on this, their formation process and potential habitability.

  12. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    automated batch processing of a large number of candidates.In a recently published study the results of which were announced yesterday the teamapplied their code to the entire catalog of 7,470 Kepler objects of interest.New Planets and False PositivesThe teams code was able to successfully evaluate the total false-positive probability (FPP) for 7,056 of the objects of interest. Of these, 428 objects previously identified as candidates were found to have FPP of more than 90%, suggesting that they are most likely false positives.Periods and radii of candidate and confirmed planets in the Kepler Objects of Interest catalog. Blue circles have previously been identified as confirmed planets. Candidates (orange) are shaded by false positive probability; more transparent means more likely to be a false positive. [Morton et al. 2016]In contrast, 1,935 candidates were found to have FPP of less than 1%, and were therefore declared validated planets. Of these confirmations, 1,284 were previously unconfirmed, more than doubling Keplers previous catalog of 1,041 confirmed planets. Morton and collaborators believe that 9 of these newly confirmed planets may fall within the habitable zone of their host stars.While the announcement of 1,284 newly confirmed planets is huge, the analysis presented in this study is the real news. The code used is publicly available and can be applied to any transiting exoplanet candidate. This means that this analysis technique can be used to find batches of exoplanets in data from the extended Kepler mission (K2) or from the future TESS and PLATO transit missions.CitationTimothy D. Morton et al 2016 ApJ 822 86. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/86

  13. The MEarth-North and MEarth-South Transit Surveys: Searching for Habitable Super-Earth Exoplanets Around Nearby M-dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Jonathan M.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Dittmann, Jason; Falco, Emilio E.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Nutzman, Philip

    2015-01-01

    Detection and characterization of potentially habitable Earth-size extrasolar planets is one of the major goals of contemporary astronomy. By applying the transit method to very low-mass M-dwarfs , it is possible to find these planets from the ground with present-day instrumentation and observational techniques. The MEarth project is one such survey with stations in both hemispheres: MEarth-North at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, and MEarth-South at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile. We present an update on recent results of this survey, for planet occurrence rates, and interesting stellar astrophysics, for which our sample of 3000 nearby mid-to-late M-dwarfs has been very fruitful. All light curves gathered during the survey are made publicly available after one year, and we describe how to access and use these data.

  14. THE K2-ESPRINT PROJECT. I. DISCOVERY OF THE DISINTEGRATING ROCKY PLANET K2-22b WITH A COMETARY HEAD AND LEADING TAIL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Rappaport, S.; Dai, F.; Pallè, E.; Delrez, L.; DeVore, J.; Gandolfi, D.; Fukui, A.; Ribas, I.; Stassun, K. G.; Albrecht, S.; Gaidos, E.; Gillon, M.; Hirano, T.

    2015-01-01

    We present the discovery of a transiting exoplanet candidate in the K2 Field-1 with an orbital period of 9.1457 hr: K2-22b. The highly variable transit depths, ranging from ∼0% to 1.3%, are suggestive of a planet that is disintegrating via the emission of dusty effluents. We characterize the host star as an M-dwarf with T eff ≃ 3800 K. We have obtained ground-based transit measurements with several 1-m class telescopes and with the GTC. These observations (1) improve the transit ephemeris; (2) confirm the variable nature of the transit depths; (3) indicate variations in the transit shapes; and (4) demonstrate clearly that at least on one occasion the transit depths were significantly wavelength dependent. The latter three effects tend to indicate extinction of starlight by dust rather than by any combination of solid bodies. The K2 observations yield a folded light curve with lower time resolution but with substantially better statistical precision compared with the ground-based observations. We detect a significant “bump” just after the transit egress, and a less significant bump just prior to transit ingress. We interpret these bumps in the context of a planet that is not only likely streaming a dust tail behind it, but also has a more prominent leading dust trail that precedes it. This effect is modeled in terms of dust grains that can escape to beyond the planet's Hill sphere and effectively undergo “Roche lobe overflow,” even though the planet's surface is likely underfilling its Roche lobe by a factor of 2

  15. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  16. SETI and SEH (Statistical Equation for Habitables)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccone, Claudio

    2011-01-01

    The statistics of habitable planets may be based on a set of ten (and possibly more) astrobiological requirements first pointed out by Stephen H. Dole in his book "Habitable planets for man" (1964). In this paper, we first provide the statistical generalization of the original and by now too simplistic Dole equation. In other words, a product of ten positive numbers is now turned into the product of ten positive random variables. This we call the SEH, an acronym standing for "Statistical Equation for Habitables". The mathematical structure of the SEH is then derived. The proof is based on the central limit theorem (CLT) of Statistics. In loose terms, the CLT states that the sum of any number of independent random variables, each of which may be arbitrarily distributed, approaches a Gaussian (i.e. normal) random variable. This is called the Lyapunov form of the CLT, or the Lindeberg form of the CLT, depending on the mathematical constraints assumed on the third moments of the various probability distributions. In conclusion, we show that The new random variable NHab, yielding the number of habitables (i.e. habitable planets) in the Galaxy, follows the lognormal distribution. By construction, the mean value of this lognormal distribution is the total number of habitable planets as given by the statistical Dole equation. But now we also derive the standard deviation, the mode, the median and all the moments of this new lognormal NHab random variable. The ten (or more) astrobiological factors are now positive random variables. The probability distribution of each random variable may be arbitrary. The CLT in the so-called Lyapunov or Lindeberg forms (that both do not assume the factors to be identically distributed) allows for that. In other words, the CLT "translates" into our SEH by allowing an arbitrary probability distribution for each factor. This is both astrobiologically realistic and useful for any further investigations. An application of our SEH then follows

  17. Planet formation in Binaries

    OpenAIRE

    Thebault, Ph.; Haghighipour, N.

    2014-01-01

    Spurred by the discovery of numerous exoplanets in multiple systems, binaries have become in recent years one of the main topics in planet formation research. Numerous studies have investigated to what extent the presence of a stellar companion can affect the planet formation process. Such studies have implications that can reach beyond the sole context of binaries, as they allow to test certain aspects of the planet formation scenario by submitting them to extreme environments. We review her...

  18. Properties of the single Jovian planet population and the pursuit of Solar system analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnew, Matthew T.; Maddison, Sarah T.; Horner, Jonathan

    2018-04-01

    While the number of exoplanets discovered continues to increase at a rapid rate, we are still to discover any system that truly resembles the Solar system. Existing and near future surveys will likely continue this trend of rapid discovery. To see if these systems are Solar system analogues, we will need to efficiently allocate resources to carry out intensive follow-up observations. We seek to uncover the properties and trends across systems that indicate how much of the habitable zone is stable in each system to provide focus for planet hunters. We study the dynamics of all known single Jovian planetary systems, to assess the dynamical stability of the habitable zone around their host stars. We perform a suite of simulations of all systems where the Jovian planet will interact gravitationally with the habitable zone, and broadly classify these systems. Besides the system's mass ratio (Mpl/Mstar), and the Jovian planet's semi-major axis (apl) and eccentricity (epl), we find that there are no underlying system properties which are observable that indicate the potential for planets to survive within the system's habitable zone. We use Mpl/Mstar, apl and epl to generate a parameter space over which the unstable systems cluster, thus allowing us to predict which systems to exclude from future observational or numerical searches for habitable exoplanets. We also provide a candidate list of 20 systems that have completely stable habitable zones and Jovian planets orbiting beyond the habitable zone as potential first order Solar system analogues.

  19. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  20. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    Giant planets are thought to form in circumstellar disks surrounding young stars, but material may also accrete into a smaller disk around the planet. Weve never detected one of these circumplanetary disks before but thanks to new simulations, we now have a better idea of what to look for.Image from previous work simulating a Jupiter-mass planet forming inside a circumstellar disk. The planet has its own circumplanetary disk of accreted material. [Frdric Masset]Elusive DisksIn the formation of giant planets, we think the final phase consists of accretion onto the planet from a disk that surrounds it. This circumplanetary disk is important to understand, since it both regulates the late gas accretion and forms the birthplace of future satellites of the planet.Weve yet to detect a circumplanetary disk thus far, because the resolution needed to spot one has been out of reach. Now, however, were entering an era where the disk and its kinematics may be observable with high-powered telescopes (like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).To prepare for such observations, we need models that predict the basic characteristics of these disks like the mass, temperature, and kinematic properties. Now a researcher at the ETH Zrich Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, Judit Szulgyi, has worked toward this goal.Simulating CoolingSzulgyi performs a series of 3D global radiative hydrodynamic simulations of 1, 3, 5, and 10 Jupiter-mass (MJ) giant planets and their surrounding circumplanetary disks, embedded within the larger circumstellar disk around the central star.Density (left column), temperature (center), and normalized angular momentum (right) for a 1 MJ planet over temperatures cooling from 10,000 K (top) to 1,000 K (bottom). At high temperatures, a spherical circumplanetary envelope surrounds the planet, but as the planet cools, the envelope transitions around 64,000 K to a flattened disk. [Szulgyi 2017]This work explores the effects of different planet temperatures and

  1. Planets: Integrated Services for Digital Preservation

    OpenAIRE

    Farquhar, Adam; Hockx-Yu, Helen

    2007-01-01

    The Planets Project is developing services and technology to address core challenges in digital preservation. This article introduces the motivation for this work, describes the extensible technical architecture and places the Planets approach into the context of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model. It also provides a scenario demonstrating Planets’ usefulness in solving real-life digital preservation problems and an overview of the project’s progress to date.

  2. Planets: Integrated Services for Digital Preservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Farquhar

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The Planets Project is developing services and technology to address core challenges in digital preservation. This article introduces the motivation for this work, describes the extensible technical architecture and places the Planets approach into the context of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS Reference Model. It also provides a scenario demonstrating Planets’ usefulness in solving real-life digital preservation problems and an overview of the project’s progress to date.

  3. Dependence of the Onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect on the Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodama, T.; Nitta, A.; Genda, H.; Takao, Y.; O'ishi, R.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Abe, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Liquid water vaporizes entirely when planets receive insolation above a certain critical value, which is called the runaway greenhouse threshold. This threshold forms the inner most limit of the habitable zone. Here we investigate the effects of the distribution of surface water on the runaway greenhouse threshold for Earth-sized planets using a three-dimensional dynamic atmosphere model. We considered a 1 bar atmosphere whose composition is similar to the current Earth's atmosphere with a zonally uniform distribution of surface water. As previous studies have already showed, we also recognized two climate regimes: the land planet regime, which has dry low-latitude and wet high-latitude regions, and the aqua planet regime, which is globally wet. We showed that each regime is controlled by the width of the Hadley circulation, the amount of surface water, and the planetary topography. We found that the runaway greenhouse threshold varies continuously with the surface water distribution from about 130% (an aqua planet) to 180% (the extreme case of a land planet) of the present insolation at Earth's orbit. Our results indicate that the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single sharp boundary, but a border whose location varies depending on planetary surface condition, such as the amount of surface water. Since land planets have wider habitable zones and less cloud cover, land planets would be good targets for future observations investigating planetary habitability.

  4. In search of planets and life around other stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, J I

    1999-05-11

    The discovery of over a dozen low-mass companions to nearby stars has intensified scientific and public interest in a longer term search for habitable planets like our own. However, the nature of the detected companions, and in particular whether they resemble Jupiter in properties and origin, remains undetermined.

  5. VVV Survey Search for Habitable Planets around M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minniti, Dante

    2015-08-01

    VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) is a public ESO near- infrared (near-IR) variability survey aimed at scanning the Milky Way Bulge and an adjacent section of the mid-plane. The survey covers an area of 562 sqdeg in the Galactic bulge and the southern disk, containing a billion point sources. In this work we discuss the selection of nearby M-type dwarf stars using multicolor cuts. The ZYJHKs photometry allows an accurate estimation of the spectral types of the M-dwarf candidates. Our procedure is applied for fields located far from the Galactic center where the photometric quality is best. The results of this search covering 15 sqdeg allow us to estimate the total number of M-dwarfs that can be photometrically monitored in the VVV database. In addition, we analyze the light curves of the ~10000 best candidate M-dwarf stars searching for extrasolar planetary transits. In this poster we present the light curves of a hundred good transit candidates, and select those that lie in the HZ around their parent stars.

  6. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2012-03-01

    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  7. A STELLAR-MASS-DEPENDENT DROP IN PLANET OCCURRENCE RATES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mulders, Gijs D.; Pascucci, Ilaria; Apai, Dániel

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler spacecraft has discovered a large number of planets with up to one-year periods and down to terrestrial sizes. While the majority of the target stars are main-sequence dwarfs of spectral type F, G, and K, Kepler covers stars with effective temperatures as low as 2500 K, which corresponds to M stars. These cooler stars allow characterization of small planets near the habitable zone, yet it is not clear if this population is representative of that around FGK stars. In this paper, we calculate the occurrence of planets around stars of different spectral types as a function of planet radius and distance from the star and show that they are significantly different from each other. We further identify two trends. First, the occurrence of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets (1-4 R ⊕ ) is successively higher toward later spectral types at all orbital periods probed by Kepler; planets around M stars occur twice as frequently as around G stars, and thrice as frequently as around F stars. Second, a drop in planet occurrence is evident at all spectral types inward of a ∼10 day orbital period, with a plateau further out. By assigning to each spectral type a median stellar mass, we show that the distance from the star where this drop occurs is stellar mass dependent, and scales with semi-major axis as the cube root of stellar mass. By comparing different mechanisms of planet formation, trapping, and destruction, we find that this scaling best matches the location of the pre-main-sequence co-rotation radius, indicating efficient trapping of migrating planets or planetary building blocks close to the star. These results demonstrate the stellar-mass dependence of the planet population, both in terms of occurrence rate and of orbital distribution. The prominent stellar-mass dependence of the inner boundary of the planet population shows that the formation or migration of planets is sensitive to the stellar parameters

  8. STABLE CONIC-HELICAL ORBITS OF PLANETS AROUND BINARY STARS: ANALYTICAL RESULTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oks, E. [Physics Department, 206 Allison Lab., Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849 (United States)

    2015-05-10

    Studies of planets in binary star systems are especially important because it was estimated that about half of binary stars are capable of supporting habitable terrestrial planets within stable orbital ranges. One-planet binary star systems (OBSS) have a limited analogy to objects studied in atomic/molecular physics: one-electron Rydberg quasimolecules (ORQ). Specifically, ORQ, consisting of two fully stripped ions of the nuclear charges Z and Z′ plus one highly excited electron, are encountered in various plasmas containing more than one kind of ion. Classical analytical studies of ORQ resulted in the discovery of classical stable electronic orbits with the shape of a helix on the surface of a cone. In the present paper we show that despite several important distinctions between OBSS and ORQ, it is possible for OBSS to have stable planetary orbits in the shape of a helix on a conical surface, whose axis of symmetry coincides with the interstellar axis; the stability is not affected by the rotation of the stars. Further, we demonstrate that the eccentricity of the stars’ orbits does not affect the stability of the helical planetary motion if the center of symmetry of the helix is relatively close to the star of the larger mass. We also show that if the center of symmetry of the conic-helical planetary orbit is relatively close to the star of the smaller mass, a sufficiently large eccentricity of stars’ orbits can switch the planetary motion to the unstable mode and the planet would escape the system. We demonstrate that such planets are transitable for the overwhelming majority of inclinations of plane of the stars’ orbits (i.e., the projections of the planet and the adjacent start on the plane of the sky coincide once in a while). This means that conic-helical planetary orbits at binary stars can be detected photometrically. We consider, as an example, Kepler-16 binary stars to provide illustrative numerical data on the possible parameters and the

  9. THESIS: terrestrial and habitable zone infrared spectroscopy spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasisht, G.; Swain, M. R.; Akeson, R. L.; Burrows, A.; Deming, D.; Grillmair, C. J.; Greene, T. P.

    2008-07-01

    THESIS is a concept for a medium class mission designed for spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets between 2-14 microns. The concept leverages off the recent first-steps made by Spitzer and Hubble in characterizing the atmospheres of alien gas giants. Under favourable circumstances, THESIS is capable of identifying biogenic molecules in habitable-zone planets, thereby determining conditions on worlds where life might exist. By systematically characterizing many worlds, from rocky planets to gas-giants, THESIS would deliver transformational science of profound interest to astronomers and the general public.

  10. Healthy Sleep Habits

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Sleep Apnea Testing CPAP Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Sleep Habits Your behaviors during the day, and especially ... team at an AASM accredited sleep center . Quick Sleep Tips Follow these tips to establish healthy sleep ...

  11. A model of habitability within the Milky Way galaxy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowanlock, M G; Patton, D R; McConnell, S M

    2011-11-01

    We present a model of the galactic habitable zone (GHZ), described in terms of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the Galaxy that may favor the development of complex life. The Milky Way galaxy was modeled using a computational approach by populating stars and their planetary systems on an individual basis by employing Monte Carlo methods. We began with well-established properties of the disk of the Milky Way, such as the stellar number density distribution, the initial mass function, the star formation history, and the metallicity gradient as a function of radial position and time. We varied some of these properties and created four models to test the sensitivity of our assumptions. To assess habitability on the galactic scale, we modeled supernova rates, planet formation, and the time required for complex life to evolve. Our study has improved on other literature on the GHZ by populating stars on an individual basis and modeling Type II supernova (SNII) and Type Ia supernova (SNIa) sterilizations by selecting their progenitors from within this preexisting stellar population. Furthermore, we considered habitability on tidally locked and non-tidally locked planets separately and studied habitability as a function of height above and below the galactic midplane. In the model that most accurately reproduces the properties of the Galaxy, the results indicate that an individual SNIa is ∼5.6× more lethal than an individual SNII on average. In addition, we predict that ∼1.2% of all stars host a planet that may have been capable of supporting complex life at some point in the history of the Galaxy. Of those stars with a habitable planet, ∼75% of planets are predicted to be in a tidally locked configuration with their host star. The majority of these planets that may support complex life are found toward the inner Galaxy, distributed within, and significantly above and below, the galactic midplane.

  12. Stability of Multi-Planet Systems in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2017-01-01

    We evaluate the extent of the regions within the alpha Centauri AB star system where small planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales (Quarles & Lissauer 2016, Astron. J. 151, 111), as well as how closely-spaced planetary orbits can be within those regions in which individual planets can survive. Although individual planets on low inclination, low eccentricity, orbits can survive throughout the habitable zones of both stars, perturbations from the companion star imply that the spacing of planets in multi-planet systems within the habitable zones of each star must be significantly larger than the spacing of similar multi-planet systems orbiting single stars in order to be long-lived. Because the binary companion induces a forced eccentricity upon the orbits of planets in orbit around either star, appropriately-aligned circumstellar orbits with small initial eccentricities are stable to slightly larger initial semimajor axes than are initially circular orbits. Initial eccentricities close to forced eccentricities can have a much larger affect on how closely planetary orbits can be spaced, and therefore on how many planets may remain in the habitable zones, although the required spacing remains significantly higher than for planets orbiting single stars.

  13. Rearing a reading habit

    OpenAIRE

    Sridhar, M. S.

    2009-01-01

    Discusses the importance and ways of inculcating reading habit in children at the right age, describes the five reading phases in children along with interest and the material to satiate the need, explains how four deterministic factors affect the reading habit of children, enlists motivations that are behind the reading process with tips to improve reading habit of children.

  14. Abiotic production of methane in terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Segura, Antígona; Escobar-Briones, Elva

    2013-06-01

    On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×10(8) and 1.3×10(9) molecules cm(-2) s(-1) for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life.

  15. The hottest planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph; Luszcz, Statia; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Richardson, L Jeremy

    2007-06-07

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, just 14 pass in front of and behind their parent stars as seen from Earth. This fortuitous geometry allows direct determination of many planetary properties. Previous reports of planetary thermal emission give fluxes that are roughly consistent with predictions based on thermal equilibrium with the planets' received radiation, assuming a Bond albedo of approximately 0.3. Here we report direct detection of thermal emission from the smallest known transiting planet, HD 149026b, that indicates a brightness temperature (an expression of flux) of 2,300 +/- 200 K at 8 microm. The planet's predicted temperature for uniform, spherical, blackbody emission and zero albedo (unprecedented for planets) is 1,741 K. As models with non-zero albedo are cooler, this essentially eliminates uniform blackbody models, and may also require an albedo lower than any measured for a planet, very strong 8 microm emission, strong temporal variability, or a heat source other than stellar radiation. On the other hand, an instantaneous re-emission blackbody model, in which each patch of surface area instantly re-emits all received light, matches the data. This planet is known to be enriched in heavy elements, which may give rise to novel atmospheric properties yet to be investigated.

  16. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  17. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A

    2010-01-01

    Planets: A Very Short Introduction demonstrates the excitement, uncertainties, and challenges faced by planetary scientists, and provides an overview of our Solar System and its origins, nature, and evolution. Terrestrial planets, giant planets, dwarf planets and various other objects such as satellites (moons), asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, and exoplanets are discussed. Our knowledge about planets has advanced over the centuries, and has expanded at a rapidly growing rate in recent years. Controversial issues are outlined, such as What qualifies as a planet? What conditions are required for a planetary body to be potentially inhabited by life? Why does Pluto no longer have planet status? And Is there life on other planets?

  18. A New Paradigm for Habitability in Planetary Systems: the Extremophilic Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janot-Pacheco, E., Bernardes, L., Lage, C. A. S.

    2014-03-01

    More than a thousand exoplanets have been discovered so far. Planetary surface temperature may strongly depends on its albedo and geodynamic conditions. We have fed exoplanets from the Encyclopedia database with a comprehensive model of Earth's atmosphere and plate tectonics. As CO2 is the main agent responsible for the greenhouse effect, its partial pressure has been taken as a free parameter to estimate the surface temperature of some known planets. We also investigated the possible presence of "exomoons" belonging to giant planets in the Habitable Zone capable of harbour dynamic stability, to retain an atmosphere and to keep geodynamic activity for long time spans. Biological data on earthly micro-organisms classified as "extremophiles" indicate that such kind of microbial species could dwell on the surface of many exoplanets and exomoons. We thus propose an extension of the mainly astronomically defined "Habitable Zone" concept into the more astrobiologically one, the "Extremophililic Zone", that takes into account other parameters allowing survival of more robust life forms. This contribution comes from an ongoing project developed by a French-Brazilian colaboration in Astrophysics and Biophysics to search for living fingerprints in astrobiologically promising exoplanets.

  19. Planet hunters. VI. An independent characterization of KOI-351 and several long period planet candidates from the Kepler archival data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Goodman, Samuel Jon; Jebson, Tony; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Paterson, David A.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of 14 new transiting planet candidates in the Kepler field from the Planet Hunters citizen science program. None of these candidates overlapped with Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) at the time of submission. We report the discovery of one more addition to the six planet candidate system around KOI-351, making it the only seven planet candidate system from Kepler. Additionally, KOI-351 bears some resemblance to our own solar system, with the inner five planets ranging from Earth to mini-Neptune radii and the outer planets being gas giants; however, this system is very compact, with all seven planet candidates orbiting ≲ 1 AU from their host star. A Hill stability test and an orbital integration of the system shows that the system is stable. Furthermore, we significantly add to the population of long period transiting planets; periods range from 124 to 904 days, eight of them more than one Earth year long. Seven of these 14 candidates reside in their host star's habitable zone.

  20. Chemical Evolution and the Galactic Habitable Zone of M31

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carigi, Leticia; Garcia-Rojas, Jorge; Meneses-Goytia, Sofia

    2013-01-01

    We have computed the Galactic Habitable Zones (GHZs) of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) based on the probability of terrestrial planet formation, which depends on the metallicity (Z) of the interstellar medium, and the number of stars formed per unit surface area. The GHZ was obtained from a chemical

  1. Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen; Asimov, Isaac

    2007-01-01

    "Planets for Man" was written at the height of the space race, a few years before the first moon landing, when it was assumed that in the not-too-distant future human beings "will be able to travel...

  2. The early evolution of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    CERN Document Server

    Raulin, François; Muller, Christian; Nixon, Conor; Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings : Volume 35

    2013-01-01

    “The Early Evolution of the Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets” presents the main processes participating in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. A group of experts in the different fields provide an update of our current knowledge on this topic. Several papers in this book discuss the key role of nitrogen in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. The earliest setting and evolution of planetary atmospheres of terrestrial planets is directly associated with accretion, chemical differentiation, outgassing, stochastic impacts, and extremely high energy fluxes from their host stars. This book provides an overview of the present knowledge of the initial atmospheric composition of the terrestrial planets. Additionally it includes some papers about the current exoplanet discoveries and provides additional clues to our understanding of Earth’s transition from a hot accretionary phase into a habitable world. All papers included were reviewed by experts in their respective fields. We are ...

  3. Transits of extrasolar moons around luminous giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.

    2016-04-01

    Beyond Earth-like planets, moons can be habitable, too. No exomoons have been securely detected, but they could be extremely abundant. Young Jovian planets can be as hot as late M stars, with effective temperatures of up to 2000 K. Transits of their moons might be detectable in their infrared photometric light curves if the planets are sufficiently separated (≳10 AU) from the stars to be directly imaged. The moons will be heated by radiation from their young planets and potentially by tidal friction. Although stellar illumination will be weak beyond 5 AU, these alternative energy sources could liquify surface water on exomoons for hundreds of Myr. A Mars-mass H2O-rich moon around β Pic b would have a transit depth of 1.5 × 10-3, in reach of near-future technology.

  4. Realistic limitations of detecting planets around young active stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Current planet hunting methods using the radial velocity method are limited to observing middle-aged main-sequence stars where the signatures of stellar activity are much less than on young stars that have just arrived on the main-sequence. In this work we apply our knowledge from the surface imaging of these young stars to place realistic limitations on the possibility of detecting orbiting planets. In general we find that the magnitude of the stellar jitter is directly proportional to the stellar vsini. For G and K dwarfs, we find that it is possible, for models with high stellar activity and low stellar vsini, to be able to detect a 1 MJupiter mass planet within 50 epochs of observations and for the M dwarfs it is possible to detect a habitable zone Earth-like planet in 10s of observational epochs.

  5. Formation, habitability, and detection of extrasolar moons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Williams, Darren; Kipping, David; Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin; Greenberg, Richard; Sasaki, Takanori; Bolmont, Emeline; Grasset, Olivier; Lewis, Karen; Barnes, Rory; Zuluaga, Jorge I

    2014-09-01

    The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets. Of peculiar interest from an astrobiological perspective, the number of sizable moons in the stellar habitable zones may outnumber planets in these circumstellar regions. With technological and theoretical methods now allowing for the detection of sub-Earth-sized extrasolar planets, the first detection of an extrasolar moon appears feasible. In this review, we summarize formation channels of massive exomoons that are potentially detectable with current or near-future instruments. We discuss the orbital effects that govern exomoon evolution, we present a framework to characterize an exomoon's stellar plus planetary illumination as well as its tidal heating, and we address the techniques that have been proposed to search for exomoons. Most notably, we show that natural satellites in the range of 0.1-0.5 Earth mass (i) are potentially habitable, (ii) can form within the circumplanetary debris and gas disk or via capture from a binary, and (iii) are detectable with current technology.

  6. New worlds on the horizon: Earth-sized planets close to other stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, Eric; Haghighipour, Nader; Agol, Eric; Latham, David; Raymond, Sean; Rayner, John

    2007-10-12

    The search for habitable planets like Earth around other stars fulfills an ancient imperative to understand our origins and place in the cosmos. The past decade has seen the discovery of hundreds of planets, but nearly all are gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn. Recent advances in instrumentation and new missions are extending searches to planets the size of Earth but closer to their host stars. There are several possible ways such planets could form, and future observations will soon test those theories. Many of these planets we discover may be quite unlike Earth in their surface temperature and composition, but their study will nonetheless inform us about the process of planet formation and the frequency of Earth-like planets around other stars.

  7. The planet Mercury (1971)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  8. Terraforming the Planets and Climate Change Mitigation on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, O. B.

    2008-12-01

    Hopefully, purposeful geo-engineering of the Earth will remain a theoretical concept. Of course, we have already inadvertently changed the Earth, and over geologic history life has left an indelible imprint on our planet. We can learn about geo-engineering schemes by reference to Earth history, for example climate changes after volcanic eruptions provide important clues to using sulfates to modify the climate. The terrestrial planets and Titan offer additional insights. For instance, Mars and Venus both have carbon dioxide dominated greenhouses. Both have more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide in their atmospheres as Earth, and both absorb less sunlight than Earth, yet one is much colder than Earth and one is much hotter. These facts provide important insights into carbon dioxide greenhouses that I will review. Mars cools dramatically following planet wide dust storms, and Titan has what is referred to as an anti- greenhouse climate driven by aerosols. These data can be used to reassure us that we can model aerosol caused changes to the climate of a planet, and also provide examples of aerosols offsetting a gas-driven greenhouse effect. People have long considered whether we might make the other planets habitable. While most of the schemes considered belong in the realm of science fiction, it is possible that some schemes might be practical. Terraforming brings to mind a number of issues that are thought provoking, but not so politically charged as geo-engineering. For example: What criteria define habitability, is it enough for people to live in isolated glass enclosures, or do we need to walk freely on the planet? Different creatures have different needs. Is a planet habitable if plants can thrive in the open, or do animals also need to be free? Are the raw materials present on any planet to make it habitable? If not, can we make the materials, or do we have to import them? Is it ethical to change a planetary climate? What if there are already primitive

  9. Formation, tidal evolution, and habitability of the Kepler-186 system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolmont, Emeline; Raymond, Sean N.; Selsis, Franck; Hersant, Franck [Univ. Bordeaux, Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Bordeaux, UMR 5804, F-33270 Floirac (France); Von Paris, Philip [Institut für Planetenforschung, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany); Quintana, Elisa V. [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Barclay, Thomas, E-mail: bolmont@obs.u-bordeaux1.fr [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2014-09-20

    The Kepler-186 system consists of five planets orbiting an early M dwarf. The planets have physical radii of 1.0-1.50 R {sub ⊕} and orbital periods of 4-130 days. The 1.1 R {sub ⊕} Kepler-186f with a period of 130 days is of particular interest. Its insolation of roughly 0.32 S {sub ⊕} places it within the surface liquid water habitable zone (HZ). We present a multifaceted study of the Kepler-186 system, using two sets of parameters which are consistent with the data and also self-consistent. First, we show that the distribution of planet masses can be roughly reproduced if the planets were accreted from a high surface density disk presumably sculpted by an earlier phase of migration. However, our simulations predict the existence of one to two undetected planets between planets e and f. Next, we present a dynamical analysis of the system including the effect of tides. The timescale for tidal evolution is short enough that the four inner planets must have small obliquities and near-synchronous rotation rates. The tidal evolution of Kepler-186f is slow enough that its current spin state depends on a combination of its initial spin state, its dissipation rate, and the stellar age. Finally, we study the habitability of Kepler-186f with a one-dimensional climate model. The planet's surface temperature can be raised above 273 K with 0.5-5 bars of CO{sub 2}, depending on the amount of N{sub 2} present. Kepler-186f represents a case study of an Earth-sized planet in the cooler regions of the HZ of a cool star.

  10. Formation, tidal evolution, and habitability of the Kepler-186 system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolmont, Emeline; Raymond, Sean N.; Selsis, Franck; Hersant, Franck; Von Paris, Philip; Quintana, Elisa V.; Barclay, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The Kepler-186 system consists of five planets orbiting an early M dwarf. The planets have physical radii of 1.0-1.50 R ⊕ and orbital periods of 4-130 days. The 1.1 R ⊕ Kepler-186f with a period of 130 days is of particular interest. Its insolation of roughly 0.32 S ⊕ places it within the surface liquid water habitable zone (HZ). We present a multifaceted study of the Kepler-186 system, using two sets of parameters which are consistent with the data and also self-consistent. First, we show that the distribution of planet masses can be roughly reproduced if the planets were accreted from a high surface density disk presumably sculpted by an earlier phase of migration. However, our simulations predict the existence of one to two undetected planets between planets e and f. Next, we present a dynamical analysis of the system including the effect of tides. The timescale for tidal evolution is short enough that the four inner planets must have small obliquities and near-synchronous rotation rates. The tidal evolution of Kepler-186f is slow enough that its current spin state depends on a combination of its initial spin state, its dissipation rate, and the stellar age. Finally, we study the habitability of Kepler-186f with a one-dimensional climate model. The planet's surface temperature can be raised above 273 K with 0.5-5 bars of CO 2 , depending on the amount of N 2 present. Kepler-186f represents a case study of an Earth-sized planet in the cooler regions of the HZ of a cool star.

  11. TRANSIT SURVEYS FOR EARTHS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agol, Eric

    2011-01-01

    To date the search for habitable Earth-like planets has primarily focused on nuclear burning stars. I propose that this search should be expanded to cool white dwarf stars that have expended their nuclear fuel. I define the continuously habitable zone of white dwarfs and show that it extends from ∼0.005 to 0.02 AU for white dwarfs with masses from 0.4 to 0.9 M sun , temperatures less than ∼10 4 K, and habitable durations of at least 3 Gyr. As they are similar in size to Earth, white dwarfs may be deeply eclipsed by terrestrial planets that orbit edge-on, which can easily be detected with ground-based telescopes. If planets can migrate inward or reform near white dwarfs, I show that a global robotic telescope network could carry out a transit survey of nearby white dwarfs placing interesting constraints on the presence of habitable Earths. If planets were detected, I show that the survey would favor detection of planets similar to Earth: similar size, temperature, and rotation period, and host star temperatures similar to the Sun. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could place even tighter constraints on the frequency of habitable Earths around white dwarfs. The confirmation and characterization of these planets might be carried out with large ground and space telescopes.

  12. The First Atmospheric Characterization of a Habitable-Zone Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Kevin; Bean, Jacob; Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Fortney, Jonathan; Irwin, Jonathan; Kreidberg, Laura; Line, Michael; Montet, Ben; Morley, Caroline

    2015-10-01

    Exoplanet surveys have recently revealed nearby planets orbiting within stellar habitable zones. This highly-anticipated breakthrough brings us one step closer in our quest to identify cosmic biosignatures, the indicators of extrasolar life. To achieve our goal, we must first study the atmospheres of these temperate worlds to measure their compositions and determine the prevalence of obscuring clouds. Using observations from the K2 mission, Co-I Montet recently announced the discovery of a 2.2 Earth-radii planet within the habitable zone of its relatively bright, nearby M dwarf parent star, K2-18. This temperate world is currently the best habitable-zone target for atmospheric characterization. Congruent with currently planned HST observations, we propose a Spitzer program to measure the transmission spectrum of the first habitable-zone exoplanet. Both telescopes are essential to revealing K2-18b's chemical composition. In a cloud-free, hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, the precision achieved by these measurements will be sufficient to detect methane, ammonia, and water vapor, which are the dominant C, N, and O bearing species at these temperatures. In turn, elemental abundance constraints from a primordial atmosphere can tell us about the composition of a protoplanetary disk in which Earth-like planets could have formed. Conversely, if the atmosphere contains thick clouds then the multi-wavelength observations from K2, HST, and Spitzer will constrain the clouds' properties. Because temperature plays a key role in the formation of clouds, their detection within the atmosphere of this habitable-zone exoplanet would be an important signpost that serves as a guide to future investigations of smaller, rocky exoplanets. As K2 continues discovering more habitable-zone planets, it is imperative that we perform spectral reconnaissance with Spitzer to determine their physical characteristics and begin understanding the prevalence of potentially-obscuring clouds prior to the

  13. Doppler spectroscopy as a path to the detection of Earth-like planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Michel; Lovis, Christophe; Santos, Nuno C

    2014-09-18

    Doppler spectroscopy was the first technique used to reveal the existence of extrasolar planetary systems hosted by solar-type stars. Radial-velocity surveys led to the detection of a rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets. The numerous detected systems revealed a remarkable diversity. Combining Doppler measurements with photometric observations of planets transiting their host stars further provides access to the planet bulk density, a first step towards comparative exoplanetology. The development of new high-precision spectrographs and space-based facilities will ultimately lead us to characterize rocky planets in the habitable zone of our close stellar neighbours.

  14. Space Station Habitability Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clearwater, Yvonne A.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose and scope of the Habitability Research Group within the Space Human Factors Office at the NASA/Ames Research Center is described. Both near-term and long-term research objectives in the space human factors program pertaining to the U.S. manned Space Station are introduced. The concept of habitability and its relevancy to the U.S. space program is defined within a historical context. The relationship of habitability research to the optimization of environmental and operational determinants of productivity is discussed. Ongoing habitability research efforts pertaining to living and working on the Space Station are described.

  15. The Potential for Volcanism and Tectonics on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki

    2018-01-01

    JWST and other next-generation space telescopes (e.g., LUVOIR, HabEx, & OST) will usher in a new era of exoplanet characterization that may lead to the identification of habitable, Earth-like worlds. Like the planets and moons in our solar system, the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial exoplanets may be shaped by volcanism and tectonics (Fu et al., 2010; van Summeren et al., 2011; Henning and Hurford, 2014). The magnitude and rate of occurrence of these dynamic processes can either facilitate or preclude the existence of habitable environments. Likewise, it has been suggested that detections of cryovolcanism on icy exoplanets, in the form of geyser-like plumes, could indicate the presence of subsurface oceans (Quick et al., 2017).The presence of volcanic and tectonic activity on solid exoplanets will be intimately linked to planet size and heat output in the form of radiogenic and/or tidal heating. In order to place bounds on the potential for such activity, we estimated the heat output of a variety of exoplanets observed by Kepler. We considered planets whose masses and radii range from 0.067 ME (super-Ganymede) to 8 ME (super-Earth), and 0.5 to 1.8 RE, respectively. These heat output estimates were then compared to those of planets, moons, and dwarf planets in our solar system for which we have direct evidence for the presence/absence of volcanic and tectonic activity. After exoplanet heating rates were estimated, depths to putative molten layers in their interiors were also calculated. For planets such as TRAPPIST-1h, whose densities, orbital parameters, and effective temperatures are consistent with the presence of significant amounts of H2O (Luger et al., 2017), these calculations reveal the depths to internal oceans which may serve as habitable niches beneath surface ice layers.

  16. ASTROMETRY AND RADIAL VELOCITIES OF THE PLANET HOST M DWARF GJ 317: NEW TRIGONOMETRIC DISTANCE, METALLICITY, AND UPPER LIMIT TO THE MASS OF GJ 317b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Boss, Alan P.; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Butler, R. Paul; Thompson, Ian B.; Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.

    2012-01-01

    We have obtained precision astrometry of the planet host M dwarf GJ 317 in the framework of the Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search project. The new astrometric measurements give a distance determination of 15.3 pc, 65% further than previous estimates. The resulting absolute magnitudes suggest that it is metal-rich and more massive than previously assumed. This result strengthens the correlation between high metallicity and the presence of gas giants around low-mass stars. At 15.3 pc, the minimal astrometric amplitude for planet candidate GJ 317b is 0.3 mas (edge-on orbit), just below our astrometric sensitivity. However, given the relatively large number of observations and good astrometric precision, a Bayesian Monte Carlo Markov Chain analysis indicates that the mass of planet b has to be smaller than twice the minimum mass with a 99% confidence level, with a most likely value of 2.5 M Jup . Additional radial velocity (RV) measurements obtained with Keck by the Lick-Carnegie Planet search program confirm the presence of an additional very long period planet candidate, with a period of 20 years or more. Even though such an object will imprint a large astrometric wobble on the star, its curvature is yet not evident in the astrometry. Given high metallicity, and the trend indicating that multiple systems are rich in low-mass companions, this system is likely to host additional low-mass planets in its habitable zone that can be readily detected with state-of-the-art optical and near-infrared RV measurements.

  17. ASTROMETRY AND RADIAL VELOCITIES OF THE PLANET HOST M DWARF GJ 317: NEW TRIGONOMETRIC DISTANCE, METALLICITY, AND UPPER LIMIT TO THE MASS OF GJ 317b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anglada-Escude, Guillem; Boss, Alan P.; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Butler, R. Paul [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, 5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Thompson, Ian B. [Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J., E-mail: anglada@dtm.ciw.edu [UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2012-02-10

    We have obtained precision astrometry of the planet host M dwarf GJ 317 in the framework of the Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search project. The new astrometric measurements give a distance determination of 15.3 pc, 65% further than previous estimates. The resulting absolute magnitudes suggest that it is metal-rich and more massive than previously assumed. This result strengthens the correlation between high metallicity and the presence of gas giants around low-mass stars. At 15.3 pc, the minimal astrometric amplitude for planet candidate GJ 317b is 0.3 mas (edge-on orbit), just below our astrometric sensitivity. However, given the relatively large number of observations and good astrometric precision, a Bayesian Monte Carlo Markov Chain analysis indicates that the mass of planet b has to be smaller than twice the minimum mass with a 99% confidence level, with a most likely value of 2.5 M{sub Jup}. Additional radial velocity (RV) measurements obtained with Keck by the Lick-Carnegie Planet search program confirm the presence of an additional very long period planet candidate, with a period of 20 years or more. Even though such an object will imprint a large astrometric wobble on the star, its curvature is yet not evident in the astrometry. Given high metallicity, and the trend indicating that multiple systems are rich in low-mass companions, this system is likely to host additional low-mass planets in its habitable zone that can be readily detected with state-of-the-art optical and near-infrared RV measurements.

  18. Extrasolar binary planets. I. Formation by tidal capture during planet-planet scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S.

    2014-01-01

    We have investigated (1) the formation of gravitationally bounded pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call 'binary planets') from capturing each other through planet-planet dynamical tide during their close encounters and (2) the subsequent long-term orbital evolution due to planet-planet and planet-star quasi-static tides. For the initial evolution in phase 1, we carried out N-body simulations of the systems consisting of three Jupiter-mass planets taking into account the dynamical tide. The formation rate of the binary planets is as much as 10% of the systems that undergo orbital crossing, and this fraction is almost independent of the initial stellarcentric semimajor axes of the planets, while ejection and merging rates sensitively depend on the semimajor axes. As a result of circularization by the planet-planet dynamical tide, typical binary separations are a few times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. After the orbital circularization, the evolution of the binary system is governed by long-term quasi-static tide. We analytically calculated the quasi-static tidal evolution in phase 2. The binary planets first enter the spin-orbit synchronous state by the planet-planet tide. The planet-star tide removes angular momentum of the binary motion, eventually resulting in a collision between the planets. However, we found that the binary planets survive the tidal decay for the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars (∼10 Gyr), if the binary planets are beyond ∼0.3 AU from the central stars. These results suggest that the binary planets can be detected by transit observations at ≳ 0.3 AU.

  19. Habitability constraints on water-rich exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Höning, Dennis; Rivoldini, Attilio; Heistracher, Clemens; Zimov, Nastasia; Journaux, Baptiste; Lammer, Helmut; Van Hoolst, Tim; Hendrik Bredehöft, Jan

    2016-04-01

    This research addresses the characterization, modelling, thermal evolution and possible habitability of water-rich exoplanets. Water is necessary for the origin and survival of life as we know it. In the search for habitable worlds, water-rich planets therefore seem obvious candidates. The water layer on such planets could be hundreds of kilometers deep. Depending on the temperature profile and the pressure gradient, it is likely that at great depths a significant part of the water layer is solid high pressure ice. Whether the solid ice layer extends to the bottom of the water layer, or if a shallow lower ocean forms above the silicate mantle, depends amongst others on the thermal state of the planet. We therefore model the thermal evolution of water-rich planets with a 1D parameterized model. Depth-dependent profiles for thermodynamic properties as well as pressure and gravity are obtained by solving the Poisson equation for the gravity and the hydrostatic pressure equation for pre-defined mass and composition (in terms of iron, silicates and water) [1]. For density, equations of state are applied. For the simulation of the thermal evolution of water-rich planets, several parameters (as initial temperatures or layer thicknesses) are unknown. We therefore employ a quantitatve study with more than 20'000 simulations, where we investigated which parameters have the largest influence on the appearance of a lower ocean, i.e. the possible melting of high-pressure ice by heat flowing out of the silicate mantle [2]. We find that the surface temperature has the largest influence on the thickness of water layers, for which a lower ocean can still form between the high-pressure ice layer and the silicate mantle. For higher surface temperatures, not only entirely liquid oceans are possible for deeper water shells, also a liquid ocean can form under high-pressure ice layers of hundreds of kilometer thickness (for a 1 Earth-mass planet). Deeper down, the lower ocean can still

  20. Environmental Signatures for Habitability: What to Measure and How to Rank the Habitability Potential of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Mahaffy, Paul M.; Steele, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    approach we have taken to measure habitability on Earth is : 1. Study remote sensing data, maps, etc. 2. Decide how big an area to measure. 3. Determine the spatial sampling rate. 4. Determine the temporal sampling rate. 5. Determine the order of measurements 6. Decide where to begin measurements 7. Select locations at field site and proceed While science drives each of the steps, there are additional constraints, e.g., technical, time, cost, safety (risk). This approach is also executable on Mars. Measurement of past habitability is more challenging both for Earth and Mars where access to the past means subsurface access and confrontation with unknowns about preservation of the martian past. Some environments preserve evidence of past habitability better than others, and this is where selection of the landing site to maximize the preservation potential of habitability indicators will be key. Mars presents an opportunity to discover transitional states between habitable or not, and we offer a ranking scale for planetary habitability with Mars as the second test subject: CLASS ONE Uninhabitable and likely has never been so CLASS TWO Has a high potential but no confirmed observation of life (as defined above) CLASS THREE Inhabited (we find life) 3-A Globally inhabited 3-B Primitive life; early in its evolution, but not yet globally established 3-C Exists only in refugia -- planet heading toward class four CLASS FOUR Post-habitable (there once was life, but now it's gone) MSL provides an opportunity to carefully investigate the habitability of at least one site on Mars and it will reveal much about the possible states of planetary habitability

  1. Recipes for planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.

    2009-11-01

    Anyone who has ever used baking soda instead of baking powder when trying to make a cake knows a simple truth: ingredients matter. The same is true for planet formation. Planets are made from the materials that coalesce in a rotating disk around young stars - essentially the "leftovers" from when the stars themselves formed through the gravitational collapse of rotating clouds of gas and dust. The planet-making disk should therefore initially have the same gas-to-dust ratio as the interstellar medium: about 100 to 1, by mass. Similarly, it seems logical that the elemental composition of the disk should match that of the star, reflecting the initial conditions at that particular spot in the galaxy.

  2. On the Habitability of Aquaplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Rolando Cardenas; Noel Perez; Jesus Martinez-Frias; Osmel Martin

    2014-01-01

    An Aquatic Habitability Index is proposed, based on Quantitative Habitability Theory, and considering a very general model for life. It is a primary habitability index, measuring habitability for phytoplankton in the first place. The index is applied to some case studies, such as the habitability changes in Earth due to environmental perturbations caused by asteroid impacts.

  3. On the Habitability of Aquaplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolando Cardenas

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available An Aquatic Habitability Index is proposed, based on Quantitative Habitability Theory, and considering a very general model for life. It is a primary habitability index, measuring habitability for phytoplankton in the first place. The index is applied to some case studies, such as the habitability changes in Earth due to environmental perturbations caused by asteroid impacts.

  4. Pervasive orbital eccentricities dictate the habitability of extrasolar earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kita, Ryosuke; Rasio, Frederic; Takeda, Genya

    2010-09-01

    The long-term habitability of Earth-like planets requires low orbital eccentricities. A secular perturbation from a distant stellar companion is a very important mechanism in exciting planetary eccentricities, as many of the extrasolar planetary systems are associated with stellar companions. Although the orbital evolution of an Earth-like planet in a stellar binary system is well understood, the effect of a binary perturbation on a more realistic system containing additional gas-giant planets has been very little studied. Here, we provide analytic criteria confirmed by a large ensemble of numerical integrations that identify the initial orbital parameters leading to eccentric orbits. We show that an extrasolar earth is likely to experience a broad range of orbital evolution dictated by the location of a gas-giant planet, which necessitates more focused studies on the effect of eccentricity on the potential for life.

  5. Your Child's Habits

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... older. For those who don't, simple behavior modification can help them break the habit. However, for those who start hair pulling as ... in your mirror. Do you bite your nails? Studies suggest that nail biting may ... kids engage in habits to attract attention or to manipulate their parents. ...

  6. Planetesimals and Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, John

    The first step in the standard model for planet formation is the growth of gravitationally bound bodies called ``planetesimals'' from dust grains in a protoplanetary disk. Currently, we do not know how planetesimals form, how long they take to form, or what their sizes and mechanical properties are. The goal of this proposal is to assess how these uncertainties affect subsequent stages of planetary growth and the kind of planetary systems that form. The work will address three particular questions: (i) Can the properties of small body populations in the modern Solar System constrain the properties of planetesimals? (ii) How do the properties of planetesimals affect the formation of giant planets? (iii) How does the presence of a water ice condensation front (the ``snow line'') in a disk affect planetesimal formation and the later stages of planetary growth? These questions will be examined with computer simulations of planet formation using new computer codes to be developed as part of the proposal. The first question will be addressed using a statistical model for planetesimal coagulation and fragmentation. This code will be merged with the proposer's Mercury N-body integrator code to model the dynamics of large protoplanets in order to address the second question. Finally, a self- consistent model of disk evolution and the radial transport of water ice and vapour will be added to examine the third question. A theoretical understanding of how planets form is one of the key goals of NASA and the Origins of Solar Systems programme. Researchers have carried out many studies designed to address this goal, but the questions of how planetesimals form and how their properties affect planet formation have received relatively little attention. The proposed work will help address these unsolved questions, and place other research in context by assessing the importance of planetesimal origins and properties for planet formation.

  7. Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Asrar, Ghassem; Backlund, Peter W.

    1994-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  8. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.S.; Backlund, P.W.

    1992-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment. 8 refs

  9. Car-use habits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Berit Thorup; Thøgersen, John

    2008-01-01

    It is often claimed that many drivers use their private car rather habitually. The claim gains credibility from the fact that travelling to many everyday destinations fulfils all the prerequisites for habit formation: it is recurring, performed under stable circumstances and produces rewarding...... consequences. Since the decision is made quite automatically and only one choice alternative is considered (the habitually chosen one), behaviour guided by habit is difficult to change. The implications of car use habits for converting drivers to commuters using public transportation is analysed based...... to do so, car use habit, and the interaction between the two, confirms the theory-derived hypothesis that car use habits act as an obstacle to the transformation of intentions to commute by public transportation into action....

  10. Response of precipitation extremes to idealized global warming in an aqua-planet climate model: Towards robust projection across different horizontal resolutions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, F.; Collins, W.D.; Wehner, M.F.; Williamson, D.L.; Olson, J.G.

    2011-04-15

    Current climate models produce quite heterogeneous projections for the responses of precipitation extremes to future climate change. To help understand the range of projections from multimodel ensembles, a series of idealized 'aquaplanet' Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM) runs have been performed with the Community Atmosphere Model CAM3. These runs have been analysed to identify the effects of horizontal resolution on precipitation extreme projections under two simple global warming scenarios. We adopt the aquaplanet framework for our simulations to remove any sensitivity to the spatial resolution of external inputs and to focus on the roles of model physics and dynamics. Results show that a uniform increase of sea surface temperature (SST) and an increase of low-to-high latitude SST gradient both lead to increase of precipitation and precipitation extremes for most latitudes. The perturbed SSTs generally have stronger impacts on precipitation extremes than on mean precipitation. Horizontal model resolution strongly affects the global warming signals in the extreme precipitation in tropical and subtropical regions but not in high latitude regions. This study illustrates that the effects of horizontal resolution have to be taken into account to develop more robust projections of precipitation extremes.

  11. GENERALIZED MILANKOVITCH CYCLES AND LONG-TERM CLIMATIC HABITABILITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegel, David S.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Raymond, Sean N.; Scharf, Caleb A.; Mitchell, Jonathan L.

    2010-01-01

    Although Earth's orbit is never far from circular, terrestrial planets around other stars might experience substantial changes in eccentricity. Eccentricity variations could lead to climate changes, including possible 'phase transitions' such as the snowball transition (or its opposite). There is evidence that Earth has gone through at least one globally frozen, 'snowball' state in the last billion years, which it is thought to have exited after several million years because global ice-cover shut off the carbonate-silicate cycle, thereby allowing greenhouse gases to build up to sufficient concentration to melt the ice. Due to the positive feedback caused by the high albedo of snow and ice, susceptibility to falling into snowball states might be a generic feature of water-rich planets with the capacity to host life. This paper has two main thrusts. First, we revisit one-dimensional energy balance climate models as tools for probing possible climates of exoplanets, investigate the dimensional scaling of such models, and introduce a simple algorithm to treat the melting of the ice layer on a globally frozen planet. We show that if a terrestrial planet undergoes Milankovitch-like oscillations of eccentricity that are of great enough magnitude, it could melt out of a snowball state. Second, we examine the kinds of variations of eccentricity that a terrestrial planet might experience due to the gravitational influence of a giant companion. We show that a giant planet on a sufficiently eccentric orbit can excite extreme eccentricity oscillations in the orbit of a habitable terrestrial planet. More generally, these two results demonstrate that the long-term habitability (and astronomical observables) of a terrestrial planet can depend on the detailed architecture of the planetary system in which it resides.

  12. Protected urban planet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereira Roders, A.R.; Veldpaus, L.; Verbruggen, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    PUP, abbreviation to Protected Urban Planet, is the first tool developed for visualizing, mapping and contributing to information exchange on the evolution of protected urban areas worldwide. Besides locating them, it also provides communities with means to disseminate and raise awareness for their

  13. Life in other planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, S.N.

    1977-01-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high temperature fusion reactions taking place in it, is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection etc. are briefly touched upon. (K.B.)

  14. Life in other planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghosh, S N [Calcutta Univ. (India). Dept. of Applied Physics

    1977-12-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high-temperature fusion reactions taking place in it is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection, etc., are briefly touched upon.

  15. Habitable Zones in the Universe

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez, G.

    2005-01-01

    Habitability varies dramatically with location and time in the universe. This was recognized centuries ago, but it was only in the last few decades that astronomers began to systematize the study of habitability. The introduction of the concept of the habitable zone was key to progress in this area. The habitable zone concept was first applied to the space around a star, now called the Circumstellar Habitable Zone. Recently, other, vastly broader, habitable zones have been proposed. We review...

  16. The role of carbon in extrasolar planetary geodynamics and habitability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Panero, Wendy R. [School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43202 (United States); Reaman, Daniel M., E-mail: unterborn.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu [US Army Research Laboratory, RDRL-WML-B (Bldg. 390), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005 (United States)

    2014-10-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ∼3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  17. The role of carbon in extrasolar planetary geodynamics and habitability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Panero, Wendy R.; Reaman, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ∼3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  18. A statistical test for the habitable zone concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Checlair, J.; Abbot, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    Traditional habitable zone theory assumes that the silicate-weathering feedback regulates the atmospheric CO2 of planets within the habitable zone to maintain surface temperatures that allow for liquid water. There is some non-definitive evidence that this feedback has worked in Earth history, but it is untested in an exoplanet context. A critical prediction of the silicate-weathering feedback is that, on average, within the habitable zone planets that receive a higher stellar flux should have a lower CO2 in order to maintain liquid water at their surface. We can test this prediction directly by using a statistical approach involving low-precision CO2 measurements on many planets with future instruments such as JWST, LUVOIR, or HabEx. The purpose of this work is to carefully outline the requirements for such a test. First, we use a radiative-transfer model to compute the amount of CO2 necessary to maintain surface liquid water on planets for different values of insolation and planetary parameters. We run a large ensemble of Earth-like planets with different masses, atmospheric masses, inert atmospheric composition, cloud composition and level, and other greenhouse gases. Second, we post-process this data to determine the precision with which future instruments such as JWST, LUVOIR, and HabEx could measure the CO2. We then combine the variation due to planetary parameters and observational error to determine the number of planet measurements that would be needed to effectively marginalize over uncertainties and resolve the predicted trend in CO2 vs. stellar flux. The results of this work may influence the usage of JWST and will enhance mission planning for LUVOIR and HabEx.

  19. The carbonate-silicate cycle and CO2/climate feedbacks on tidally locked terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edson, Adam R; Kasting, James F; Pollard, David; Lee, Sukyoung; Bannon, Peter R

    2012-06-01

    Atmospheric gaseous constituents play an important role in determining the surface temperatures and habitability of a planet. Using a global climate model and a parameterization of the carbonate-silicate cycle, we explored the effect of the location of the substellar point on the atmospheric CO(2) concentration and temperatures of a tidally locked terrestrial planet, using the present Earth continental distribution as an example. We found that the substellar point's location relative to the continents is an important factor in determining weathering and the equilibrium atmospheric CO(2) level. Placing the substellar point over the Atlantic Ocean results in an atmospheric CO(2) concentration of 7 ppmv and a global mean surface air temperature of 247 K, making ∼30% of the planet's surface habitable, whereas placing it over the Pacific Ocean results in a CO(2) concentration of 60,311 ppmv and a global temperature of 282 K, making ∼55% of the surface habitable.

  20. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: “Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes”. They also add: “This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters”. We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020–2025.

  1. An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Pepe, Francesco; Alibert, Yann; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Correia, Alexandre C M; Laskar, Jacques; Mordasini, Christoph; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stéphane; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Sivan, Jean-Pierre

    2006-05-18

    Over the past two years, the search for low-mass extrasolar planets has led to the detection of seven so-called 'hot Neptunes' or 'super-Earths' around Sun-like stars. These planets have masses 5-20 times larger than the Earth and are mainly found on close-in orbits with periods of 2-15 days. Here we report a system of three Neptune-mass planets with periods of 8.67, 31.6 and 197 days, orbiting the nearby star HD 69830. This star was already known to show an infrared excess possibly caused by an asteroid belt within 1 au (the Sun-Earth distance). Simulations show that the system is in a dynamically stable configuration. Theoretical calculations favour a mainly rocky composition for both inner planets, while the outer planet probably has a significant gaseous envelope surrounding its rocky/icy core; the outer planet orbits within the habitable zone of this star.

  2. Abiotic Production of Methane in Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Escobar-Briones, Elva

    2013-01-01

    Abstract On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×108 and 1.3×109 molecules cm−2 s−1 for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life. Key Words: Serpentinization—Exoplanets—Biosignatures—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 13, 550–559. PMID:23742231

  3. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D; Meadows, Victoria S; Wolf, Eric T; Schwieterman, Edward; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hébrard, Eric; Trainer, Melissa G

    2016-11-01

    Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history. This study presents simulations of a habitable yet dramatically different phase of Earth's history, when the atmosphere contained a Titan-like, organic-rich haze. Prior work has claimed a haze-rich Archean Earth (3.8-2.5 billion years ago) would be frozen due to the haze's cooling effects. However, no previous studies have self-consistently taken into account climate, photochemistry, and fractal hazes. Here, we demonstrate using coupled climate-photochemical-microphysical simulations that hazes can cool the planet's surface by about 20 K, but habitable conditions with liquid surface water could be maintained with a relatively thick haze layer (τ ∼ 5 at 200 nm) even with the fainter young Sun. We find that optically thicker hazes are self-limiting due to their self-shielding properties, preventing catastrophic cooling of the planet. Hazes may even enhance planetary habitability through UV shielding, reducing surface UV flux by about 97% compared to a haze-free planet and potentially allowing survival of land-based organisms 2.7-2.6 billion years ago. The broad UV absorption signature produced by this haze may be visible across interstellar distances, allowing characterization of similar hazy exoplanets. The haze in Archean Earth's atmosphere was strongly dependent on biologically produced methane, and we propose that hydrocarbon haze may be a novel type of spectral biosignature on planets with substantial levels of CO 2 . Hazy Archean Earth is the most alien world for which we have geochemical constraints on environmental conditions, providing a useful analogue for similar habitable, anoxic exoplanets. Key Words: Haze-Archean Earth-Exoplanets-Spectra-Biosignatures-Planetary habitability

  4. TRANSIT MODEL OF PLANETS WITH MOON AND RING SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tusnski, Luis Ricardo M.; Valio, Adriana

    2011-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, those most adequate for life to begin and evolve have been sought. Due to observational bias, however, most of the discovered planets so far are gas giants, precluding their habitability. However, if these hot Jupiters are located in the habitable zones of their host stars, and if rocky moons orbit them, then these moons may be habitable. In this work, we present a model for planetary transit simulation considering the presence of moons and planetary rings around a planet. The moon's orbit is considered to be circular and coplanar with the planetary orbit. The other physical and orbital parameters of the star, planet, moon, and rings can be adjusted in each simulation. It is possible to simulate as many successive transits as desired. Since the presence of spots on the surface of the star may produce a signal similar to that of the presence of a moon, our model also allows for the inclusion of starspots. The result of the simulation is a light curve with a planetary transit. White noise may also be added to the light curves to produce curves similar to those obtained by the CoRoT and Kepler space telescopes. The goal is to determine the criteria for detectability of moons and/or ring systems using photometry. The results show that it is possible to detect moons with radii as little as 1.3 R ⊕ with CoRoT and 0.3 R ⊕ with Kepler.

  5. Classifying Planets: Nature vs. Nurture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beichman, Charles A.

    2009-05-01

    The idea of a planet was so simple when we learned about the solar system in elementary school. Now students and professional s alike are faced with confusing array of definitions --- from "Brown Dwarfs” to "Super Jupiters", from "Super Earths” to "Terrestrial Planets", and from "Planets” to "Small, Sort-of Round Things That Aren't Really Planets". I will discuss how planets might be defined by how they formed, where they are found, or by the life they might support.

  6. Consumption Habits and Humps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraft, Holger; Munk, Claus; Seifried, Frank Thomas

    2017-01-01

    We show that the optimal consumption of an individual over the life cycle can have the hump shape (inverted U-shape) observed empirically if the preferences of the individual exhibit internal habit formation. In the absence of habit formation, an impatient individual would prefer a decreasing...... consumption path over life. However, because of habit formation, a high initial consumption would lead to high required consumption in the future. To cover the future required consumption, wealth is set aside, but the necessary amount decreases with age which allows consumption to increase in the early part...... of life. At some age, the impatience outweighs the habit concerns so that consumption starts to decrease. We derive the optimal consumption strategy in closed form, deduce sufficient conditions for the presence of a consumption hump, and characterize the age at which the hump occurs. Numerical examples...

  7. Habitability: CAMELOT 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alequin, W.; Barragan, A.; Carro, M.; Garcia, F.; Gonzalez, I.; Mercado, J. A.; Negron, N.; Lopez, D.; Rivera, L. A.; Rivera, M.

    1990-01-01

    During 1988 to 1989 the NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program sponsored research and design efforts aimed at developing habitability criteria and at defining a habitability concept as a useful tool in understanding and evaluating dwellings for prolonged stays in extraterrestrial space. The Circulating Auto sufficient Mars-Earth Luxurious Orbital Transport (CAMELOT) was studied as a case in which the students would try to enhance the quality of life of the inhabitants by applying architectural design methodology. The study proposed 14 habitability criteria considered necessary to fulfill the defined habitability concept, which is that state of equilibrium that results from the interaction between components of the Individual Architecture Mission Complex, which allows a person to sustain physiological homeostatis, adequate performance, and acceptable social relationships. Architecture, design development, refinements and revisions to improve the quality of life, new insights on artificial gravity, form and constitution problems, and the final design concept are covered.

  8. Consumption Habits and Humps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraft, Holger; Munk, Claus; Seifried, Frank Thomas

    We show that the optimal consumption of an individual over the life cycle can have the hump shape (inverted U-shape) observed empirically if the preferences of the individual exhibit internal habit formation. In the absence of habit formation, an impatient individual would prefer a decreasing...... consumption path over life. However, because of habit formation, a high initial consumption would lead to high required consumption in the future. To cover the future required consumption, wealth is set aside, but the necessary amount decreases with age which allows consumption to increase in the early part...... of life. At some age, the impatience outweighs the habit concerns so that consumption starts to decrease. We derive the optimal consumption strategy in closed form, deduce sufficient conditions for the presence of a consumption hump, and characterize the age at which the hump occurs. Numerical examples...

  9. Food Habits Database (FHDBS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NEFSC Food Habits Database has two major sources of data. The first, and most extensive, is the standard NEFSC Bottom Trawl Surveys Program. During these...

  10. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

    The field of extrasolar planets is still, in comparison with other astrophysical topics, in its infancy. There have been about 300 or so extrasolar planets detected and their detection has been accomplished by various different techniques. Here we present a simple laboratory experiment to show how planets are detected using the transit technique.…

  11. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of extraterrestrial intelligence is the best example of multidisciplinary science. Here philosophy and religion, astronomy, radiophysics, spectrography, space flights and astronautics, geology and planetology, astroecology, chemistry and biology, history and archaeology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, diplomacy, UFOs and peculiar phenomena are involved. Among these many-sided studies, astronomers have probably displayed the most progress by discovering thousands of extrasolar planets. At present, a number of search programs are being accomplished, including those with space telescopes, and planets in so-called "habitable zone" are considered as most important ones, for which various orbital and physical parameters are being calculated. As the discovery of extraterrestrial life is the final goal, a special attention is given to Earth-like planets, for the discovery of which most sensitive technical means are necessary.

  12. Alpha Centauri's siren call has frustrated planet hunters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clery, Daniel

    2018-04-01

    Alpha Centauri, a three-star system just 4 light-years away that is the sun's nearest neighbor, ought to be a great place to look for Earth-like planets. But last week, at a meeting of the European Astronomical Society here, astronomers lamented that the system has so far thwarted discovery efforts—and announced new schemes to probe it. The two sunlike stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, orbit each other closely while Proxima Centauri, a tempestuous red dwarf, hangs onto the system tenuously in a much more distant orbit. In 2016, astronomers discovered an Earth-mass planet around Proxima Centauri, but few think the planet, blasted by radiation and fierce stellar winds, is habitable. Astrobiologists believe the other two stars are more likely to host temperate, Earth-like worlds.

  13. Dynamical Evolution and Spin-Orbit Resonances of Potentially Habitable Exoplanets. The Case of GJ 667C

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-10

    on habitability and atmosphere properties. The major planets of the solar system, with the notable exception of Venus and Mercury , rotate at...energy. The lat- ter kind of librations is expected to damp relatively quickly for Mercury -like planets (Peale 2005), with a characteristic damp- ing...is even shorter than that for Mercury . The planet is certain to be in one of the low-order resonances, that is, its current rotation with respect to

  14. A Review of Habit Reversal with Childhood Habit Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Douglas W.; Miltenberger, Raymond G.

    1996-01-01

    This paper first reviews four classes of habit disorders in children: motor and vocal tics, nervous habits, stuttering, and Tourette's disorder. It then describes the habit reversal procedure and reviews the literature on its use and variations to treat each of the four classes of habit disorders. Emphasis is on simplified versions of the original…

  15. Eating habits of students

    OpenAIRE

    Hoyer, Silvestra; Zupančič, Andreja

    2015-01-01

    The article deals with eating habits of students. Its purpose was to ascertaineating habits of students living outside their primary home and are under different forms of stress. Methods: the pattern is represented by students living in student homer where they can cook and prepare their own meals. In the research, 81 students living in the students home on Cesta v Mestni log in Ljubljana. The inquiry was composed from 34 questions. The data were processed with Microsoft Excel. Body mass inde...

  16. Hygiene habits through time

    OpenAIRE

    Kalan, Petra

    2013-01-01

    In this work I did a research about hygiene habits of people and their home environment. The work presents how the hygiene habits changed in people home environment through time. The work presents changes of the body hygiene standards adopted by people from the middle ages onward. Todays customs are quite different from the ones we had some time ago. Moreover, hygiene of living environment has also changes which resulted into lower death rate and death illness related to bad hygiene among pop...

  17. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C.; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2012-01-01

    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

  18. Kepler: NASA's First Mission Capable of Finding Earth-Size Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Kepler, a NASA Discovery mission, is a spaceborne telescope designed to search a nearby region of our galaxy for Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zone of stars like our sun. The habitable zone is that region around a start where the temperature permits water to be liquid on the surface of a planet. Liquid water is considered essential forth existence of life. Mission Phases: Six mission phases have been defined to describe the different periods of activity during Kepler's mission. These are: launch; commissioning; early science operations, science operations: and decommissioning

  19. TPS for Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Ellerby, D.; Gage, P.; Gasch, M.; Hwang, H.; Prabhu, D.; Stackpoole, M.; Wercinski, Paul

    2018-01-01

    This invited talk will provide an assessment of the TPS needs for Outer Planet In-situ missions to destinations with atmosphere. The talk will outline the drivers for TPS from destination, science, mission architecture and entry environment. An assessment of the readiness of the TPS, both currently available and under development, for Saturn, Titan, Uranus and Neptune are provided. The challenges related to sustainability of the TPS for future missions are discussed.

  20. Planets in Inuit Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, John

    2018-02-01

    phenomenon of the "polar night." For several reasons, the role of planets in Inuit astronomy is difficult to determine, due, in part, to the characteristics of the planets themselves. Naked-eye differentiation between the major visible planets is by no means straightforward, and for observers living north of the Arctic Circle, the continuous or semicontinuous periods of daylight/twilight obtaining throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall effectively prevent year-round viewing of the night sky, making much planetary movement unobservable, far less an appreciation of the planets' predictable synodic and sidereal periods. Mitigating against the significant use of planets in Inuit culture is also the principle that their applied astronomy, along with its cosmology and mythologies depend principally on—apart from the sun and the moon—the predictability of the "fixed stars." Inuit of course did see the major planets and took note of them when they moved through their familiar asterisms or appeared, irregularly, as markers of solstice, or harbingers of daylight after winter's dark. Generally, however, planets seem to have been little regarded until after the introduction of Christianity, when, in parts of the Canadian eastern Arctic, Venus, in particular, became associated with Christmas. While there are anecdotal accounts that some of the planets, again especially Venus, may have had a place in Greenlandic mythology, this assertion is far from certain. Furthermore, reports from Alaska and Greenland suggesting that the appearance of Venus was a regular marker of the new year, or a predictor of sun's return, need qualification, given the apparent irregularity of Venus's appearances above the horizon. A survey of relevant literature, including oral history, pertaining either directly or peripherally to Inuit astronomical traditions, reveals few bona fide mention of planets. References to planets in Inuit mythology and astronomy are usually speculative, typically lacking

  1. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance.

  2. The Earth Through Time: Implications for Searching for Habitability and Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilcher, Carl B.

    2016-01-01

    The Earth has been both a habitable and inhabited planet for around 4 billion years, yet distant observers studying Earth at different epochs in our history would have detected substantially different and probably varying conditions. Understanding Earth's history thus has much to tell us about how to interpret observations of potentially habitable exoplanets. In this talk I will review the history of life on Earth, from the earliest microbial biosphere living under a relatively methane-rich atmosphere to the modern world of animals, plants, and atmospheric oxygen, with a focus on how observable conditions on Earth changed as the planet and its biosphere evolved. I'll discuss the implications of this history for assessing the habitability of-or presence of life on-planets around other stars.

  3. Computer Habits and Behaviours among Young Children in Singapore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karuppiah, Nirmala

    2015-01-01

    This exploratory research project was aimed at developing baseline data on computer habits and behaviours among preschool children in Singapore. Three sets of data were collected from teachers, parents and children which are (1) why and how young children use computers; (2) what are the key physical, social and health habits and behaviours of…

  4. The Scattering Outcomes of Kepler Circumbinary Planets: Planet Mass Ratio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang; Ji, Jianghui, E-mail: yxgong@pmo.ac.cn, E-mail: jijh@pmo.ac.cn [CAS Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)

    2017-11-01

    Recent studies reveal that the free eccentricities of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b are much larger than their forced eccentricities, implying that scattering events may take place in their formation. The observed orbital configuration of Kepler-34b cannot be well reproduced in disk-driven migration models, whereas a two-planet scattering scenario can play a significant role of shaping the planetary configuration. These studies indicate that circumbinary planets discovered by Kepler may have experienced scattering process. In this work, we extensively investigate the scattering outcomes of circumbinary planets focusing on the effects of planet mass ratio . We find that the planetary mass ratio and the the initial relative locations of planets act as two important parameters that affect the eccentricity distribution of the surviving planets. As an application of our model, we discuss the observed orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b. We first adopt the results from the disk-driven models as the initial conditions, then simulate the scattering process that occurs in the late evolution stage of circumbinary planets. We show that the present orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b can be well reproduced when considering a two unequal-mass planet ejection model. Our work further suggests that some of the currently discovered circumbinary single-planet systems may be survivors of original multiple-planet systems. The disk-driven migration and scattering events occurring in the late stage both play an irreplaceable role in sculpting the final systems.

  5. Family sociodemographic characteristics as correlates of children's breakfast habits and weight status in eight European countries. The ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manios, Yannis; Moschonis, George; Androutsos, Odysseas; Filippou, Christina; Van Lippevelde, Wendy; Vik, Froydis N; te Velde, Saskia J; Jan, Natasha; Dössegger, Alain; Bere, Elling; Molnar, Denes; Moreno, Luis A; Chinapaw, Mai J M; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Brug, Johannes

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the associations of family sociodemographic characteristics with children's weight status and whether these potential associations are mediated by children's breakfast habits. A school-based survey among 10-12-year-old children was conducted in eight European countries. Children's weight and height were measured and breakfast habits and family sociodemographic characteristics were self-reported by 5444 children and their parents. International Obesity Task Force cut-off points were used to categorize children as overweight/obese or normal weight. Mediation analyses were used to test the potential mediating effect of children's breakfast consumption on the associations between family sociodemographic characteristics and children's overweight/obesity. Schools in eight European countries participating in the ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) project. Children aged 10-12 years and their parents (n 5444). Children's reported daily breakfast consumption varied from 56 % in Slovenia to 92 % in Spain on weekdays and from 79 % in Greece to 93 % in Norway on weekends. Children of native parents, with both parents employed and with at least one parent having more than 14 years of education were more likely to consume breakfast daily and less likely to be overweight/obese. Finally, mediation analyses revealed that the association of parental nationality and parental educational status with children's overweight/obesity was partially mediated by children's daily breakfast consumption. The study shows that the lower likelihood of being overweight/obese among 10-12-year-old children of native background and higher parental educational status was partially mediated by children's daily breakfast consumption.

  6. A Search for Exomoons and TTVs from LHS 1140b, a nearby super-Earth orbiting in the habitable-zone of an M dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmann, Jason; Charbonneau, David; Irwin, Jonathan; Agol, Eric; Kipping, David; Newton, Elisabeth; Berta-Thompson, Zachory; Haywood, Raphaelle; Winters, Jennifer; Ballard, Sarah

    2017-06-01

    Exoplanets that transit nearby small stars present the best opportunity for future atmospheric studies with the James Webb Space Telescope and the ground based ELTs currently under construction. The MEarth Project has discovered a rocky planet with a period of 27.43 days residing in the habitable zone of the nearby inactive star LHS 1140. This planet will be the subject of GTO observations by JWST, and additional objects in the system would also be tantalizing targets for future study. Owing to the large planetary mass and orbital separation from its star, LHS 1140b is unique among the planets known to transit nearby M dwarfs in its capability to host a large moon. We propose to survey LHS 1140b for signs of exomoons and to search for transit timing variations that may indicate the presence of additional companions. The long orbital period of 25 days, the 12 hour duration for the transit of the Hill sphere, and the small amplitude of the expected signal preclude pursuing this from the ground and make Spitzer uniquely capable to undertake this study. If successful, we may discover additional planets via TTVs for which we may conduct future searches for transits and atmospheric spectroscopy with JWST, and possibly provide the first evidence for exomoons outside of the Solar System.

  7. The Case for a Gaian Bottleneck: The Biology of Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopra, Aditya; Lineweaver, Charles H

    2016-01-01

    The prerequisites and ingredients for life seem to be abundantly available in the Universe. However, the Universe does not seem to be teeming with life. The most common explanation for this is a low probability for the emergence of life (an emergence bottleneck), notionally due to the intricacies of the molecular recipe. Here, we present an alternative Gaian bottleneck explanation: If life emerges on a planet, it only rarely evolves quickly enough to regulate greenhouse gases and albedo, thereby maintaining surface temperatures compatible with liquid water and habitability. Such a Gaian bottleneck suggests that (i) extinction is the cosmic default for most life that has ever emerged on the surfaces of wet rocky planets in the Universe and (ii) rocky planets need to be inhabited to remain habitable. In the Gaian bottleneck model, the maintenance of planetary habitability is a property more associated with an unusually rapid evolution of biological regulation of surface volatiles than with the luminosity and distance to the host star.

  8. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1.

  9. Planet-planet scattering leads to tightly packed planetary systems

    OpenAIRE

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masse...

  10. The Calan-Hertfordshire extrasolar planet search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.J.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The detailed study of the exoplanetary systems HD189733 and HD209458 has given rise to a wealth of exciting information on the physics of exoplanetary atmospheres. To further our understanding of the make-up and processes within these atmospheres we require a larger sample of bright transiting planets. We have began a project to detect more bright transiting planets in the southern hemisphere by utilising precision radial-velocity measurements. We have observed a constrained sample of bright, inactive and metal-rich stars using the HARPS instrument and here we present the current status of this project, along with our first discoveries which include a brown dwarf/extreme-Jovian exoplanet found in the brown dwarf desert region around the star HD191760 and improved orbits for three other exoplanetary systems HD48265, HD143361 and HD154672. Finally, we briefly discuss the future of this project and the current prospects we have for discovering more bright transiting planets.

  11. INDICATION OF INSENSITIVITY OF PLANETARY WEATHERING BEHAVIOR AND HABITABLE ZONE TO SURFACE LAND FRACTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbot, Dorian S.; Ciesla, Fred J.; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2012-01-01

    It is likely that unambiguous habitable zone terrestrial planets of unknown water content will soon be discovered. Water content helps determine surface land fraction, which influences planetary weathering behavior. This is important because the silicate-weathering feedback determines the width of the habitable zone in space and time. Here a low-order model of weathering and climate, useful for gaining qualitative understanding, is developed to examine climate evolution for planets of various land-ocean fractions. It is pointed out that, if seafloor weathering does not depend directly on surface temperature, there can be no weathering-climate feedback on a waterworld. This would dramatically narrow the habitable zone of a waterworld. Results from our model indicate that weathering behavior does not depend strongly on land fraction for partially ocean-covered planets. This is powerful because it suggests that previous habitable zone theory is robust to changes in land fraction, as long as there is some land. Finally, a mechanism is proposed for a waterworld to prevent complete water loss during a moist greenhouse through rapid weathering of exposed continents. This process is named a 'waterworld self-arrest', and it implies that waterworlds can go through a moist greenhouse stage and end up as planets like Earth with partial ocean coverage. This work stresses the importance of surface and geologic effects, in addition to the usual incident stellar flux, for habitability.

  12. INDICATION OF INSENSITIVITY OF PLANETARY WEATHERING BEHAVIOR AND HABITABLE ZONE TO SURFACE LAND FRACTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abbot, Dorian S.; Ciesla, Fred J. [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Cowan, Nicolas B., E-mail: abbot@uchicago.edu [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2131 Tech Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2012-09-10

    It is likely that unambiguous habitable zone terrestrial planets of unknown water content will soon be discovered. Water content helps determine surface land fraction, which influences planetary weathering behavior. This is important because the silicate-weathering feedback determines the width of the habitable zone in space and time. Here a low-order model of weathering and climate, useful for gaining qualitative understanding, is developed to examine climate evolution for planets of various land-ocean fractions. It is pointed out that, if seafloor weathering does not depend directly on surface temperature, there can be no weathering-climate feedback on a waterworld. This would dramatically narrow the habitable zone of a waterworld. Results from our model indicate that weathering behavior does not depend strongly on land fraction for partially ocean-covered planets. This is powerful because it suggests that previous habitable zone theory is robust to changes in land fraction, as long as there is some land. Finally, a mechanism is proposed for a waterworld to prevent complete water loss during a moist greenhouse through rapid weathering of exposed continents. This process is named a 'waterworld self-arrest', and it implies that waterworlds can go through a moist greenhouse stage and end up as planets like Earth with partial ocean coverage. This work stresses the importance of surface and geologic effects, in addition to the usual incident stellar flux, for habitability.

  13. THE SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD XXIX: THE HABITABLE REAL ESTATE OF OUR NEAREST STELLAR NEIGHBORS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cantrell, Justin R.; Henry, Todd J.; White, Russel J., E-mail: cantrell@chara.gsu.edu, E-mail: thenry@chara.gsu.edu, E-mail: white@chara.gsu.edu [Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302-4106 (United States)

    2013-10-01

    We use the sample of known stars and brown dwarfs within 5 pc of the Sun, supplemented with AFGK stars within 10 pc, to determine which stellar spectral types provide the most habitable real estate—defined as locations where liquid water could be present on Earth-like planets. Stellar temperatures and radii are determined by fitting model spectra to spatially resolved broadband photometric energy distributions for stars in the sample. Using these values, the locations of the habitable zones are calculated using an empirical formula for planetary surface temperature and assuming the condition of liquid water, called here the empirical habitable zone (EHZ). Systems that have dynamically disruptive companions are considered not habitable. We consider companions to be disruptive if the separation ratio of the companion to the habitable zone is less than 5:1. We use the results of these calculations to derive a simple formula for predicting the location of the EHZ for main sequence stars based on V – K color. We consider EHZ widths as more useful measures of the habitable real estate around stars than areas because multiple planets are not expected to orbit stars at identical stellar distances. This EHZ provides a qualitative guide on where to expect the largest population of planets in the habitable zones of main sequence stars. Because of their large numbers and lower frequency of short-period companions, M stars provide more EHZ real estate than other spectral types, possessing 36.5% of the habitable real estate en masse. K stars are second with 21.5%, while A, F, and G stars offer 18.5%, 6.9%, and 16.6%, respectively. Our calculations show that three M dwarfs within 10 pc harbor planets in their EHZs—GJ 581 may have two planets (d with msin i = 6.1 M {sub ⊕}; g with msin i = 3.1 M {sub ⊕}), GJ 667 C has one (c with msin i = 4.5 M {sub ⊕}), and GJ 876 has two (b with msin i = 1.89 M {sub Jup} and c with msin i = 0.56 M {sub Jup}). If Earth-like planets

  14. THE SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD XXIX: THE HABITABLE REAL ESTATE OF OUR NEAREST STELLAR NEIGHBORS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cantrell, Justin R.; Henry, Todd J.; White, Russel J.

    2013-01-01

    We use the sample of known stars and brown dwarfs within 5 pc of the Sun, supplemented with AFGK stars within 10 pc, to determine which stellar spectral types provide the most habitable real estate—defined as locations where liquid water could be present on Earth-like planets. Stellar temperatures and radii are determined by fitting model spectra to spatially resolved broadband photometric energy distributions for stars in the sample. Using these values, the locations of the habitable zones are calculated using an empirical formula for planetary surface temperature and assuming the condition of liquid water, called here the empirical habitable zone (EHZ). Systems that have dynamically disruptive companions are considered not habitable. We consider companions to be disruptive if the separation ratio of the companion to the habitable zone is less than 5:1. We use the results of these calculations to derive a simple formula for predicting the location of the EHZ for main sequence stars based on V – K color. We consider EHZ widths as more useful measures of the habitable real estate around stars than areas because multiple planets are not expected to orbit stars at identical stellar distances. This EHZ provides a qualitative guide on where to expect the largest population of planets in the habitable zones of main sequence stars. Because of their large numbers and lower frequency of short-period companions, M stars provide more EHZ real estate than other spectral types, possessing 36.5% of the habitable real estate en masse. K stars are second with 21.5%, while A, F, and G stars offer 18.5%, 6.9%, and 16.6%, respectively. Our calculations show that three M dwarfs within 10 pc harbor planets in their EHZs—GJ 581 may have two planets (d with msin i = 6.1 M ⊕ ; g with msin i = 3.1 M ⊕ ), GJ 667 C has one (c with msin i = 4.5 M ⊕ ), and GJ 876 has two (b with msin i = 1.89 M Jup and c with msin i = 0.56 M Jup ). If Earth-like planets are as common around low

  15. Project Blue: Optical Coronagraphic Imaging Search for Terrestrial-class Exoplanets in Alpha Centauri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, Jon; Project Blue team

    2018-01-01

    Project Blue is a coronagraphic imaging space telescope mission designed to search for habitable worlds orbiting the nearest Sun-like stars in the Alpha Centauri system. With a 45-50 cm baseline primary mirror size, Project Blue will perform a reconnaissance of the habitable zones of Alpha Centauri A and B in blue light and one or two longer wavelength bands to determine the hue of any planets discovered. Light passing through the off-axis telescope feeds into a coronagraphic instrument that forms the heart of the mission. Various coronagraph designs are being considered, such as phase induced amplitude apodization (PIAA), vector vortex, etc. Differential orbital image processing techniques will be employed to analyze the data for faint planets embedded in the residual glare of the parent star. Project Blue will advance our knowledge about the presence or absence of terrestrial-class exoplanets in the habitable zones and measure the brightness of zodiacal dust around each star, which will aid future missions in planning their observational surveys of exoplanets. It also provides on-orbit demonstration of high-contrast coronagraphic imaging technologies and techniques that will be useful for planning and implementing future space missions by NASA and other space agencies. We present an overview of the science goals, mission concept and development schedule. As part of our cooperative agreement with NASA, the Project Blue team intends to make the data available in a publicly accessible archive.

  16. A STATISTICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE PLANET POPULATION AROUND KEPLER SOLAR-TYPE STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silburt, Ari; Wu, Yanqin; Gaidos, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Using the cumulative catalog of planets detected by the NASA Kepler mission, we reconstruct the intrinsic occurrence of Earth- to Neptune-size (1-4 R ⊕ ) planets and their distributions with radius and orbital period. We analyze 76,711 solar-type (0.8 < R * /R ☉ < 1.2) stars with 430 planets on 20-200 day orbits, excluding close-in planets that may have been affected by the proximity to the host star. Our analysis considers errors in planet radii and includes an ''iterative simulation'' technique that does not bin the data. We find a radius distribution that peaks at 2-2.8 Earth radii, with lower numbers of smaller and larger planets. These planets are uniformly distributed with logarithmic period, and the mean number of such planets per star is 0.46 ± 0.03. The occurrence is ∼0.66 if planets interior to 20 days are included. We estimate the occurrence of Earth-size planets in the ''habitable zone'' (defined as 1-2 R ⊕ , 0.99-1.7 AU for solar-twin stars) as 6.4 −1.1 +3.4 %. Our results largely agree with those of Petigura et al., although we find a higher occurrence of 2.8-4 Earth-radii planets. The reasons for this excess are the inclusion of errors in planet radius, updated Huber et al. stellar parameters, and also the exclusion of planets that may have been affected by proximity to the host star

  17. Planet Hunters 2 in the K2 Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Fischer, Debra; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Ishikawa, Sascha; Lintott, Chris; Lynn, Stuart; Schmitt, Joseph; Snyder, Chris; Wang, Ji; Barclay, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org) is an online citizen science project enlisting hundreds of thousands of people to search for planet transits in the publicly released Kepler data. Volunteers mark the locations of visible transits in a web interface, with multiple independent classifiers reviewing a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment. In September 2014, Planet Hunters entered a new phase. The project was relaunched with a brand new online classification interface and discussion tool built using the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) latest technology and web platform. The website has been optimized for the rapid discovery and identification of planet candidates in the light curves from K2, the two-wheeled ecliptic plane Kepler mission. We will give an overview of the new Planet Hunters classification interface and Round 2 review system in context of the K2 data. We will present the first results from the Planet Hunters 2 search of K2 Campaigns 0 and 1 including a summary of new planet candidates.

  18. Theoretical validation of potential habitability via analytical and boosted tree methods: An optimistic study on recently discovered exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, S.; Basak, S.; Safonova, M.; Bora, K.; Agrawal, S.; Sarkar, P.; Murthy, J.

    2018-04-01

    Seven Earth-sized planets, known as the TRAPPIST-1 system, was discovered with great fanfare in the last week of February 2017. Three of these planets are in the habitable zone of their star, making them potentially habitable planets (PHPs) a mere 40 light years away. The discovery of the closest potentially habitable planet to us just a year before - Proxima b and a realization that Earth-type planets in circumstellar habitable zones are a common occurrence provides the impetus to the existing pursuit for life outside the Solar System. The search for life has two goals essentially: looking for planets with Earth-like conditions (Earth similarity) and looking for the possibility of life in some form (habitability). An index was recently developed, the Cobb-Douglas Habitability Score (CDHS), based on Cobb-Douglas habitability production function (CD-HPF), which computes the habitability score by using measured and estimated planetary parameters. As an initial set, radius, density, escape velocity and surface temperature of a planet were used. The proposed metric, with exponents accounting for metric elasticity, is endowed with analytical properties that ensure global optima and can be scaled to accommodate a finite number of input parameters. We show here that the model is elastic, and the conditions on elasticity to ensure global maxima can scale as the number of predictor parameters increase. K-NN (K-Nearest Neighbor) classification algorithm, embellished with probabilistic herding and thresholding restriction, utilizes CDHS scores and labels exoplanets into appropriate classes via feature-learning methods yielding granular clusters of habitability. The algorithm works on top of a decision-theoretical model using the power of convex optimization and machine learning. The goal is to characterize the recently discovered exoplanets into an "Earth League" and several other classes based on their CDHS values. A second approach, based on a novel feature-learning and

  19. Ionic Strength Is a Barrier to the Habitability of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Powell, Mark G; Hallsworth, John E; Cousins, Claire R; Cockell, Charles S

    2016-06-01

    The thermodynamic availability of water (water activity) strictly limits microbial propagation on Earth, particularly in hypersaline environments. A considerable body of evidence indicates the existence of hypersaline surface waters throughout the history of Mars; therefore it is assumed that, as on Earth, water activity is a major limiting factor for martian habitability. However, the differing geological histories of Earth and Mars have driven variations in their respective aqueous geochemistry, with as-yet-unknown implications for habitability. Using a microbial community enrichment approach, we investigated microbial habitability for a suite of simulated martian brines. While the habitability of some martian brines was consistent with predictions made from water activity, others were uninhabitable even when the water activity was biologically permissive. We demonstrate experimentally that high ionic strength, driven to extremes on Mars by the ubiquitous occurrence of multivalent ions, renders these environments uninhabitable despite the presence of biologically available water. These findings show how the respective geological histories of Earth and Mars, which have produced differences in the planets' dominant water chemistries, have resulted in different physicochemical extremes which define the boundary space for microbial habitability. Habitability-Mars-Salts-Water activity-Life in extreme environments. Astrobiology 16, 427-442.

  20. Survival of extrasolar giant planet moons in planet-planet scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    CIAN HONG, YU; Lunine, Jonathan; Nicholson, Phillip; Raymond, Sean

    2015-12-01

    Planet-planet scattering is the best candidate mechanism for explaining the eccentricity distribution of exoplanets. Here we study the survival and dynamics of exomoons under strong perturbations during giant planet scattering. During close encounters, planets and moons exchange orbital angular momentum and energy. The most common outcomes are the destruction of moons by ejection from the system, collision with the planets and the star, and scattering of moons onto perturbed but still planet-bound orbits. A small percentage of interesting moons can remain bound to ejected (free-floating) planets or be captured by a different planet. Moons' survival rate is correlated with planet observables such as mass, semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination, as well as the close encounter distance and the number of close encounters. In addition, moons' survival rate and dynamical outcomes are predetermined by the moons' initial semi-major axes. The survival rate drops quickly as moons' distances increase, but simulations predict a good chance of survival for the Galilean moons. Moons with different dynamical outcomes occupy different regions of orbital parameter space, which may enable the study of moons' past evolution. Potential effects of planet obliquity evolution caused by close encounters on the satellites’ stability and dynamics will be reported, as well as detailed and systematic studies of individual close encounter events.

  1. The ocean planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1998-01-01

    The Blue Planet is 70% water, and all but 3% of it is salt water. Life on earth first evolved in the primordial soup of ancient seas, and though today's seas provide 99% of all living space on the planet, little is known about the world's oceans. However, the fact that the greatest threats to the integrity of our oceans come from land-based activities is becoming clear. Humankind is in the process of annihilating the coastal and ocean ecosystems and the wealth of biodiversity they harbor. Mounting population and development pressures have taken a grim toll on coastal and ocean resources. The trend arising from such growth is the chronic overexploitation of marine resources, whereby rapidly expanding coastal populations and the growth of cities have contributed to a rising tide of pollution in nearly all of the world's seas. This crisis is made worse by government inaction and a frustrating inability to enforce existing coastal and ocean management regulations. Such inability is mainly because concerned areas contain so many different types of regulations and involve so many levels of government, that rational planning and coordination of efforts are rendered impossible. Concerted efforts are needed by national governments and the international community to start preserving the ultimate source of all life on earth.

  2. Constitution of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waenke, H.

    1981-01-01

    Reliable estimates of the bulk composition are restricted to the Earth, the Moon and the eucrite parent asteroid. The last, the parent body of the eucrite-diogenite family of meteorites, seems to have an almost chondritic composition except for a considerable depletion of all moderately volatile (Na, K, Rb, F, etc.) and highly volatile (Cl, Br, Cd, Pb, etc.) elements. The moon is also depleted in moderate volatile and volatile elements compared to carbonaceous chondrites of type 1 (C1) and to the Earth. Again normalized to C1 and Si the Earth's mantle and the Moon are slightly enriched in refractory lithophile elements and in magnesium. The striking depletion of the Earth's mantle for the elements V, Cr and Mn can be explained by their partial removal into the core. Apart from their contents of metallic iron, all siderophile elements, moderately volatile and volatile elements, Earth and Moon are chemically very similar. It might well be that, with these exceptions and that of a varying degree of oxidation, all the inner planets have a similar chemistry. The chemical composition of the Earth's mantle, yields important information about the accretion history of the Earth and that of the inner planets. (author)

  3. Planetary habitability: is Earth commonplace in the Milky Way?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franck, S; Block, A; von Bloh, W; Bounama, C; Garrido, I; Schellnhuber, H J

    2001-10-01

    Is there life beyond planet Earth? This is one of the grand enigmas which humankind tries to solve through scientific research. Recent progress in astronomical measurement techniques has confirmed the existence of a multitude of extra-solar planets. On the other hand, enormous efforts are being made to assess the possibility of life on Mars. All these activities have stimulated several investigations about the habitability of cosmic bodies. The habitable zone (HZ) around a given central star is defined as the region within which an Earth-like planet might enjoy the moderate surface temperatures required for advanced life forms. At present, there are several models determining the HZ. One class of models utilises climate constraints for the existence of liquid water on a planetary surface. Another approach is based on an integrated Earth system analysis that relates the boundaries of the HZ to the limits of photosynthetic processes. Within the latter approach, the evolution of the HZ for our solar system over geological time scales is calculated straightforwardly, and a convenient filter can be constructed that picks the candidates for photosynthesis-based life from all the extra-solar planets discovered by novel observational methods. These results can then be used to determine the average number of planets per planetary system that are within the HZ. With the help of a segment of the Drake equation, the number of "Gaias" (i.e. extra-solar terrestrial planets with a globally acting biosphere) is estimated. This leads to the thoroughly educated guess that there should exist half a million Gaias in the Milky Way.

  4. From Disks to Planets: The Making of Planets and Their Early Atmospheres. An Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel

    2018-03-01

    protoatmospheres not only grow, but they also migrate radially as a result of their interaction with the disk, thus moving progressively from their distance of formation to their final location. The formation of planetary fluid envelopes (proto-atmospheres and oceans), is an essential product of this planet formation scenario which strongly constrains their possible evolution towards habitability. We discuss the effects of the initial conditions in the disk, of the location, size and mass of the planetary core, of the disk lifetime and of the radiation output and activity of the central star, on the formation of these envelopes and on their relative extensions with respect to the planet core. Overall, a fraction of the planets retain the primary proto-atmosphere they initially accreted from the gas disk. For those which lose it in this early evolution, outgassing of volatiles from the planetary core and mantle, together with some contributions of volatiles from colliding bodies, give them a chance to form a "secondary" atmosphere, like that of our own Earth. When the disk finally dissipates, usually before 10 Million years of age, it leaves us with the combination of a planetary system and a debris disk, each with a specific radial distribution with respect to their parent star(s). Whereas the dynamics of protoplanetary disks is dominated by gas-solid dynamical coupling, debris disks are dominated by gravitational dynamics acting on diverse families of planetesimals. Solid-body collisions between them and giant impacts on young planetary surfaces generate a new population of gas and dust in those disks. Synergies between solar system and exoplanet studies are particularly fruitful and need to be stimulated even more, because they give access to different and complementary components of debris disks: whereas the different families of planetesimals can be extensively studied in the solar system, they remain unobserved in exoplanet systems. But, in those systems, long

  5. Starting a Planet Protectors Club

    Science.gov (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007

    2007-01-01

    If your mission is to teach children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste and create the next generation of Planet Protectors, perhaps leading a Planet Protectors Club is part of your future challenges. You don't have to be an expert in waste reduction and recycling to lead a a Planet Protectors Club. You don't even have to be a teacher. You do…

  6. The hunt for Planet X

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Croswell, Ken.

    1990-01-01

    This article examines the hypothesis that an, as yet unobserved, planet, beyond the orbit of Pluto is responsible for peculiarities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. A brief overview of the discovery and observation of the outer planets is offered. The evidence for and against the proposition is noted, and the work of two present day scientists, is mentioned both of whom agree with the idea, and are searching for optical proof of the planet's existence. U.K

  7. Professor: The Animal Planet Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Satish Gajawada

    2014-01-01

    This paper is dedicated to everyone who is interested in making this planet a better place to live. In the past, researchers have explored behavior of several animals separately. But there is scope to explore in the direction where various artificial animals together solve the optimization problem. In this paper, Satish Gajawada proposed The AnimalPlanet Optimization. The concept of this paper is to imitate all the animals on this planet. The idea is to solve the optimization problem where al...

  8. Plate tectonics and planetary habitability: current status and future challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun

    2012-07-01

    Plate tectonics is one of the major factors affecting the potential habitability of a terrestrial planet. The physics of plate tectonics is, however, still far from being complete, leading to considerable uncertainty when discussing planetary habitability. Here, I summarize recent developments on the evolution of plate tectonics on Earth, which suggest a radically new view on Earth dynamics: convection in the mantle has been speeding up despite its secular cooling, and the operation of plate tectonics has been facilitated throughout Earth's history by the gradual subduction of water into an initially dry mantle. The role of plate tectonics in planetary habitability through its influence on atmospheric evolution is still difficult to quantify, and, to this end, it will be vital to better understand a coupled core-mantle-atmosphere system in the context of solar system evolution. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  9. On the spin states of habitable zone exoplanets around M dwarfs: the effect of a near-resonant companion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinson, Alec M.; Hansen, Brad M. S.

    2017-12-01

    One long-standing problem for the potential habitability of planets within M dwarf systems is their likelihood to be tidally locked in a synchronously rotating spin state. This problem thus far has largely been addressed only by considering two objects: the star and the planet itself. However, many systems have been found to harbour multiple planets, with some in or very near to mean motion resonances. The presence of a planetary companion near a mean motion resonance can induce oscillatory variations in the mean motion of the planet, which we demonstrate can have significant effects on the spin state of an otherwise synchronously rotating planet. In particular, we find that a planetary companion near a mean motion resonance can excite the spin states of planets in the habitable zone of small, cool stars, pushing otherwise synchronously rotating planets into higher amplitude librations of the spin state, or even complete circulation resulting in effective stellar days with full surface coverage on the order of years or decades. This increase in illuminated area can have potentially dramatic influences on climate, and thus on habitability. We also find that the resultant spin state can be very sensitive to initial conditions due to the chaotic nature of the spin state at early times within certain regimes. We apply our model to two hypothetical planetary systems inspired by the K00255 and TRAPPIST-1 systems, both of which have Earth-sized planets in mean motion resonances orbiting cool stars.

  10. Spectral fingerprints of Earth-like planets around FGK stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugheimer, Sarah; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-03-01

    We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions.

  11. Earth as an Exoplanet: Lessons in Recognizing Planetary Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria; Robinson, Tyler; Misra, Amit; Ennico, Kimberly; Sparks, William B.; Claire, Mark; Crisp, David; Schwieterman, Edward; Bussey, D. Ben J.; Breiner, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Earth will always be our best-studied example of a habitable world. While extrasolar planets are unlikely to look exactly like Earth, they may share key characteristics, such as oceans, clouds and surface inhomogeneity. Earth's globally-averaged characteristics can therefore help us to recognize planetary habitability in data-limited exoplanet observations. One of the most straightforward ways to detect habitability will be via detection of 'glint', specular reflectance from an ocean (Robinson et al., 2010). Other methods include undertaking a census of atmospheric greenhouse gases, or attempting to measure planetary surface temperature and pressure, to determine if liquid water would be feasible on the planetary surface. Here we present recent research on detecting planetary habitability, led by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team. This work includes a collaboration with the NASA Lunar Science Institute on the detection of ocean glint and ozone absorption using Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Earth observations (Robinson et al., 2014). This data/model comparison provides the first observational test of a technique that could be used to determine exoplanet habitability from disk-integrated observations at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. We find that the VPL spectral Earth model is in excellent agreement with the LCROSS Earth data, and can be used to reliably predict Earth's appearance at a range of phases relevant to exoplanet observations. Determining atmospheric surface pressure and temperature directly for a potentially habitable planet will be challenging due to the lack of spatial-resolution, presence of clouds, and difficulty in spectrally detecting many bulk constituents of terrestrial atmospheres. Additionally, Rayleigh scattering can be masked by absorbing gases and absorption from the underlying surface. However, new techniques using molecular dimers of oxygen (Misra et al., 2014) and nitrogen

  12. Outer planet probe cost estimates: First impressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niehoff, J.

    1974-01-01

    An examination was made of early estimates of outer planetary atmospheric probe cost by comparing the estimates with past planetary projects. Of particular interest is identification of project elements which are likely cost drivers for future probe missions. Data are divided into two parts: first, the description of a cost model developed by SAI for the Planetary Programs Office of NASA, and second, use of this model and its data base to evaluate estimates of probe costs. Several observations are offered in conclusion regarding the credibility of current estimates and specific areas of the outer planet probe concept most vulnerable to cost escalation.

  13. A Volcanic Hydrogen Habitable Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2017-01-01

    The classical habitable zone (HZ) is the circular region around a star in which liquid water could exist on the surface of a rocky planet. The outer edge of the traditional N_2–CO_2–H_2O HZ extends out to nearly ∼1.7 au in our solar system, beyond which condensation and scattering by CO_2 outstrips its greenhouse capacity. Here, we show that volcanic outgassing of atmospheric H_2 can extend the outer edge of the HZ to ∼2.4 au in our solar system. This wider volcanic-hydrogen HZ (N_2–CO_2–H_2O–H_2) can be sustained as long as volcanic H_2 output offsets its escape from the top of the atmosphere. We use a single-column radiative-convective climate model to compute the HZ limits of this volcanic hydrogen HZ for hydrogen concentrations between 1% and 50%, assuming diffusion-limited atmospheric escape. At a hydrogen concentration of 50%, the effective stellar flux required to support the outer edge decreases by ∼35%–60% for M–A stars. The corresponding orbital distances increase by ∼30%–60%. The inner edge of this HZ only moves out ∼0.1%–4% relative to the classical HZ because H_2 warming is reduced in dense H_2O atmospheres. The atmospheric scale heights of such volcanic H_2 atmospheres near the outer edge of the HZ also increase, facilitating remote detection of atmospheric signatures.

  14. A Volcanic Hydrogen Habitable Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa, E-mail: rmr277@cornell.edu [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (United States)

    2017-03-01

    The classical habitable zone (HZ) is the circular region around a star in which liquid water could exist on the surface of a rocky planet. The outer edge of the traditional N{sub 2}–CO{sub 2}–H{sub 2}O HZ extends out to nearly ∼1.7 au in our solar system, beyond which condensation and scattering by CO{sub 2} outstrips its greenhouse capacity. Here, we show that volcanic outgassing of atmospheric H{sub 2} can extend the outer edge of the HZ to ∼2.4 au in our solar system. This wider volcanic-hydrogen HZ (N{sub 2}–CO{sub 2}–H{sub 2}O–H{sub 2}) can be sustained as long as volcanic H{sub 2} output offsets its escape from the top of the atmosphere. We use a single-column radiative-convective climate model to compute the HZ limits of this volcanic hydrogen HZ for hydrogen concentrations between 1% and 50%, assuming diffusion-limited atmospheric escape. At a hydrogen concentration of 50%, the effective stellar flux required to support the outer edge decreases by ∼35%–60% for M–A stars. The corresponding orbital distances increase by ∼30%–60%. The inner edge of this HZ only moves out ∼0.1%–4% relative to the classical HZ because H{sub 2} warming is reduced in dense H{sub 2}O atmospheres. The atmospheric scale heights of such volcanic H{sub 2} atmospheres near the outer edge of the HZ also increase, facilitating remote detection of atmospheric signatures.

  15. Inside-out planet formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C.

    2014-01-01

    The compact multi-transiting planet systems discovered by Kepler challenge planet formation theories. Formation in situ from disks with radial mass surface density, Σ, profiles similar to the minimum mass solar nebula but boosted in normalization by factors ≳ 10 has been suggested. We propose that a more natural way to create these planets in the inner disk is formation sequentially from the inside-out via creation of successive gravitationally unstable rings fed from a continuous stream of small (∼cm-m size) 'pebbles', drifting inward via gas drag. Pebbles collect at the pressure maximum associated with the transition from a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive ('dead zone') region to an inner MRI-active zone. A pebble ring builds up until it either becomes gravitationally unstable to form an ∼1 M ⊕ planet directly or induces gradual planet formation via core accretion. The planet may undergo Type I migration into the active region, allowing a new pebble ring and planet to form behind it. Alternatively, if migration is inefficient, the planet may continue to accrete from the disk until it becomes massive enough to isolate itself from the accretion flow. A variety of densities may result depending on the relative importance of residual gas accretion as the planet approaches its isolation mass. The process can repeat with a new pebble ring gathering at the new pressure maximum associated with the retreating dead-zone boundary. Our simple analytical model for this scenario of inside-out planet formation yields planetary masses, relative mass scalings with orbital radius, and minimum orbital separations consistent with those seen by Kepler. It provides an explanation of how massive planets can form with tightly packed and well-aligned system architectures, starting from typical protoplanetary disk properties.

  16. Radio images of the planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Pater, I.

    1990-01-01

    Observations at radio wavelengths make possible detailed studies of planetary atmospheres, magnetospheres, and surface layers. The paper addresses the question of what can be learned from interferometric radio images of planets. Results from single-element radio observations are also discussed. Observations of both the terrestrial and the giant planets are considered. 106 refs

  17. The fate of scattered planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 S 1400 E, Rm 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.

  18. Migration of accreting giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crida, A.; Bitsch, B.; Raibaldi, A.

    2016-12-01

    We present the results of 2D hydro simulations of giant planets in proto-planetary discs, which accrete gas at a more or less high rate. First, starting from a solid core of 20 Earth masses, we show that as soon as the runaway accretion of gas turns on, the planet is saved from type I migration : the gap opening mass is reached before the planet is lost into its host star. Furthermore, gas accretion helps opening the gap in low mass discs. Consequently, if the accretion rate is limited to the disc supply, then the planet is already inside a gap and in type II migration. We further show that the type II migration of a Jupiter mass planet actually depends on its accretion rate. Only when the accretion is high do we retrieve the classical picture where no gas crosses the gap and the planet follows the disc spreading. These results impact our understanding of planet migration and planet population synthesis models. The e-poster presenting these results in French can be found here: L'e-poster présentant ces résultats en français est disponible à cette adresse: http://sf2a.eu/semaine-sf2a/2016/posterpdfs/156_179_49.pdf.

  19. The TRAPPIST-1 system: orbital evolution, tidal dissipation, formation and habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaloizou, J. C. B.; Szuszkiewicz, Ewa; Terquem, Caroline

    2018-06-01

    We study the dynamical evolution of the TRAPPIST-1 system under the influence of orbital circularization through tidal interaction with the central star. We find that systems with parameters close to the observed one evolve into a state where consecutive planets are linked by first-order resonances and consecutive triples, apart from planets c, d and e, by connected three-body Laplace resonances. The system expands with period ratios increasing and mean eccentricities decreasing with time. This evolution is largely driven by tides acting on the innermost planets, which then influence the outer ones. In order that deviations from commensurability become significant only on Gyr time-scales or longer, we require that the tidal parameter associated with the planets has to be such that Q΄ > ˜102 - 3. At the same time, if we start with two subsystems, with the inner three planets comprising the inner one, Q΄ associated with the planets has to be on the order (and not significantly exceeding) 102 - 3 for the two subsystems to interact and end up in the observed configuration. This scenario is also supported by modelling of the evolution through disc migration which indicates that the whole system cannot have migrated inwards together. Also, in order to avoid large departures from commensurabilities, the system cannot have stalled at a disc inner edge for significant time periods. We discuss the habitability consequences of the tidal dissipation implied by our modelling, concluding that planets d, e and f are potentially in habitable zones.

  20. WHY ARE PULSAR PLANETS RARE?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Rebecca G.; Livio, Mario; Palaniswamy, Divya [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154 (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Pulsar timing observations have revealed planets around only a few pulsars. We suggest that the rarity of these planets is due mainly to two effects. First, we show that the most likely formation mechanism requires the destruction of a companion star. Only pulsars with a suitable companion (with an extreme mass ratio) are able to form planets. Second, while a dead zone (a region of low turbulence) in the disk is generally thought to be essential for planet formation, it is most probably rare in disks around pulsars, because of the irradiation from the pulsar. The irradiation strongly heats the inner parts of the disk, thus pushing the inner boundary of the dead zone out. We suggest that the rarity of pulsar planets can be explained by the low probability for these two requirements to be satisfied: a very low-mass companion and a dead zone.

  1. Toward the minimum inner edge distance of the habitable zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zsom, Andras; Seager, Sara; De Wit, Julien; Stamenković, Vlada, E-mail: zsom@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2013-12-01

    We explore the minimum distance from a host star where an exoplanet could potentially be habitable in order not to discard close-in rocky exoplanets for follow-up observations. We find that the inner edge of the Habitable Zone for hot desert worlds can be as close as 0.38 AU around a solar-like star, if the greenhouse effect is reduced (∼1% relative humidity) and the surface albedo is increased. We consider a wide range of atmospheric and planetary parameters such as the mixing ratios of greenhouse gases (water vapor and CO{sub 2}), surface albedo, pressure, and gravity. Intermediate surface pressure (∼1-10 bars) is necessary to limit water loss and to simultaneously sustain an active water cycle. We additionally find that the water loss timescale is influenced by the atmospheric CO{sub 2} level, because it indirectly influences the stratospheric water mixing ratio. If the CO{sub 2} mixing ratio of dry planets at the inner edge is smaller than 10{sup –4}, the water loss timescale is ∼1 billion years, which is considered here too short for life to evolve. We also show that the expected transmission spectra of hot desert worlds are similar to an Earth-like planet. Therefore, an instrument designed to identify biosignature gases in an Earth-like atmosphere can also identify similarly abundant gases in the atmospheres of dry planets. Our inner edge limit is closer to the host star than previous estimates. As a consequence, the occurrence rate of potentially habitable planets is larger than previously thought.

  2. Toward the minimum inner edge distance of the habitable zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zsom, Andras; Seager, Sara; De Wit, Julien; Stamenković, Vlada

    2013-01-01

    We explore the minimum distance from a host star where an exoplanet could potentially be habitable in order not to discard close-in rocky exoplanets for follow-up observations. We find that the inner edge of the Habitable Zone for hot desert worlds can be as close as 0.38 AU around a solar-like star, if the greenhouse effect is reduced (∼1% relative humidity) and the surface albedo is increased. We consider a wide range of atmospheric and planetary parameters such as the mixing ratios of greenhouse gases (water vapor and CO 2 ), surface albedo, pressure, and gravity. Intermediate surface pressure (∼1-10 bars) is necessary to limit water loss and to simultaneously sustain an active water cycle. We additionally find that the water loss timescale is influenced by the atmospheric CO 2 level, because it indirectly influences the stratospheric water mixing ratio. If the CO 2 mixing ratio of dry planets at the inner edge is smaller than 10 –4 , the water loss timescale is ∼1 billion years, which is considered here too short for life to evolve. We also show that the expected transmission spectra of hot desert worlds are similar to an Earth-like planet. Therefore, an instrument designed to identify biosignature gases in an Earth-like atmosphere can also identify similarly abundant gases in the atmospheres of dry planets. Our inner edge limit is closer to the host star than previous estimates. As a consequence, the occurrence rate of potentially habitable planets is larger than previously thought.

  3. Possibilities for the detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knacke, Roger F

    2003-01-01

    We consider possibilities for the remote detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets. The Darwin/Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope concepts for observations of terrestrial planets focus on indirect searches for life through the detection of atmospheric gases related to life processes. Direct detection of extraterrestrial life may also be possible through well-designed searches for microbial life forms. Satellites in Earth orbit routinely monitor colonies of terrestrial algae in oceans and lakes by analysis of reflected ocean light in the visible region of the spectrum. These remote sensing techniques suggest strategies for extrasolar searches for signatures of chlorophylls and related photosynthetic compounds associated with life. However, identification of such life-related compounds on extrasolar planets would require observations through strong, interfering absorptions and scattering radiances from the remote atmospheres and landmasses. Techniques for removal of interfering radiances have been extensively developed for remote sensing from Earth orbit. Comparable techniques would have to be developed for extrasolar planet observations also, but doing so would be challenging for a remote planet. Darwin/TPF coronagraph concepts operating in the visible seem to be best suited for searches for extrasolar microbial life forms with instruments that can be projected for the 2010-2020 decades, although resolution and signal-to-noise ratio constraints severely limit detection possibilities on terrestrial-type planets. The generation of telescopes with large apertures and extremely high spatial resolutions that will follow Darwin/TPF could offer striking possibilities for the direct detection of extrasolar microbial life.

  4. Habit and context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller Loose, Simone; Jaeger, S. R.

    , but like the influence of context, quantification of its importance is lacking. To contribute to a closing of this gap, we analyse food dairy data from 100+ New Zealand consumers quantitatively with a variance component analysis. Food diaries, recording the eating occasion, beverages and meal food...... was used to examine the contribution of context factors (eating occasion, where, with whom), habit (share of beverage in consumption portfolio) and socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age) to explain the binary choice of seven main beverage types (water, hot beverages, milk, carbonated beverages...... predictor for its consumption likelihood. The impact of this measure for habit differed across beverages, for instance it played a larger role for hot beverages and water than for the consumption of beer and wine. Eating occasions and its interaction with place of consumption had highest explanatory power...

  5. Origins and Destinations: Tracking Planet Composition through Planet Formation Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chance, Quadry; Ballard, Sarah

    2018-01-01

    There are now several thousand confirmed exoplanets, a number which far exceeds our resources to study them all in detail. In particular, planets around M dwarfs provide the best opportunity for in-depth study of their atmospheres by telescopes in the near future. The question of which M dwarf planets most merit follow-up resources is a pressing one, given that NASA’s TESS mission will soon find hundreds of such planets orbiting stars bright enough for both ground and spaced-based follow-up.Our work aims to predict the approximate composition of planets around these stars through n-body simulations of the last stage of planet formation. With a variety of initial disk conditions, we investigate how the relative abundances of both refractory and volatile compounds in the primordial planetesimals are mapped to the final planet outcomes. These predictions can serve to provide a basis for making an educated guess about (a) which planets to observe with precious resources like JWST and (b) how to identify them based on dynamical clues.

  6. Smoking habits of nurses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Jacka

    1984-09-01

    Full Text Available There is little debate as to the harmful effects of cigarette smoking on health. Most health workers advise their patients to cease the practice. The impact of the advice is however diluted if it is seen to be ignored by the professionals themselves. As nurses play an increasing role in all levels of health care a survey was undertaken to investigate the smoking habits of two groups of nurses - those operating within the community and those working in institutions.

  7. Exploring the planets a memoir

    CERN Document Server

    Taylor, Fred

    2016-01-01

    This book is an informal, semi-autobiographical history, from the particular viewpoint of someone who was involved, of the exploration of the Solar System using spacecraft. The author is a Northumbrian, a Liverpudlian, a Californian, and an Oxford Don with half a century of experience of devising and deploying experiments to study the Earth and the planets, moons, and small bodies of the Solar System. Along with memories and anecdotes about his experiences as a participant in the space programme from its earliest days to the present, he describes in non-technical terms the science goals that drove the projects as well as the politics, pressures, and problems that had to be addressed and overcome on the way. The theme is the scientific intent of these ambitious voyages of discovery, and the joys and hardships of working to see them achieved. The narrative gives a first-hand account of things like how Earth satellites came to revolutionize weather forecasting, starting in the 1960s; how observations from space ...

  8. THE FIRST PLANETS: THE CRITICAL METALLICITY FOR PLANET FORMATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Li Hui

    2012-01-01

    A rapidly growing body of observational results suggests that planet formation takes place preferentially at high metallicity. In the core accretion model of planet formation this is expected because heavy elements are needed to form the dust grains which settle into the midplane of the protoplanetary disk and coagulate to form the planetesimals from which planetary cores are assembled. As well, there is observational evidence that the lifetimes of circumstellar disks are shorter at lower metallicities, likely due to greater susceptibility to photoevaporation. Here we estimate the minimum metallicity for planet formation, by comparing the timescale for dust grain growth and settling to that for disk photoevaporation. For a wide range of circumstellar disk models and dust grain properties, we find that the critical metallicity above which planets can form is a function of the distance r at which the planet orbits its host star. With the iron abundance relative to that of the Sun [Fe/H] as a proxy for the metallicity, we estimate a lower limit for the critical abundance for planet formation of [Fe/H] crit ≅ –1.5 + log (r/1 AU), where an astronomical unit (AU) is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. This prediction is in agreement with the available observational data, and carries implications for the properties of the first planets and for the emergence of life in the early universe. In particular, it implies that the first Earth-like planets likely formed from circumstellar disks with metallicities Z ∼> 0.1 Z ☉ . If planets are found to orbit stars with metallicities below the critical metallicity, this may be a strong challenge to the core accretion model.

  9. THE INFLUENCE OF THERMAL EVOLUTION IN THE MAGNETIC PROTECTION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Bustamante, Sebastian; Cuartas, Pablo A. [Instituto de Fisica-FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 67 No. 53-108, Medellin (Colombia); Hoyos, Jaime H., E-mail: jzuluaga@fisica.udea.edu.co, E-mail: sbustama@pegasus.udea.edu.co, E-mail: p.cuartas@fisica.udea.edu.co, E-mail: jhhoyos@udem.edu.co [Departamento de Ciencias Basicas, Universidad de Medellin, Carrera 87 No. 30-65, Medellin (Colombia)

    2013-06-10

    Magnetic protection of potentially habitable planets plays a central role in determining their actual habitability and/or the chances of detecting atmospheric biosignatures. Here we develop a thermal evolution model of potentially habitable Earth-like planets and super-Earths (SEs). Using up-to-date dynamo-scaling laws, we predict the properties of core dynamo magnetic fields and study the influence of thermal evolution on their properties. The level of magnetic protection of tidally locked and unlocked planets is estimated by combining simplified models of the planetary magnetosphere and a phenomenological description of the stellar wind. Thermal evolution introduces a strong dependence of magnetic protection on planetary mass and rotation rate. Tidally locked terrestrial planets with an Earth-like composition would have early dayside magnetopause distances between 1.5 and 4.0 R{sub p} , larger than previously estimated. Unlocked planets with periods of rotation {approx}1 day are protected by magnetospheres extending between 3 and 8 R{sub p} . Our results are robust in comparison with variations in planetary bulk composition and uncertainties in other critical model parameters. For illustration purposes, the thermal evolution and magnetic protection of the potentially habitable SEs GL 581d, GJ 667Cc, and HD 40307g were also studied. Assuming an Earth-like composition, we found that the dynamos of these planets are already extinct or close to being shut down. While GL 581d is the best protected, the protection of HD 40307g cannot be reliably estimated. GJ 667Cc, even under optimistic conditions, seems to be severely exposed to the stellar wind, and, under the conditions of our model, has probably suffered massive atmospheric losses.

  10. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like land planet with overland water recycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalidindi, S.; Reick, C. H.; Raddatz, T.; Claussen, M.

    2017-12-01

    Prior studies have demonstrated that habitable areas on low-obliquity land planets are confined to the edges of frozen ice caps. Whether such dry planets can maintain long-lived liquid water is unclear. Leconte et al. 2013 argue that on such planets mechanisms like gravity driven ice flows and geothermal flux can maintain liquid water at the edges of thick ice caps and this water may flow back to the lower latitudes through rivers. However, there exists no modelling study which investigates the climate of an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from higher to lower latitudes. In our study, by using a comprehensive climate model ICON, we find that an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism can exist in two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: A Cold and Wet (CW) state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and, a Hot and Dry (HD) state with only high-latitude precipitation. For perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo (α) while above that only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing α above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35°C globally which is of the order of the temperature difference between the present-day and the Snowball Earth state. In contrast to the Snowball Earth instability, we find that the sudden cooling in our study is driven by the cloud albedo feedback rather than the snow-albedo feedback. Also, when α in the CW state is reduced back to zero the land planet does not display a closed hysteresis. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like land planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer

  11. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO2-rich atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T.

    2013-01-01

    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO 2 can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO 2 atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO 2 -rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m –2 (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H 2 O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N 2 /CO 2 early on. Because of the variability of H 2 O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO 2 /H 2 O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  12. The Effect of Orbital Configuration on the Possible Climates and Habitability of Kepler-62f.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Aomawa L; Barnes, Rory; Agol, Eric; Charnay, Benjamin; Bitz, Cecilia; Meadows, Victoria S

    2016-06-01

    As lower-mass stars often host multiple rocky planets, gravitational interactions among planets can have significant effects on climate and habitability over long timescales. Here we explore a specific case, Kepler-62f (Borucki et al., 2013 ), a potentially habitable planet in a five-planet system with a K2V host star. N-body integrations reveal the stable range of initial eccentricities for Kepler-62f is 0.00 ≤ e ≤ 0.32, absent the effect of additional, undetected planets. We simulate the tidal evolution of Kepler-62f in this range and find that, for certain assumptions, the planet can be locked in a synchronous rotation state. Simulations using the 3-D Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Generic global climate model (GCM) indicate that the surface habitability of this planet is sensitive to orbital configuration. With 3 bar of CO2 in its atmosphere, we find that Kepler-62f would only be warm enough for surface liquid water at the upper limit of this eccentricity range, providing it has a high planetary obliquity (between 60° and 90°). A climate similar to that of modern-day Earth is possible for the entire range of stable eccentricities if atmospheric CO2 is increased to 5 bar levels. In a low-CO2 case (Earth-like levels), simulations with version 4 of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4) GCM and LMD Generic GCM indicate that increases in planetary obliquity and orbital eccentricity coupled with an orbital configuration that places the summer solstice at or near pericenter permit regions of the planet with above-freezing surface temperatures. This may melt ice sheets formed during colder seasons. If Kepler-62f is synchronously rotating and has an ocean, CO2 levels above 3 bar would be required to distribute enough heat to the nightside of the planet to avoid atmospheric freeze-out and permit a large enough region of open water at the planet's substellar point to remain stable. Overall, we find multiple plausible combinations of

  13. Terrestrial Planet Finder: Coda to 10 Years of Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) was proposed as a mission concept to the 2000 Decadal Survey, and received a very high ranking amongst the major initiatives that were then reviewed. As proposed, it was a formation flying array of four 3-m class mid-infrared telescopes, linked together as an interferometer. Its science goal was to survey 150 nearby stars for the presence of Earth-like planets, to detect signs of life or habitability, and to enable revolutionary advances in high angular resolution astrophysics. The Decadal Survey Committee recommended that $200M be invested to advance TPF technology development in the Decade of 2000-2010. This paper presents the results of NASA's investment.

  14. WATER TRAPPING ON TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS REQUIRES SPECIAL CONDITIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Liu, Yonggang [Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Hu, Yongyun, E-mail: junyang28@uchicago.edu [Laboratory for Climate and Atmosphere-Ocean Studies, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing (China)

    2014-12-01

    Surface liquid water is essential for standard planetary habitability. Calculations of atmospheric circulation on tidally locked planets around M stars suggest that this peculiar orbital configuration lends itself to the trapping of large amounts of water in kilometers-thick ice on the night side, potentially removing all liquid water from the day side where photosynthesis is possible. We study this problem using a global climate model including coupled atmosphere, ocean, land, and sea ice components as well as a continental ice sheet model driven by the climate model output. For a waterworld, we find that surface winds transport sea ice toward the day side and the ocean carries heat toward the night side. As a result, nightside sea ice remains O(10 m) thick and nightside water trapping is insignificant. If a planet has large continents on its night side, they can grow ice sheets O(1000 m) thick if the geothermal heat flux is similar to Earth's or smaller. Planets with a water complement similar to Earth's would therefore experience a large decrease in sea level when plate tectonics drives their continents onto the night side, but would not experience complete dayside dessiccation. Only planets with a geothermal heat flux lower than Earth's, much of their surface covered by continents, and a surface water reservoir O(10%) of Earth's would be susceptible to complete water trapping.

  15. DECIPHERING THERMAL PHASE CURVES OF DRY, TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koll, Daniel D. B.; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: dkoll@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2015-03-20

    Next-generation space telescopes will allow us to characterize terrestrial exoplanets. To do so effectively it will be crucial to make use of all available data. We investigate which atmospheric properties can, and cannot, be inferred from the broadband thermal phase curve of a dry and tidally locked terrestrial planet. First, we use dimensional analysis to show that phase curves are controlled by six nondimensional parameters. Second, we use an idealized general circulation model to explore the relative sensitivity of phase curves to these parameters. We find that the feature of phase curves most sensitive to atmospheric parameters is the peak-to-trough amplitude. Moreover, except for hot and rapidly rotating planets, the phase amplitude is primarily sensitive to only two nondimensional parameters: (1) the ratio of dynamical to radiative timescales and (2) the longwave optical depth at the surface. As an application of this technique, we show how phase curve measurements can be combined with transit or emission spectroscopy to yield a new constraint for the surface pressure and atmospheric mass of terrestrial planets. We estimate that a single broadband phase curve, measured over half an orbit with the James Webb Space Telescope, could meaningfully constrain the atmospheric mass of a nearby super-Earth. Such constraints will be important for studying the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial exoplanets as well as characterizing the surface conditions on potentially habitable planets.

  16. Extrasolar Planets Observed with JWST and the ELTs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake

    2010-01-01

    The advent of cryogenic space-borne infrared observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope has lead to a revolution in the study of planets and planetary systems orbiting sun-like stars. Already Spitzer has characterized the emergent infrared spectra of close-in giant exoplanets using transit and eclipse techniques. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to extend these studies to superEarth exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars in the near solar neighborhood. The forthcoming ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will playa key role in these studies, being especially valuable for spectroscopy at higher spectral resolving powers where large photon fluxes are needed. The culmination of this work within the next two decades will be the detection and spectral characterization of the major molecular constituents in the atmosphere of a habitable superEarth orbiting a nearby lower main sequence star.

  17. New numerical determination of habitability in the Galaxy: the SETI connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Rodrigo; Gómez-Muñoz, Marco A.; Vázquez, Roberto; Núñez, Patricia G.

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, we determine the habitability of Sun-like stars in the Galaxy using Monte Carlo simulations, which are guided by the factors of the Drake Equation for the considerations on the astrophysical and biological parameters needed to generate and maintain life on a planet's surface. We used a simple star distribution, initial mass function and star formation history to reproduce the properties and distribution of stars within the Galaxy. Using updated exoplanet data from the Kepler mission, we assign planets to some of the stars, and then follow the evolution of life on the planets that met the habitability criteria using two different civilization hypotheses. We predict that around 51% of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) are inhabited by primitive life and 4% by technological life. We apply the results to the Kepler field of view, and predicted that there should be at least six Earth-like planets in the HZ, three of them inhabited by primitive life. According to our model, non-technological life is very common if there are the right conditions, but communicative civilizations are less likely to exist and detect. Nonetheless, we predict a considerable number of detectable civilizations within our Galaxy, making it worthwhile to keep searching.

  18. The Gemini Deep Planet Survey - GDPS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafreniere, D; Doyon, R; Marois, C; Nadeau, D; Oppenheimer, B R; Roche, P F; Rigaut, F; Graham, J R; Jayawardhana, R; Johnstone, D; Kalas, P G; Macintosh, B; Racine, R

    2007-06-01

    We present the results of the Gemini Deep Planet Survey, a near-infrared adaptive optics search for giant planets and brown dwarfs around nearby young stars. The observations were obtained with the Altair adaptive optics system at the Gemini North telescope and angular differential imaging was used to suppress the speckle noise of the central star. Detection limits for the 85 stars observed are presented, along with a list of all faint point sources detected around them. Typically, the observations are sensitive to angular separations beyond 0.5-inch with 5{sigma} contrast sensitivities in magnitude difference at 1.6 {micro}m of 9.6 at 0.5-inch, 12.9 at 1-inch, 15 at 2-inch, and 16.6 at 5-inch. For the typical target of the survey, a 100 Myr old K0 star located 22 pc from the Sun, the observations are sensitive enough to detect planets more massive than 2 M{sub Jup} with a projected separation in the range 40-200 AU. Depending on the age, spectral type, and distance of the target stars, the minimum mass that could be detected with our observations can be {approx}1 M{sub Jup}. Second epoch observations of 48 stars with candidates (out of 54) have confirmed that all candidates are unrelated background stars. A detailed statistical analysis of the survey results, which provide upper limits on the fractions of stars with giant planet or low mass brown dwarf companions, is presented. Assuming a planet mass distribution dn/dm {proportional_to} m{sup -1.2} and a semi-major axis distribution dn/da {proportional_to} a{sup -1}, the upper limits on the fraction of stars with at least one planet of mass 0.5-13 M{sub Jup} are 0.29 for the range 10-25 AU, 0.13 for 25-50 AU, and 0.09 for 50-250 AU, with a 95% confidence level; this result is weakly dependent on the semi-major axis distribution power-law index. Without making any assumption on the mass and semi-major axis distributions, the fraction of stars with at least one brown dwarf companion having a semi-major axis in the

  19. Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search (KARPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caceres, Gabriel

    2018-01-01

    One of the main obstacles in detecting faint planetary transits is the intrinsic stellar variability of the host star. The Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search (KARPS) project implements statistical methodology associated with autoregressive processes (in particular, ARIMA and ARFIMA) to model stellar lightcurves in order to improve exoplanet transit detection. We also develop a novel Transit Comb Filter (TCF) applied to the AR residuals which provides a periodogram analogous to the standard Box-fitting Least Squares (BLS) periodogram. We train a random forest classifier on known Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) using select features from different stages of this analysis, and then use ROC curves to define and calibrate the criteria to recover the KOI planet candidates with high fidelity. These statistical methods are detailed in a contributed poster (Feigelson et al., this meeting).These procedures are applied to the full DR25 dataset of NASA’s Kepler mission. Using the classification criteria, a vast majority of known KOIs are recovered and dozens of new KARPS Candidate Planets (KCPs) discovered, including ultra-short period exoplanets. The KCPs will be briefly presented and discussed.

  20. Lighting Automation - Flying an Earthlike Habit Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falker, Jay; Howard, Ricky; Culbert, Christopher; Clark, Toni Anne; Kolomenski, Andrei

    2017-01-01

    Our proposal will enable the development of automated spacecraft habitats for long duration missions. Majority of spacecraft lighting systems employ lamps or zone specific switches and dimmers. Automation is not in the "picture". If we are to build long duration environments, which provide earth-like habitats, minimize crew time, and optimize spacecraft power reserves, innovation in lighting automation is a must. To transform how spacecraft lighting environments are automated, we will provide performance data on a standard lighting communication protocol. We will investigate utilization and application of an industry accepted lighting control protocol, DMX512. We will demonstrate how lighting automation can conserve power, assist with lighting countermeasures, and utilize spatial body tracking. By using DMX512 we will prove the "wheel" does not need to be reinvented in terms of smart lighting and future spacecraft can use a standard lighting protocol to produce an effective, optimized and potentially earthlike habitat.

  1. HABITABLE ZONES OF POST-MAIN SEQUENCE STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Once a star leaves the main sequence and becomes a red giant, its Habitable Zone (HZ) moves outward, promoting detectable habitable conditions at larger orbital distances. We use a one-dimensional radiative-convective climate and stellar evolutionary models to calculate post-MS HZ distances for a grid of stars from 3700 to 10,000 K (∼M1 to A5 stellar types) for different stellar metallicities. The post-MS HZ limits are comparable to the distances of known directly imaged planets. We model the stellar as well as planetary atmospheric mass loss during the Red Giant Branch (RGB) and Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) phases for super-Moons to super-Earths. A planet can stay between 200 million years up to 9 Gyr in the post-MS HZ for our hottest and coldest grid stars, respectively, assuming solar metallicity. These numbers increase for increased stellar metallicity. Total atmospheric erosion only occurs for planets in close-in orbits. The post-MS HZ orbital distances are within detection capabilities of direct imaging techniques.

  2. HABITABLE ZONES OF POST-MAIN SEQUENCE STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (United States)

    2016-05-20

    Once a star leaves the main sequence and becomes a red giant, its Habitable Zone (HZ) moves outward, promoting detectable habitable conditions at larger orbital distances. We use a one-dimensional radiative-convective climate and stellar evolutionary models to calculate post-MS HZ distances for a grid of stars from 3700 to 10,000 K (∼M1 to A5 stellar types) for different stellar metallicities. The post-MS HZ limits are comparable to the distances of known directly imaged planets. We model the stellar as well as planetary atmospheric mass loss during the Red Giant Branch (RGB) and Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) phases for super-Moons to super-Earths. A planet can stay between 200 million years up to 9 Gyr in the post-MS HZ for our hottest and coldest grid stars, respectively, assuming solar metallicity. These numbers increase for increased stellar metallicity. Total atmospheric erosion only occurs for planets in close-in orbits. The post-MS HZ orbital distances are within detection capabilities of direct imaging techniques.

  3. A cloaking device for transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipping, David M.; Teachey, Alex

    2016-06-01

    The transit method is presently the most successful planet discovery and characterization tool at our disposal. Other advanced civilizations would surely be aware of this technique and appreciate that their home planet's existence and habitability is essentially broadcast to all stars lying along their ecliptic plane. We suggest that advanced civilizations could cloak their presence, or deliberately broadcast it, through controlled laser emission. Such emission could distort the apparent shape of their transit light curves with relatively little energy, due to the collimated beam and relatively infrequent nature of transits. We estimate that humanity could cloak the Earth from Kepler-like broad-band surveys using an optical monochromatic laser array emitting a peak power of ˜30 MW for ˜10 hours per year. A chromatic cloak, effective at all wavelengths, is more challenging requiring a large array of tunable lasers with a total power of ˜250 MW. Alternatively, a civilization could cloak only the atmospheric signatures associated with biological activity on their world, such as oxygen, which is achievable with a peak laser power of just ˜160 kW per transit. Finally, we suggest that the time of transit for optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is analogous to the water-hole in radio SETI, providing a clear window in which observers may expect to communicate. Accordingly, we propose that a civilization may deliberately broadcast their technological capabilities by distorting their transit to an artificial shape, which serves as both a SETI beacon and a medium for data transmission. Such signatures could be readily searched in the archival data of transit surveys.

  4. The MEarth Project: Finding the Best Targets for Atmospheric Characterization with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta-Thompson, Z.

    2014-04-01

    If we want to directly observe the radius, orbit, mass, and atmosphere of a small, cool, habitable exoplanet, our best opportunity is to find such a planet transiting a small, cool, nearby M dwarf star. The MEarth Project is an ongoing all-sky survey for Earth-like planets transiting the closest, smallest M dwarfs in the Galaxy. MEarth aims to find good targets for atmospheric characterization with JWST and the next generation of enormous ground-based telescopes. This poster provides a status update on the MEarth Project, including the progress we've made over the past five years with 8 telescopes in the Northern hemisphere and promising early results from our new installation of 8 more telescopes in the Southern hemisphere.

  5. Formation of giant planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perri, F.

    1975-01-01

    When a planetary core composed of condensed matter is accumulated in the primitive solar nebula, the gas of the nebula becomes gravitationally concentrated as an envelope surrounding the planetary core. Models of such gaseous envelopes have been constructed subject to the assumption that the gas everywhere is on the same adiabat as that in the surrounding nebula. The gaseous envelope extends from the surface of the core to the distance at which the gravitational attraction of core plus envelope becomes equal to the gradient of the gravitational potential in the solar nebula; at this point the pressure and temperature of the gas in the envelope are required to attain the background values characteristic of the solar nebula. In general, as the mass of the condensed core increases, increasing amounts of gas became concentrated in the envelope, and these envelopes are stable against hydrodynamic instabilities. However, the core mass then goes through a maximum and starts to decrease. In most of the models tested the envelopes were hydrodynamically unstable beyond the peak in the core mass. An unstable situation was always created if it was insisted that the core mass contain a larger amount of matter than given by these solutions. For an initial adiabat characterized by a temperature of 450 0 K and a pressure of 5 x 10 -6 atmospheres, the maximum core mass at which instability occurs is approximately 115 earth masses. It is concluded that the giant planets obtained their large amounts of hydrogen and helium by a hydrodynamic collapse process in the solar nebula only after the nebula had been subjected to a considerable period of cooling

  6. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz D

    2007-01-01

    Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Fifth Edition, is the official reference for the field of the IAU, which serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and any surface features on them. The accelerating rate of the discovery of minor planets has not only made a new edition of this established compendium necessary but has also significantly altered its scope: this thoroughly revised edition concentrates on the approximately 10,000 minor planets that carry a name. It provides authoritative information about the basis for all names of minor planets. In addition to being of practical value for identification purposes, this collection provides a most interesting historical insight into the work of those astronomers who over two centuries vested their affinities in a rich and colorful variety of ingenious names, from heavenly goddesses to more prosaic constructions. The fifth edition serves as the primary reference, with plans for complementary booklets with newl...

  7. Motions on a rotating planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröer, H.

    In chapter 1 we want to describe the motion of a falling body on a rotating planet. The planet rotates with an arbitrary changable angular velocity and has a translational acceleration. We obtain 3 differential equations. For the general gravitational field an exact solution is possible, when the differential equation system is explicit solvable. Then we consider the case, if the angular velocity and the translational acceleration is constant. With a special transformation we get 3 partial differential equations of first order. Instead of a planet sphere we can choose a general body of rotation. Even general bodies are possible. Chapter 2 contains the motion in a local coordinate system on planet's surface. We have an inhomogeneous linear differential equation of first order. If the angular velocity is constant, we get a system with constant coefficients. There is an english and a german edition.

  8. Computer codes for evaluation of control room habitability (HABIT)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stage, S.A.

    1996-06-01

    This report describes the Computer Codes for Evaluation of Control Room Habitability (HABIT). HABIT is a package of computer codes designed to be used for the evaluation of control room habitability in the event of an accidental release of toxic chemicals or radioactive materials. Given information about the design of a nuclear power plant, a scenario for the release of toxic chemicals or radionuclides, and information about the air flows and protection systems of the control room, HABIT can be used to estimate the chemical exposure or radiological dose to control room personnel. HABIT is an integrated package of several programs that previously needed to be run separately and required considerable user intervention. This report discusses the theoretical basis and physical assumptions made by each of the modules in HABIT and gives detailed information about the data entry windows. Sample runs are given for each of the modules. A brief section of programming notes is included. A set of computer disks will accompany this report if the report is ordered from the Energy Science and Technology Software Center. The disks contain the files needed to run HABIT on a personal computer running DOS. Source codes for the various HABIT routines are on the disks. Also included are input and output files for three demonstration runs

  9. Water Loss from Young Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Feng; Güdel, Manuel; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut; Luger, Rodrigo; Odert, Petra

    2018-04-01

    Good progress has been made in the past few years to better understand the XUV evolution trend of Sun-like stars, the capture and dissipation of hydrogen dominant envelopes of planetary embryos and protoplanets, and water loss from young planets around M dwarfs. This chapter reviews these recent developments. Observations of exoplanets and theoretical works in the near future will significantly advance our understanding of one of the fundamental physical processes shaping the evolution of solar system terrestrial planets.

  10. THE STRUCTURE OF SURFACE H{sub 2}O LAYERS OF ICE-COVERED PLANETS WITH HIGH-PRESSURE ICE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueta, S.; Sasaki, T., E-mail: ueta@geo.titech.ac.jp, E-mail: takanori@geo.titech.ac.jp [Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan)

    2013-10-01

    Many extrasolar (bound) terrestrial planets and free-floating (unbound) planets have been discovered. While the existence of bound and unbound terrestrial planets with liquid water is an important question, of particular importance is the question of these planets' habitability. Even for a globally ice-covered planet, geothermal heat from the planetary interior may melt the interior ice, creating an internal ocean covered by an ice shell. In this paper, we discuss the conditions that terrestrial planets must satisfy for such an internal ocean to exist on the timescale of planetary evolution. The question is addressed in terms of planetary mass, distance from a central star, water abundance, and abundance of radiogenic heat sources. In addition, we investigate the structure of the surface H{sub 2}O layers of ice-covered planets by considering the effects of ice under high pressure (high-pressure ice). As a fiducial case, a 1 M{sub ⊕} planet at 1 AU from its central star and with 0.6-25 times the H{sub 2}O mass of the Earth could have an internal ocean. We find that high-pressure ice layers may appear between the internal ocean and the rock portion on a planet with an H{sub 2}O mass over 25 times that of the Earth. The planetary mass and abundance of surface water strongly restrict the conditions under which an extrasolar terrestrial planet may have an internal ocean with no high-pressure ice under the ocean. Such high-pressure ice layers underlying the internal ocean are likely to affect the habitability of the planet.

  11. Habitable Evaporated Cores and the Occurrence of Panspermia Near the Galactic Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Howard; Forbes, John C.; Loeb, Abraham

    2018-03-01

    Black holes growing via the accretion of gas emit radiation that can photoevaporate the atmospheres of nearby planets. Here, we couple planetary structural evolution models of sub-Neptune-mass planets to the growth of the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole, Sgr A*, and investigate how planetary evolution is influenced by quasar activity. We find that, out to ∼20 pc from Sgr A*, the XUV flux emitted during its quasar phase can remove several percent of a planet’s H/He envelope by mass; in many cases, this removal results in bare rocky cores, many of which are situated in the habitable zones of G-type stars. Near the Galactic Center, the erosion of sub-Neptune-sized planets may be one of the most prevalent channels by which terrestrial super-Earths are created. As such, the planet population demographics may be quite different close to Sgr A* than in the galactic outskirts. The high stellar densities in this region (about seven orders of magnitude greater than the solar neighborhood) imply that the distance between neighboring rocky worlds is short (500–5000 au). The proximity between potentially habitable terrestrial planets may enable the onset of widespread interstellar panspermia near the nuclei of our galaxy. More generally, we predict these phenomena to be ubiquitous for planets in nuclear star clusters and ultra-compact dwarfs. Globular clusters, on the other hand, are less affected by the central black holes.

  12. SMEs’ Purchasing Habits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emre S. Ozmen

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Although micro companies overpower the small and medium enterprise (SME segment, generalizations are often with medium size companies, and therefore, there are many unknowns, especially when it comes to its buying behavior. Conformist studies and industry practices assume SMEs to be “normative” or “conservative” buyers; however, this hypothesis is untested. This article aims to scrutinize the reality, and proposes a unified model that rejects pre-containerization in buying behavior typologies, as well as selectiveness in terms of audience type, whether it is corporate, SME, or consumer. While replacing researchers’ perceptions with the audience’s, the model yields actual knowledge that can lead to audience’s beliefs in lieu of the opposite, which is used to mislead stakeholders. The study shows that SMEs also buy like individuals and spend in a similar way to consumers’, including not only “normative” and “conservative” but also “negligent” and “impulse” zones. From the research-implications perspective, future studies by behaviorists can explore why SMEs purchase in this way. Marketers may benefit from the finding that SMEs buy like individuals. In addition, SMEs may want to be conscious of their purchasing habits, and—utilizing the newly introduced “risk score” frontier—policymakers should assess the consequences of these habits at the macro level.

  13. A Longitudinal Study on Social Competence Development and Sleeping Habits

    OpenAIRE

    Tomisaki, Etsuko; Tanaka, Emiko; Shinohara, Ryoji; Sugisawa, Yuka; Tong, Lian; Hirano, Maki; Watanabe, Taeko; Onda, Yoko; Mochizuki, Yukiko; Kawashima, Yuri; Yato, Yuko; Yamakawa, Noriko; Anme, Tokie

    2010-01-01

    Background It is known that sleep problems impact children’s health, learning, and school performance. The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between sleeping habits and social competence development. Methods Three hundred and nine caregiver-child dyads participated in this study, which was conducted as part of a Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) project. The caregivers answered some questionnaires about sleeping habits when the child was 9 months and 18 months old. C...

  14. KEPLER'S FIRST ROCKY PLANET: KEPLER-10b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Haas, Michael R.; Koch, David G.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Fressin, Francois; Latham, David W.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Joergen; Kjeldsen, Hans; Ciardi, David; Dunham, Edward W.; Gautier, Thomas N. III; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Howell, Steve B.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were detected: (1) a 152 ± 4 ppm dimming lasting 1.811 ± 0.024 hr with ephemeris T [BJD] =2454964.57375 +0.00060 -0.00082 + N*0.837495 +0.000004 -0.000005 days and (2) a 376 ± 9 ppm dimming lasting 6.86 ± 0.07 hr with ephemeris T [BJD] =2454971.6761 +0.0020 -0.0023 + N*45.29485 +0.00065 -0.00076 days. Statistical tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright enough for asteroseismic analysis. Photometry was collected at 1 minute cadence for >4 months from which we detected 19 distinct pulsation frequencies. Modeling the frequencies resulted in precise knowledge of the fundamental stellar properties. Kepler-10 is a relatively old (11.9 ± 4.5 Gyr) but otherwise Sun-like main-sequence star with T eff = 5627 ± 44 K, M * = 0.895 ± 0.060 M sun , and R * = 1.056 ± 0.021 R sun . Physical models simultaneously fit to the transit light curves and the precision Doppler measurements yielded tight constraints on the properties of Kepler-10b that speak to its rocky composition: M P = 4.56 +1.17 -1.29 M + , R P = 1.416 +0.033 -0.036 R + , and ρ P = 8.8 +2.1 -2.9 g cm -3 . Kepler-10b is the smallest transiting exoplanet discovered to date.

  15. Tracing Planets in Circumstellar Discs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uribe Ana L.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Planets are assumed to form in circumstellar discs around young stellar objects. The additional gravitational potential of a planet perturbs the disc and leads to characteristic structures, i.e. spiral waves and gaps, in the disc density profile. We perform a large-scale parameter study on the observability of these planet-induced structures in circumstellar discs in the (submm wavelength range for the Atacama Large (SubMillimeter Array (ALMA. On the basis of hydrodynamical and magneto-hydrodynamical simulations of star-disc-planet models we calculate the disc temperature structure and (submm images of these systems. These are used to derive simulated ALMA maps. Because appropriate objects are frequent in the Taurus-Auriga region, we focus on a distance of 140 pc and a declination of ≈ 20°. The explored range of star-disc-planet configurations consists of six hydrodynamical simulations (including magnetic fields and different planet masses, nine disc sizes with outer radii ranging from 9 AU to 225 AU, 15 total disc masses in the range between 2.67·10-7 M⊙ and 4.10·10-2 M⊙, six different central stars and two different grain size distributions, resulting in 10 000 disc models. At almost all scales and in particular down to a scale of a few AU, ALMA is able to trace disc structures induced by planet-disc interaction or the influence of magnetic fields in the wavelength range between 0.4...2.0 mm. In most cases, the optimum angular resolution is limited by the sensitivity of ALMA. However, within the range of typical masses of protoplane tary discs (0.1 M⊙...0.001 M⊙ the disc mass has a minor impact on the observability. At the distance of 140 pc it is possible to resolve discs down to 2.67·10-6 M⊙ and trace gaps in discs with 2.67·10-4 M⊙ with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than three. In general, it is more likely to trace planet-induced gaps in magneto-hydrodynamical disc models, because gaps are wider in the presence of

  16. Gemini Planet Imager: Preliminary Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B

    2007-05-10

    completely limited by quasi-static wave front errors, so that contrast does not improve with integration times longer than about 1 minute. Using the rotation of the Earth to distinguish companions from artifacts or multiwavelength imaging improves this somewhat, but GPI will still need to surpass the performance of existing systems by one to two orders of magnitude--an improvement comparable to the transition from photographic plates to CCDs. This may sound daunting, but other areas of optical science have achieved similar breakthroughs, for example, the transition to nanometer-quality optics for extreme ultraviolet lithography, the development of MEMS wave front control devices, and the ultra-high contrast demonstrated by JPL's High Contrast Imaging Test-bed. In astronomy, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, long baseline radio interferometry, and multi-object spectrographs have led to improvements of similar or greater order of magnitude. GPI will be the first project to apply these revolutionary techniques to ground-based astronomy, with a systems engineering approach that studies the impact of every design decision on the key metric--final detectable planet contrast.

  17. S-type and P-type habitability in stellar binary systems: A comprehensive approach. I. Method and applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cuntz, M., E-mail: cuntz@uta.edu [Department of Physics, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019-0059 (United States)

    2014-01-01

    A comprehensive approach is provided for the study of both S-type and P-type habitability in stellar binary systems, which in principle can also be expanded to systems of higher order. P-type orbits occur when the planet orbits both binary components, whereas in the case of S-type orbits, the planet orbits only one of the binary components with the second component considered a perturbator. The selected approach encapsulates a variety of different aspects, which include: (1) the consideration of a joint constraint, including orbital stability and a habitable region for a putative system planet through the stellar radiative energy fluxes ({sup r}adiative habitable zone{sup ;} RHZ), needs to be met; (2) the treatment of conservative, general, and extended zones of habitability for the various systems as defined for the solar system and beyond; (3) the provision of a combined formalism for the assessment of both S-type and P-type habitability; in particular, mathematical criteria are presented for the kind of system in which S-type and P-type habitability is realized; (4) applications of the attained theoretical approach to standard (theoretical) main-sequence stars. In principle, five different cases of habitability are identified, which are S-type and P-type habitability provided by the full extent of the RHZs; habitability, where the RHZs are truncated by the additional constraint of planetary orbital stability (referred to as ST- and PT-type, respectively); and cases of no habitability at all. Regarding the treatment of planetary orbital stability, we utilize the formulae of Holman and Wiegert as also used in previous studies. In this work, we focus on binary systems in circular orbits. Future applications will also consider binary systems in elliptical orbits and provide thorough comparisons to other methods and results given in the literature.

  18. AN ANALYTIC METHOD TO DETERMINE HABITABLE ZONES FOR S-TYPE PLANETARY ORBITS IN BINARY STAR SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Gyergyovits, Markus; Funk, Barbara; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos

    2012-01-01

    With more and more extrasolar planets discovered in and around binary star systems, questions concerning the determination of the classical habitable zone have arisen. Do the radiative and gravitational perturbations of the second star influence the extent of the habitable zone significantly, or is it sufficient to consider the host star only? In this article, we investigate the implications of stellar companions with different spectral types on the insolation a terrestrial planet receives orbiting a Sun-like primary. We present time-independent analytical estimates and compare them to insolation statistics gained via high precision numerical orbit calculations. Results suggest a strong dependence of permanent habitability on the binary's eccentricity, as well as a possible extension of habitable zones toward the secondary in close binary systems.

  19. Climate of Earth-Like Planets With and Without Ocean Heat Transport Orbiting a Range of M and K Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, N. Y.; Jablonski, Emma R.; Way, Michael J.; Del Genio, Anthony; Roberge, Aki

    2015-01-01

    The mean surface temperature of a planet is now acknowledged as insufficient to surmise its full potential habitability. Advancing our understanding requires exploration with 3D general circulation models (GCMs), which can take into account how gradients and fluxes across a planet's surface influence the distribution of heat, clouds, and the potential for heterogeneous distribution of liquid water. Here we present 3D GCM simulations of the effects of alternative stellar spectra, instellation, model resolution, and ocean heat transport, on the simulated distribution of heat and moisture of an Earth-like planet (ELP).

  20. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING LEADS TO TIGHTLY PACKED PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masses, the mass-inclination degeneracy does not significantly affect our results. We consider a wide range of initial planetary mass distributions and find that some are poor fits to the observed systems. In fact, many of our scattering experiments overproduce systems very close to the stability boundary. The distribution of dynamical configurations of two-planet systems may provide better discrimination between scattering models than the distribution of eccentricity. Our results imply that, at least in their inner regions which are weakly affected by gas or planetesimal disks, planetary systems should be 'packed', with no large gaps between planets.

  1. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  2. Predictions of Planet Detections with Near-infrared Radial Velocities in the Upcoming SPIRou Legacy Survey-planet Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloutier, Ryan; Artigau, Étienne; Delfosse, Xavier; Malo, Lison; Moutou, Claire; Doyon, René; Donati, Jean-Francois; Cumming, Andrew; Dumusque, Xavier; Hébrard, Élodie; Menou, Kristen

    2018-02-01

    The SPIRou near-infrared spectropolarimeter is destined to begin science operations at the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope in mid-2018. One of the instrument’s primary science goals is to discover the closest exoplanets to the solar system by conducting a three- to five-year long radial velocity survey of nearby M dwarfs at an expected precision of ∼1 m s‑1, the SPIRou Legacy Survey-Planet Search (SLS-PS). In this study, we conduct a detailed Monte Carlo simulation of the SLS-PS using our current understanding of the occurrence rate of M dwarf planetary systems and physical models of stellar activity. From simultaneous modeling of planetary signals and activity, we predict the population of planets to be detected in the SLS-PS. With our fiducial survey strategy and expected instrument performance over a nominal survey length of ∼3 years, we expect SPIRou to detect {85.3}-12.4+29.3 planets including {20.0}-7.2+16.8 habitable-zone planets and {8.1}-3.2+7.6 Earth-like planets from a sample of 100 M1–M8.5 dwarfs out to 11 pc. By studying mid-to-late M dwarfs previously inaccessible to existing optical velocimeters, SPIRou will put meaningful constraints on the occurrence rate of planets around those stars including the value of {η }\\oplus at an expected level of precision of ≲ 45 % . We also predict that a subset of {46.7}-6.0+16.0 planets may be accessible with dedicated high-contrast imagers on the next generation of extremely large telescopes including {4.9}-2.0+4.7 potentially imagable Earth-like planets. Lastly, we compare the results of our fiducial survey strategy to other foreseeable survey versions to quantify which strategy is optimized to reach the SLS-PS science goals. The results of our simulations are made available to the community on GitHub (https://github.com/r-cloutier/SLSPS_Simulations).

  3. TERRESTRIAL, HABITABLE-ZONE EXOPLANET FREQUENCY FROM KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2012-01-01

    Data from Kepler's first 136 days of operation are analyzed to determine the distribution of exoplanets with respect to radius, period, and host-star spectral type. The analysis is extrapolated to estimate the percentage of terrestrial, habitable-zone (HZ) exoplanets. The Kepler census is assumed to be complete for bright stars (magnitude 0.5 Earth radius and periods β–1 , with β ≅ 0.71 ± 0.08; and an extrapolation to longer periods gives the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZs of FGK stars as η ⊕ ≅ (34 ± 14)%. Thus about one-third of FGK stars are predicted to have at least one terrestrial, HZ planet.

  4. Improving the Accuracy of Planet Occurrence Rates from Kepler Using Approximate Bayesian Computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Danley C.; Ford, Eric B.; Ragozzine, Darin; Morehead, Robert C.

    2018-05-01

    We present a new framework to characterize the occurrence rates of planet candidates identified by Kepler based on hierarchical Bayesian modeling, approximate Bayesian computing (ABC), and sequential importance sampling. For this study, we adopt a simple 2D grid in planet radius and orbital period as our model and apply our algorithm to estimate occurrence rates for Q1–Q16 planet candidates orbiting solar-type stars. We arrive at significantly increased planet occurrence rates for small planet candidates (R p 80 day) compared to the rates estimated by the more common inverse detection efficiency method (IDEM). Our improved methodology estimates that the occurrence rate density of small planet candidates in the habitable zone of solar-type stars is {1.6}-0.5+1.2 per factor of 2 in planet radius and orbital period. Additionally, we observe a local minimum in the occurrence rate for strong planet candidates marginalized over orbital period between 1.5 and 2 R ⊕ that is consistent with previous studies. For future improvements, the forward modeling approach of ABC is ideally suited to incorporating multiple populations, such as planets, astrophysical false positives, and pipeline false alarms, to provide accurate planet occurrence rates and uncertainties. Furthermore, ABC provides a practical statistical framework for answering complex questions (e.g., frequency of different planetary architectures) and providing sound uncertainties, even in the face of complex selection effects, observational biases, and follow-up strategies. In summary, ABC offers a powerful tool for accurately characterizing a wide variety of astrophysical populations.

  5. Kepler Data Validation I: Architecture, Diagnostic Tests, and Data Products for Vetting Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Giroud, Forrest; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tennenbaum, Peter; hide

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was designed to identify and characterize transiting planets in the Kepler Field of View and to determine their occurrence rates. Emphasis was placed on identification of Earth-size planets orbiting in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Science data were acquired for a period of four years. Long-cadence data with 29.4 min sampling were obtained for approx. 200,000 individual stellar targets in at least one observing quarter in the primary Kepler Mission. Light curves for target stars are extracted in the Kepler Science Data Processing Pipeline, and are searched for transiting planet signatures. A Threshold Crossing Event is generated in the transit search for targets where the transit detection threshold is exceeded and transit consistency checks are satisfied. These targets are subjected to further scrutiny in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. Transiting planet candidates are characterized in DV, and light curves are searched for additional planets after transit signatures are modeled and removed. A suite of diagnostic tests is performed on all candidates to aid in discrimination between genuine transiting planets and instrumental or astrophysical false positives. Data products are generated per target and planet candidate to document and display transiting planet model fit and diagnostic test results. These products are exported to the Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, and are available to the community. We describe the DV architecture and diagnostic tests, and provide a brief overview of the data products. Transiting planet modeling and the search for multiple planets on individual targets are described in a companion paper. The final revision of the Kepler Pipeline code base is available to the general public through GitHub. The Kepler Pipeline has also been modified to support the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission which is expected to commence in 2018.

  6. Kepler Data Validation I—Architecture, Diagnostic Tests, and Data Products for Vetting Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Girouard, Forrest; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Wohler, Bill; Bryson, Stephen T.; Burke, Christopher J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Haas, Michael R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Sanderfer, Dwight T.

    2018-06-01

    The Kepler Mission was designed to identify and characterize transiting planets in the Kepler Field of View and to determine their occurrence rates. Emphasis was placed on identification of Earth-size planets orbiting in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Science data were acquired for a period of four years. Long-cadence data with 29.4 min sampling were obtained for ∼200,000 individual stellar targets in at least one observing quarter in the primary Kepler Mission. Light curves for target stars are extracted in the Kepler Science Data Processing Pipeline, and are searched for transiting planet signatures. A Threshold Crossing Event is generated in the transit search for targets where the transit detection threshold is exceeded and transit consistency checks are satisfied. These targets are subjected to further scrutiny in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. Transiting planet candidates are characterized in DV, and light curves are searched for additional planets after transit signatures are modeled and removed. A suite of diagnostic tests is performed on all candidates to aid in discrimination between genuine transiting planets and instrumental or astrophysical false positives. Data products are generated per target and planet candidate to document and display transiting planet model fit and diagnostic test results. These products are exported to the Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, and are available to the community. We describe the DV architecture and diagnostic tests, and provide a brief overview of the data products. Transiting planet modeling and the search for multiple planets on individual targets are described in a companion paper. The final revision of the Kepler Pipeline code base is available to the general public through GitHub. The Kepler Pipeline has also been modified to support the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission which is expected to commence in 2018.

  7. A SEARCH FOR SHORT-PERIOD ROCKY PLANETS AROUND WDs WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH (COS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandhaus, Phoebe H.; Debes, John H.; Ely, Justin; Hines, Dean C.; Bourque, Matthew [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2016-05-20

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in an attempt to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all spectral types, white dwarfs (WDs) are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of WDs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle stellar surveys have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of WDs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright WDs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating WD GD 133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter WDs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates.

  8. Inward migration of the TRAPPIST-1 planets as inferred from their water-rich compositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Desch, Steven J.; Hinkel, Natalie R.; Lorenzo, Alejandro

    2018-04-01

    Multiple planet systems provide an ideal laboratory for probing exoplanet composition, formation history and potential habitability. For the TRAPPIST-1 planets, the planetary radii are well established from transits1,2, with reasonable mass estimates coming from transit timing variations2,3 and dynamical modelling4. The low bulk densities of the TRAPPIST-1 planets demand substantial volatile content. Here we show, using mass-radius-composition models, that TRAPPIST-1f and g probably contain substantial (≥50 wt%) water/ice, with TRAPPIST-1 b and c being significantly drier (≤15 wt%). We propose that this gradient of water mass fractions implies that planets f and g formed outside the primordial snow line whereas b and c formed within it. We find that, compared with planets in our Solar System that also formed within the snow line, TRAPPIST-1b and c contain hundreds more oceans of water. We demonstrate that the extent and timescale of migration in the TRAPPIST-1 system depends on how rapidly the planets formed and the relative location of the primordial snow line. This work provides a framework for understanding the differences between the protoplanetary disks of our Solar System versus M dwarfs. Our results provide key insights into the volatile budgets, timescales of planet formation and migration history of M dwarf systems, probably the most common type of planetary host in the Galaxy.

  9. The Earth is a Planet Too!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cairns, Brian

    2014-01-01

    When the solar system formed, the sun was 30 dimmer than today and Venus had an ocean. As the sun brightened, a runaway greenhouse effect caused the Venus ocean to boil away. At times when Earth was younger, the sun less bright, and atmospheric CO2 less, Earth froze over (snowball Earth). Earth is in the sweet spot today. Venus is closer to sun than Earth is, but cloud-covered Venus absorbs only 25 of incident sunlight, while Earth absorbs 70. Venus is warmer because it has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect of several hundred degrees. Earth is Goldilocks choice among the planets, the one that is just right for life to exist. Not too hot. Not too cold. How does the Earth manage to stay in this habitable range? Is there a Gaia phenomenon keeping the climate in bounds? A nice idea, but it doesnt work. Today, greenhouse gas levels are unprecedented compared to the last 450,000 years.

  10. Breaking car use habits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thøgersen, John; Møller, Berit Thorup

    2008-01-01

    Based on calls for innovative ways of reducing car traffic and research indicating that car driving is often the result of habitual decision-making and choice processes, this paper reports on a field experiment designed to test a tool aimed to entice drivers to skip the habitual choice of the car...... and consider using-or at least trying-public transport instead. About 1,000 car drivers participated in the experiment either as experimental subjects, receiving a free one-month travelcard, or as control subjects. As predicted, the intervention had a significant impact on drivers' use of public transport...... and it also neutralized the impact of car driving habits on mode choice. However, in the longer run (i.e., four months after the experiment) experimental subjects did not use public transport more than control subjects. Hence, it seems that although many car drivers choose travel mode habitually, their final...

  11. Origin and evolution of life on terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, A; Horneck, G; Cockell, C S; Bérces, A; Belisheva, N K; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Liseau, Réne; Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The ultimate goal of terrestrial planet-finding missions is not only to discover terrestrial exoplanets inside the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars but also to address the major question as to whether life may have evolved on a habitable Earth-like exoplanet outside our Solar System. We note that the chemical evolution that finally led to the origin of life on Earth must be studied if we hope to understand the principles of how life might evolve on other terrestrial planets in the Universe. This is not just an anthropocentric point of view: the basic ingredients of terrestrial life, that is, reduced carbon-based molecules and liquid H(2)O, have very specific properties. We discuss the origin of life from the chemical evolution of its precursors to the earliest life-forms and the biological implications of the stellar radiation and energetic particle environments. Likewise, the study of the biological evolution that has generated the various life-forms on Earth provides clues toward the understanding of the interconnectedness of life with its environment.

  12. New inner boundaries of the habitable zones around M dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bin, Jiayu; Tian, Feng; Liu, Lei

    2018-06-01

    Two general circulation models CAM4 and CAM5 are used to study the climate of ocean planets around M dwarfs with different effective temperatures. The atmospheres in CAM5 simulations are warmer and contain more water vapor than those in CAM4 under identical model settings, a result likely caused by improved treatments of radiation and possibly clouds in CAM5. The inner boundary of the habitable zones of M dwarfs based on CAM5 simulations, expressed as a second order polynomial function, are farther away from the stars than what are suggested by previous works and the corresponding atmospheres are in the moist greenhouse state.

  13. Mercury - the hollow planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothery, D. A.

    2012-04-01

    Mercury is turning out to be a planet characterized by various kinds of endogenous hole (discounting impact craters), which are compared here. These include volcanic vents and collapse features on horizontal scales of tens of km, and smaller scale depressions ('hollows') associated with bright crater-floor deposits (BCFD). The BCFD hollows are tens of metres deep and kilometres or less across and are characteristically flat-floored, with steep, scalloped walls. Their form suggests that they most likely result from removal of surface material by some kind of mass-wasting process, probably associated with volume-loss caused by removal (via sublimation?) of a volatile component. These do not appear to be primarily a result of undermining. Determining the composition of the high-albedo bluish surface coating in BCFDs will be a key goal for BepiColombo instruments such as MIXS (Mercury Imaging Xray Spectrometer). In contrast, collapse features are non-circular rimless pits, typically on crater floors (pit-floor craters), whose morphology suggests collapse into void spaces left by magma withdrawal. This could be by drainage of either erupted lava (or impact melt) or of shallowly-intruded magma. Unlike the much smaller-scale BCFD hollows, these 'collapse pit' features tend to lack extensive flat floors and instead tend to be close to triangular in cross-section with inward slopes near to the critical angle of repose. The different scale and morphology of BCFD hollows and collapse pits argues for quite different modes of origin. However, BCFD hollows adjacent to and within the collapse pit inside Scarlatti crater suggest that the volatile material whose loss was responsible for the growth of the hollows may have been emplaced in association with the magma whose drainage caused the main collapse. Another kind of volcanic collapse can be seen within a 25 km-wide volcanic vent outside the southern rim of the Caloris basin (22.5° N, 146.1° E), on a 28 m/pixel MDIS NAC image

  14. Photometric Detection of Extra-Solar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzes, Artie P.; Cochran, William D.

    2004-01-01

    This NASA Origins Program grant supported the TEMPEST Texas McDonald Photometric Extrasolar Search for Transits) program at McDonald Observatory, which searches for transits of extrasolar planets across the disks of their parent stars. The basic approach is to use a wide-field ground-based telescope (in our case the McDonald Observatory 0.76m telescope and it s Prime Focus Corrector) to search for transits of short period (1-15 day orbits) of close-in hot-Jupiter planets in orbit around a large sample of field stars. The next task is to search these data streams for possible transit events. We collected our first set of test data for this program using the 0.76 m PFC in the summer of 1998. From those data, we developed the optimal observing procedures, including tailoring the stellar density, exposure times, and filters to best-suit the instrument and project. In the summer of 1999, we obtained the first partial season of data on a dedicated field in the constellation Cygnus. These data were used to develop and refine the reduction and analysis procedures to produce high-precision photometry and search for transits in the resulting light curves. The TeMPEST project subsequently obtained three full seasons of data on six different fields using the McDonald Observatory 0.76m PFC.

  15. Reaching for the red planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L

    1996-05-01

    The distant shores of Mars were reached by numerous U.S. and Russian spacecraft throughout the 1960s to mid 1970s. Nearly 20 years have passed since those successful missions which orbited and landed on the Martian surface. Two Soviet probes headed for the planet in July, 1988, but later failed. In August 1993, the U.S. Mars Observer suddenly went silent just three days before it was to enter orbit around the planet and was never heard from again. In late 1996, there will be renewed activity on the launch pads with three probes departing for the red planet: 1) The U.S. Mars Global Surveyor will be launched in November on a Delta II rocket and will orbit the planet for global mapping purposes; 2) Russia's Mars '96 mission, scheduled to fly in November on a Proton launcher, consists of an orbiter, two small stations which will land on the Martian surface, and two penetrators that will plow into the terrain; and finally, 3) a U.S. Discovery-class spacecraft, the Mars Pathfinder, has a December launch date atop a Delta II booster. The mission features a lander and a microrover that will travel short distances over Martian territory. These missions usher in a new phase of Mars exploration, setting the stage for an unprecedented volley of spacecraft that will orbit around, land on, drive across, and perhaps fly at low altitudes over the planet.

  16. Planet Formation Imager (PFI) : science vision and key requirements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraus, S.; Monnier, J.D.; Ireland, M.J.; Duchene, G.; Espaillat, C.; Honig, S.; Juhasz, A.; Mordasini, C.; Olofsson, J.; Paladini, C.; Stassun, K.; Turner, N.; Vasisht, G.; Harries, T.J.; Bate, M.R.; Gonzalez, J-F.; Matter, A.; Zhu, Z.; Panic, O.; Regaly, Z.; Morbidelli, A.; Meru, F.; Wolf, S.; Ilee, J.; Berger, J-P.; Zhao, M.; Kral, Q.; Morlok, A.; Bonsor, A.; Ciardi, D.; Kane, S.R.; Kratter, K.; Laughlin, G.; Pepper, J.; Raymond, S.; Labadie, L.; Nelson, R.P.; Weigelt, G.; Brummelaar, ten T.; Pierens, A.; Oudmaijer, R.; Kley, W.; Pope, B.; Jensen, E.L.N.; Bayo, A.; Smith, M.; Boyajian, T.; Quiroga-Nunez, L.H.; Millan-Gabet, R.; Chiavassa, A.; Gallenne, A.; Reynolds, M.; Wit, de W-J.; Wittkowski, M.; Millour, F.; Gandhi, P.; Ramos, A. C.; Alonso, H. A.; Packham, C.; Kishimoto, M.; Tristram, K.R.W.; Pott, J.-U.; Surdej, J.; Buscher, D.; Haniff, C.; Lacour, S.; Petrov, R.; Ridgway, S.; Tuthill, P.; Belle, van G.; Armitage, P.; Baruteau, C.; Benisty, M.; Bitsch, B.; Paardekooper, S-J.; Pinte, C.; Masset, F.; Rosotti, G.P.

    2016-01-01

    The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) project aims to provide a strong scientific vision for ground-based optical astronomy beyond the upcoming generation of Extremely Large Telescopes. We make the case that a breakthrough in angular resolution imaging capabilities is required in order to unravel the

  17. Shell of Planet Earth – Global Batch Bioreactor.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hanika, Jiří; Šolcová, Olga; Kaštánek, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 40, č. 11 (2017), s. 1959-1965 ISSN 0930-7516 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TE01020080 Institutional support: RVO:67985858 Keywords : critical raw materials * global batch bioreactor * planet earth Subject RIV: CI - Industrial Chemistry, Chemical Engineering OBOR OECD: Chemical process engineering Impact factor: 2.051, year: 2016

  18. Archive Design Based on Planets Inspired Logical Object Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zierau, Eld; Johansen, Anders

    2008-01-01

    We describe a proposal for a logical data model based on preliminary work the Planets project In OAIS terms the main areas discussed are related to the introduction of a logical data model for representing the past, present and future versions of the digital object associated with the Archival St...... Storage Package for the publications deposited by our client repositories....

  19. Habits in perioperative nursing culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindwall, Lillemor; von Post, Iréne

    2008-09-01

    This study focuses on investigating habits in perioperative nursing culture, which are often simply accepted and not normally considered or discussed. A hermeneutical approach was chosen as the means of understanding perioperative nurses' experiences of and reflections on operating theatre culture. Focus group discussions were used to collect data, which was analysed using hermeneutical text analysis. The results revealed three main categories of habits present in perioperative nursing culture: habits that promote ethical values (by temporary friendship with patients, showing respect for each other, and spending time on reflection on ethics and caring); habits that hinder progress (by seeing the patient as a surgical case, not acknowledging colleagues, and not talking about ethics); and habits that set the cultural tone (the hidden power structure and achieving more in less time).

  20. Health Habit: A Concept Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opalinski, Andra S; Weglicki, Linda S; Gropper, Sareen S

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this article is to provide clarity of the concept of health habit. Using Walker and Avant's (1983; 2010) method for conducting a concept analysis, the authors identify the attributes and characteristics of health habit, its theoretical and practical application to nursing, and sample cases to further illustrate the concept. Empirical and conceptual literature was used to inform this concept analysis. Articles and one book from 1977 to 2014 were reviewed from PsycINFO, Medline, Cumulative Index to Nursing Health Literature (CINAHL), Science Direct, EBSCOhost and Web of Science. Offering a clear definition and conceptual model of health habit provide the foundation to identify/develop appropriate measures of the concept and guide further investigation of understanding the development and sustainability of healthy habits. Additional research is needed to test the conceptual relationships between health habits and outcome variables as they apply to different groups across the age continuum. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Selections from 2017: Atmosphere Around an Earth-Like Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    Editors note:In these last two weeks of 2017, well be looking at a few selections that we havent yet discussed on AAS Nova from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume in January.Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 M Exoplanet GJ 1132 bPublished March2017Main takeaway:An atmosphere was detected around the roughly Earth-size exoplanet GJ 1132 b using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. A team of scientists led byJohn Southworth (Keele University) found features indicating the presence of an atmosphere in theobservationsof this 1.6-Earth-mass planet as it transits an M-dwarf host star. This is the lowest-mass planet with a detected atmosphere thus far.Why its interesting:M dwarfs are among the most common stars in our galaxy, and weve found manyEarth-sizeexoplanets in or near the habitable zones around M-dwarf hosts. But M dwarfs are also more magnetically active than stars like our Sun, suggesting that the planets in M-dwarfhabitable zones may not be able to support life due to stellar activity eroding their atmospheres. The detection of an atmosphere around GJ 1132 b suggests that some planets orbiting M dwarfsare able to retain their atmospheres which meansthat these planetsmay be an interesting place to search for life after all.How the atmosphere was detected:The measured planetary radius for GJ 1132 b as a function of the wavelength used to observe it. [Southworth et al. 2017]When measuring the radius of GJ 1132 b based on its transits, the authors noticed that the planet appeared to be largerwhen observed in some wavelengths than in others. This can beexplained if the planet has asurface radius of 1.4 Earth radii, overlaid by an atmosphere that extends out another few tenths of an Earth radius. The atmosphere, which may consist of water vapor or methane, is transparent to some wavelengths and absorbs others which is why the apparent size of the planet changes

  2. Atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kivelson, M.G.; Schubert, G.

    1986-01-01

    Properties of the planets are identified - such as size, spin rate, and distance from the sun - that are important in understanding the characteristics of their atmospheres. Venus, earth and Mars have surface-temperature differences only partly explained by the decrease of solar radiation flux with distance from the sun. More significant effects arise from the variations in the degree to which the atmospheres act as absorbers of planetary thermal reradiation. Atmospheric circulation on a global scale also varies markedly among the three planets. 5 references

  3. Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet

    OpenAIRE

    Stevenson, David J.

    2004-01-01

    Planet Mercury is both difficult to observe and difficult to reach by spacecraft. Just one spacecraft, Mariner 10, flew by the planet 30 years ago. An upcoming NASA mission, MESSENGER, will be launched this year and will go into orbit around Mercury at the end of this decade. A European mission is planned for the following decade. It's worth going there because Mercury is a strange body and the history of planetary exploration has taught us that strangeness gives us insight into planetary ori...

  4. Guldlok og de nye planeter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke

    2007-01-01

    De såkaldte exoplaneter, som er planeter i andre solsystemer, beskrivelse af de de betingelser, der skal være opfyldt, før man kan gøre sig håb om at finde liv på dem og de metoder astronomer bruger til at finde planeterne.......De såkaldte exoplaneter, som er planeter i andre solsystemer, beskrivelse af de de betingelser, der skal være opfyldt, før man kan gøre sig håb om at finde liv på dem og de metoder astronomer bruger til at finde planeterne....

  5. Migration of accreting giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, C.; Crida, A.; Lega, E.; Méheut, H.

    2017-09-01

    Giant planets forming in protoplanetary disks migrate relative to their host star. By repelling the gas in their vicinity, they form gaps in the disk's structure. If they are effectively locked in their gap, it follows that their migration rate is governed by the accretion of the disk itself onto the star, in a so-called type II fashion. Recent results showed however that a locking mechanism was still lacking, and was required to understand how giant planets may survive their disk. We propose that planetary accretion may play this part, and help reach this slow migration regime.

  6. Stable Hydrogen-rich Atmospheres of Young Rocky Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Catling, D. C.; Gacesa, M.

    2016-12-01

    SourceURL:file://localhost/Volumes/Lexar/Zahnle_AGU_2016.docx Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydrodynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's (Science 308, pp. 1014-1017, 2005) hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than

  7. MODEL SPECTRA OF THE FIRST POTENTIALLY HABITABLE SUPER-EARTH-Gl581d

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Segura, AntIgona; Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2011-01-01

    Gl581d has a minimum mass of 7 M Earth and is the first detected potentially habitable rocky Super-Earth. Our models confirm that a habitable atmosphere can exist on Gl581d. We derive spectroscopic features for atmospheres assuming an Earth-like composition for this planet, from high-oxygen atmosphere analogous to Earth's to high-CO 2 atmospheres with and without biotic oxygen concentrations. We find that a minimum CO 2 partial pressure of about 7 bar, in an atmosphere with a total surface pressure of 7.6 bar, is needed to maintain a mean surface temperature above freezing on Gl581d. We model transmission and emergent synthetic spectra from 0.4 μm to 40 μm and show where indicators of biological activities in such a planet's atmosphere could be observed by future ground- and space-based telescopes. The model we present here only represents one possible nature-an Earth-like composition-of a planet like Gl581d in a wide parameter space. Future observations of atmospheric features can be used to examine if our concept of habitability and its dependence on the carbonate-silicate cycle is correct, and assess whether Gl581d is indeed a habitable Super-Earth.

  8. Searching for habitable exoplanets by using combined microlensing and radial velocity facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joergensen, Uffe Graae

    2008-01-01

    The habitable planetary regime, where life as we know it from the Earth in principle can exist, has long been among the technically most difficult to search for the existence of exoplanets. It spans the inner and outer orbital range, where liquid water in principle can exist on a planetary surface (the habitable zone), and the planetary mass range from the lowest mass where an atmosphere is bound over biological timescales to the upper mass limit where a nebula gas-collapse transforms a solid planet into a gas planet. With a prober equipment, microlensing is sensitive to this regime for most stellar types, including solar-type stars, while the radial velocity technique complements the detection regime by being sensitive to such planets around the lowest mass stars. By combining microlensing with radial velocity measurements, it is possible to cover the complete habitable region from the ground. I outline here the theory that in principle will make it possible to perform an efficient survey throughout the habitable regime of the most common types of stars in our galaxy over the next few years, and describe how it can be done in practise for a relatively low cost

  9. Camille Flammarion's the planet Mars as translated by Patrick Moore

    CERN Document Server

    2015-01-01

    Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) began his career at 16 as a human computer under the great mathematician U. J. J. Le Verrier at the Paris Observatory.  He soon tired of the drudgery; he was drawn to more romantic vistas, and at 19 wrote a book on an idea that he was to make his own—the habitability of other worlds.  There followed a career as France’s greatest popularizer of astronomy, with over 60 titles to his credit.  An admirer granted him a chateau at Juvisy-sur-l’Orge, and he set up a first-rate observatory dedicated to the study of the planet Mars. Finally, in 1892, he published his masterpiece, La Planete Mars et ses conditions d’habitabilite, a comprehensive summary of three centuries’ worth of literature on Mars, much of it based on his own personal research into rare memoirs and archives.  As a history of that era, it has never been surpassed, and remains one of a handful of indispensable books on the red planet. Sir Patrick Moore (1923-2012) needs no introduction; his record of popula...

  10. Planetary Habitability and Rapid Environmental Change: The Biological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Fairen, A.; Irwin, L.

    2012-12-01

    Environmental conditions can change drastically and rapidly during the natural history of a planetary body. We have detailed evidence of these dramatic events from Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. Most of these occurrences seem to be triggered by astronomical events such as asteroid impacts or supernova explosions; others are triggered by the planet or moon itself (e.g., supervolcano eruptions). The associated question is always how these events affect the habitability of a planet, particularly the origin and presence of life. Under what conditions would such a drastic event be so catastrophic that it would prohibit the origin of life or be so devastating to existing organisms, that life would not be able to recover and be all but extinguished from a planet? Under what conditions would such an event be positive for the evolution of life, for example spurring life via mass extinctions and associated vacant habitats to the invention of new body plans and higher complexity? Here, we provide insights of what we can learn from the natural history of our own planet, which experienced many environmental disasters and abrupt climate changes, from the impact event that created the Moon to the extinction of the dinosaurs. We apply these insights to other planetary bodies and the question about the presence of life. One example is Mars, which underwent drastic environmental changes at the end of the Noachian period. Assuming that microbial life became established on Mars, could it have survived, perhaps by retreating to environmental niches? Life just starting out would have certainly been more vulnerable to extinction. But how far would it have to have evolved to be more resistant to potential extinction events? Would it have to be global in distribution to survive? Another example is Venus. Should Venus be seen as an example where life, which possibly arose in the first few hundred million years when the planet was still in the habitable zone, would have had no chance to

  11. Modeling climate diversity, tidal dynamics and the fate of volatiles on TRAPPIST-1 planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turbet, Martin; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Forget, François; Selsis, Franck; Tobie, Gabriel; Caldas, Anthony; Naar, Joseph; Gillon, Michaël

    2018-05-01

    TRAPPIST-1 planets are invaluable for the study of comparative planetary science outside our solar system and possibly habitability. Both transit timing variations (TTV) of the planets and the compact, resonant architecture of the system suggest that TRAPPIST-1 planets could be endowed with various volatiles today. First, we derived from N-body simulations possible planetary evolution scenarios, and show that all the planets are likely in synchronous rotation. We then used a versatile 3D global climate model (GCM) to explore the possible climates of cool planets around cool stars, with a focus on the TRAPPIST-1 system. We investigated the conditions required for cool planets to prevent possible volatile species to be lost permanently by surface condensation, irreversible burying or photochemical destruction. We also explored the resilience of the same volatiles (when in condensed phase) to a runaway greenhouse process. We find that background atmospheres made of N2, CO, or O2 are rather resistant to atmospheric collapse. However, even if TRAPPIST-1 planets were able to sustain a thick background atmosphere by surviving early X/EUV radiation and stellar wind atmospheric erosion, it is difficult for them to accumulate significant greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4, or NH3. CO2 can easily condense on the permanent nightside, forming CO2 ice glaciers that would flow toward the substellar region. A complete CO2 ice surface cover is theoretically possible on TRAPPIST-1g and h only, but CO2 ices should be gravitationally unstable and get buried beneath the water ice shell in geologically short timescales. Given TRAPPIST-1 planets large EUV irradiation (at least 103 × Titan's flux), CH4 and NH3 are photodissociated rapidly and are thus hard to accumulate in the atmosphere. Photochemical hazes could then sedimentate and form a surface layer of tholins that would progressively thicken over the age of the TRAPPIST-1 system. Regarding habitability, we confirm that few bars of CO2

  12. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. X. Detection and characterization of giant planets by the dozen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébrard, G.; Arnold, L.; Forveille, T.; Correia, A. C. M.; Laskar, J.; Bonfils, X.; Boisse, I.; Díaz, R. F.; Hagelberg, J.; Sahlmann, J.; Santos, N. C.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Borgniet, S.; Bouchy, F.; Bourrier, V.; Courcol, B.; Delfosse, X.; Deleuil, M.; Demangeon, O.; Ehrenreich, D.; Gregorio, J.; Jovanovic, N.; Labrevoir, O.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lovis, C.; Lozi, J.; Moutou, C.; Montagnier, G.; Pepe, F.; Rey, J.; Santerne, A.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Vanhuysse, M.; Vigan, A.; Wilson, P. A.

    2016-04-01

    We present new radial velocity measurements of eight stars that were secured with the spectrograph SOPHIE at the 193 cm telescope of the Haute-Provence Observatory. The measurements allow detecting and characterizing new giant extrasolar planets. The host stars are dwarfs of spectral types between F5 and K0 and magnitudes of between 6.7 and 9.6; the planets have minimum masses Mp sin I of between 0.4 to 3.8 MJup and orbitalperiods of several days to several months. The data allow only single planets to be discovered around the first six stars (HD 143105, HIP 109600, HD 35759, HIP 109384, HD 220842, and HD 12484), but one of them shows the signature of an additional substellar companion in the system. The seventh star, HIP 65407, allows the discovery of two giant planets that orbit just outside the 12:5 resonance in weak mutual interaction. The last star, HD 141399, was already known to host a four-planet system; our additional data and analyses allow new constraints to be set on it. We present Keplerian orbits of all systems, together with dynamical analyses of the two multi-planet systems. HD 143105 is one of the brightest stars known to host a hot Jupiter, which could allow numerous follow-up studies to be conducted even though this is not a transiting system. The giant planets HIP 109600b, HIP 109384b, and HD 141399c are located in the habitable zone of their host star. Based on observations collected with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, by the SOPHIE Consortium (programs 07A.PNP.CONS to 15A.PNP.CONS).Full version of the SOPHIE measurements (Table 1) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/588/A145

  13. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, James Y-K

    2008-12-13

    Tidally synchronized planets present a new opportunity for enriching our understanding of atmospheric dynamics on planets. Subject to an unusual forcing arrangement (steady irradiation on the same side of the planet throughout its orbit), the dynamics on these planets may be unlike that on any of the Solar System planets. Characterizing the flow pattern and temperature distribution on the extrasolar planets is necessary for reliable interpretation of data currently being collected, as well as for guiding future observations. In this paper, several fundamental concepts from atmospheric dynamics, likely to be central for characterization, are discussed. Theoretical issues that need to be addressed in the near future are also highlighted.

  14. Radial Velocity Fiber-Fed Spectrographs Towards the Discovery of Compact Planets and Pulsations on M Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdiñas, Zaira M.

    2016-11-01

    keep searching for M dwarf stellar pulsations. The third part of this thesis presents our main results regarding the detection of extrasolar planets around nearby M dwarfs. The low temperatures of the M dwarfs atmospheres, as well as their intrinsic low masses compared with other spectral types, result in closer habitable zones (i.e. the range of orbital distances where a planet could maintain liquid water on its surface) and in Earth-mass rocky planets within this zone detectable with the current instrumentation. Moreover, the large abundance of M dwarfs in the solar vicinity ((\\sim)70%) make the planetary systems around M dwarf stars to be rather unique for the interesting follow-up opportunities they offer. These characteristics motivate our search for planets around M dwarf stars. Firstly in this part, I describe the detection of two Earth-mass planet candidates hosted by Luyten’s star. The minimum masses of the planets are 1.11 and 2.13M(_\\oplus) for Luyten b and c, respectively. Luyten b orbits very close to the star with a 4.7-day period, while, Luyten c, with a 18.6-day period orbit, lies within the optimistic estimation of the habitable zone. Later in this part, I detail our discovery of Kapteyn’s star b and c planets. They correspond to two super-Earth mass planets of which planet-b is considered as potentially habitable. Finally, I also describe our more recent discovery of an Earth-mass planet orbiting in the habitable zone of our closest neighbor Proxima Centauri: Proxima b. This study incorporated the experience acquired during this thesis regarding the characterization of the instrumental effects in the short-time domain of M dwarfs. In fact, we used for the first time in this study the moments of the least-square-deconvolution profiles as indices to monitor the shape of the mean-line profiles of Proxima. Finally, the last part of this dissertation comprises the development of an astronomical instrumentation project, with the aim of improving the

  15. The naked planet Earth: Most essential pre-requisite for the origin and evolution of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Maruyama

    2013-03-01

    To satisfy the tight conditions to make the Earth habitable, the formation mechanism of primordial Earth is an important factor. At first, a ‘dry Earth’ must be made through giant impact, followed by magma ocean to float nutrient-enriched primordial continents (anorthosite + KREEP. Late bombardment from asteroid belt supplied water to make 3–5 km thick ocean, and not from icy meteorites from Kuiper belt beyond cool Jupiter. It was essential to meet the above conditions that enabled the Earth as a habitable planet with evolved life forms. The tight constraints that we evaluate for birth and evolution of life on Earth would provide important guidelines for planetary scientists hunting for life in the exo-solar planets.

  16. Vehicle Net Habitable Volume (NHV) and Habitability Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The purpose of this study is to assess habitability on the International Space Station (ISS) in order to better prepare for long-duration spaceflight missions of the...

  17. Habitability Concept Models for Living in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrino, M.

    2002-01-01

    As growing trends show, living in "space" has acquired new meanings, especially considering the utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) with regard to group interaction as well as individual needs in terms of time, space and crew accommodations. In fact, for the crew, the Spaced Station is a combined Laboratory-Office/Home and embodies ethical, social, and cultural aspects as additional parameters to be assessed to achieve a user centered architectural design of crew workspace. Habitability Concept Models can improve the methods and techniques used to support the interior design and layout of space architectures and at the same time guarantee a human focused approach. This paper discusses and illustrates some of the results obtained for the interior design of a Habitation Module for the ISS. In this work, two different but complementary approaches are followed. The first is "object oriented" and based on Video Data (American and Russian) supported by Proxemic methods (Edward T. Hall, 1963 and Francesca Pregnolato, 1998). This approach offers flexible and adaptive design solutions. The second is "subject oriented" and based on a Virtual Reality environment. With this approach human perception and cognitive aspects related to a specific crew task are considered. Data obtained from these two approaches are used to verify requirements and advance the design of the Habitation Module for aspects related to man machine interfaces (MMI), ergonomics, work and free-time. It is expected that the results achieved can be applied to future space related projects.

  18. Gj 832c: A super-Earth in the habitable zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Horner, Jonathan; Tinney, C. G.; Marshall, J. P.; Bailey, J.; Salter, G. S.; Wright, D. [School of Physics, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Tuomi, Mikko; Jones, H. R. A. [Centre for Astrophysics Research, Science and Technology Research Institute, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB (United Kingdom); Butler, R. P.; Arriagada, P. [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015-1305 (United States); Anglada-Escudé, Guillem [Astronomy Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, London (United Kingdom); Carter, B. D. [Computational Engineering and Science Research Centre, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350 (Australia); O' Toole, S. J. [Australian Astronomical Observatory, P.O. Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670 (Australia); Crane, J. D.; Schectman, S. A.; Thompson, I. [The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Minniti, D. [Institute of Astrophysics, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22 (Chile); Jenkins, J. S.; Diaz, M., E-mail: rob@phys.unsw.edu.au [Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Camino el Observatorio 1515, Casilla 36-D, Las Condes, Santiago (Chile)

    2014-08-20

    We report the detection of GJ 832c, a super-Earth orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of GJ 832, an M dwarf previously known to host a Jupiter analog in a nearly circular 9.4 yr orbit. The combination of precise radial-velocity measurements from three telescopes reveals the presence of a planet with a period of 35.68 ± 0.03 days and minimum mass (m sin i) of 5.4 ± 1.0 Earth masses. GJ 832c moves on a low-eccentricity orbit (e = 0.18 ± 0.13) toward the inner edge of the habitable zone. However, given the large mass of the planet, it seems likely that it would possess a massive atmosphere, which may well render the planet inhospitable. Indeed, it is perhaps more likely that GJ 832c is a 'super-Venus', featuring significant greenhouse forcing. With an outer giant planet and an interior, potentially rocky planet, the GJ 832 planetary system can be thought of as a miniature version of our own solar system.

  19. Tracking Planets around the Sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2008-01-01

    In earlier columns, the celestial coordinate system of hour circles of right ascension and degrees of declination was introduced along with the use of an equatorial star chart (see SFA Star Charts in Resources). This system shows the planets' motion relative to the ecliptic, the apparent path the Sun follows during the year. An alternate system,…

  20. Jupiter: Lord of the Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, William

    1984-01-01

    Presents a chapter from an introductory college-level astronomy textbook in which full-color photographs and numerous diagrams highlight an extensive description of the planet Jupiter. Topics include Jupiter's geology, rotation, magnetic field, atmosphere (including clouds and winds), and the Great Red Spot. (DH)

  1. Venus and Mercury as Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-01-01

    A general evolutionary history of the solar planetary system is given. The previously observed characteristics of Venus and Mercury (i.e. length of day, solar orbit, temperature) are discussed. The role of the Mariner 10 space probe in gathering scientific information on the two planets is briefly described.

  2. Venus and Mercury as planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1974-01-01

    A general evolutionary history of the solar planetary system is given. The previously observed characteristics of Venus and Mercury (i.e. length of day, solar orbit, temperature) are discussed. The role of the Mariner 10 space probe in gathering scientific information on the two planets is briefly described

  3. CHIC - Coupling Habitability, Interior and Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Labbe, Francois; Boiveau, Thomas; Rivoldini, Attilio; Van Hoolst, Tim

    2014-05-01

    We present a new code developed for simulating convection in terrestrial planets and icy moons. The code CHIC is written in Fortran and employs the finite volume method and finite difference method for solving energy, mass and momentum equations in either silicate or icy mantles. The code uses either Cartesian (2D and 3D box) or spherical coordinates (2D cylinder or annulus). It furthermore contains a 1D parametrised model to obtain temperature profiles in specific regions, for example in the iron core or in the silicate mantle (solving only the energy equation). The 2D/3D convection model uses the same input parameters as the 1D model, which allows for comparison of the different models and adaptation of the 1D model, if needed. The code has already been benchmarked for the following aspects: - viscosity-dependent rheology (Blankenbach et al., 1989) - pseudo-plastic deformation (Tosi et al., in preparation phase) - subduction mechanism and plastic deformation (Quinquis et al., in preparation phase) New features that are currently developed and benchmarked include: - compressibility (following King et al., 2009 and Leng and Zhong, 2008) - different melt modules (Plesa et al., in preparation phase) - freezing of an inner core (comparison with GAIA code, Huettig and Stemmer, 2008) - build-up of oceanic and continental crust (Noack et al., in preparation phase) The code represents a useful tool to couple the interior with the surface of a planet (e.g. via build-up and erosion of crust) and it's atmosphere (via outgassing on the one hand and subduction of hydrated crust and carbonates back into the mantle). It will be applied to investigate several factors that might influence the habitability of a terrestrial planet, and will also be used to simulate icy bodies with high-pressure ice phases. References: Blankenbach et al. (1989). A benchmark comparison for mantle convection codes. GJI 98, 23-38. Huettig and Stemmer (2008). Finite volume discretization for dynamic

  4. Habitability as a Tier One Criterion in Exploration Mission and Vehicle Design. Part 1; Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Constance M.; McCurdy, Matthew Riegel

    1999-01-01

    Habitability and human factors are necessary criteria to include in the iterative process of Tier I mission design. Bringing these criteria in at the first, conceptual stage of design for exploration and other human-rated missions can greatly reduce mission development costs, raise the level of efficiency and viability, and improve the chances of success. In offering a rationale for this argument, the authors give an example of how the habitability expert can contribute to early mission and vehicle architecture by defining the formal implications of a habitable vehicle, assessing the viability of units already proposed for exploration missions on the basis of these criteria, and finally, by offering an optimal set of solutions for an example mission. In this, the first of three papers, we summarize the basic factors associated with habitability, delineate their formal implications for crew accommodations in a long-duration environment, and show examples of how these principles have been applied in two projects at NASA's Johnson Space Center: the BIO-Plex test facility, and TransHab.

  5. Are "Habitable" Exoplanets Really Habitable? -A perspectiv