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Sample records for circumstellar habitable zones

  1. Habitable zones in the universe.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2005-12-01

    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 the historical development of the concept of habitable zones and the present state of the research. We also suggest ways to make progress on each of the habitable zones and to unify them into a single concept encompassing the entire universe. PMID:16254692

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    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.

  3. The habitable zone and extreme planetary orbits.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23035897

  4. Habitable zones and UV habitable zones around host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jianpo; Zhang, Fenghui; Zhang, Xianfei; Han, Zhanwen

    2010-01-01

    Ultraviolet radiation is a double-edged sword to life. If it is too strong, the terrestrial biological systems will be damaged. And if it is too weak, the synthesis of many biochemical compounds cannot go along. We try to obtain the continuous ultraviolet habitable zones, and compare the ultraviolet habitable zones with the habitable zones of host stars. Using the boundary ultraviolet radiation of ultraviolet habitable zone, we calculate the ultraviolet habitable zones of host stars with masses from 0.08 to 4.00 M ⊙. For the host stars with effective temperatures lower than 4,600 K, the ultraviolet habitable zones are closer than the habitable zones. For the host stars with effective temperatures higher than 7,137 K, the ultraviolet habitable zones are farther than the habitable zones. For a hot subdwarf as a host star, the distance of the ultraviolet habitable zone is about ten times more than that of the habitable zone, which is not suitable for the existence of life.

  5. Trojans in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Richard; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Dvorak, Rudolf; Erdi, Balint; Sándor, Zsolt

    2005-10-01

    With the aid of numerical experiments we examined the dynamical stability of fictitious terrestrial planets in 1:1 mean motion resonance with Jovian-like planets of extrasolar planetary systems. In our stability study of the so-called "Trojan" planets in the habitable zone, we used the restricted three-body problem with different mass ratios of the primary bodies. The application of the three-body problem showed that even massive Trojan planets can be stable in the 1:1 mean motion resonance. From the 117 extrasolar planetary systems only 11 systems were found with one giant planet in the habitable zone. Out of this sample set we chose four planetary systems--HD17051, HD27442, HD28185, and HD108874--for further investigation. To study the orbital behavior of the stable zone in the different systems, we used direct numerical computations (Lie Integration Method) that allowed us to determine the escape times and the maximum eccentricity of the fictitious "Trojan planets." PMID:16225431

  6. Comparable Habitable Zones of Stars

    NASA Video Gallery

    The habitable zone is the distance from a star where one can have liquid water on the surface of a planet. If a planet is too close to its parent star, it will be too hot and water would have evapo...

  7. Habitable Zones Around Low-Mass Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Kasting, J. F.; Ramirez, R.

    2011-09-01

    Classically, the circumstellar habitable zone (HZ) is defined as the region inside which a terrestrial mass planet, with adequate supplies of carbon, water, and internal heat, can sustain liquid water on its surface (Kasting et al. 1993). A conservative estimate for the width of the HZ in our Solar system is 0.93-1.48 AU, assuming that the inner edge is limited by water loss and the outer edge is determined by the maximum greenhouse limit for a dense CO2 atmosphere. These numbers are revisions of ones published by Kasting et al. (1993), based on new climate modeling results. Kasting et al. obtained HZ boundaries for stars with effective temperatures between 3700 K and 7200 K--limits that do not include main-sequence M-dwarfs. In this study we use an updated 1-D radiative-convective, cloud-free climate model to estimate the width of the HZ around these low mass stars. Significant improvements in our climate model include: (1) updated collision-induced absorption coefficients for CO2 (critical for dense CO2 atmospheres at the outer edge) and (2) a revised Rayleigh scattering coefficient for H2O (important for water loss at the inner edge). Assuming Earth-like planets with CO2/H2O/N2 atmospheres, the width of the HZ is 0.24-0.44 AU around an early M star (Teff = 3600 K) and 0.05-0.09 AU for a late M star (Teff = 2800 K). As our model does not include the radiative effects of clouds, the actual HZ boundaries may extend further in both directions than our conservative estimates. Nonetheless, current ground-based surveys (e.g., the MEARTH project) and future space-based characterization missions (e.g., JWST/TPF) may be able to use these HZ boundaries to help guide their efforts to find habitable planets around main-sequence stars. (We acknowledge funding from NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory, supported by NASA under cooperative agreement NNH05ZDA001C.)

  8. Using a generalized version of the Titius-Bode relation to extrapolate the patterns seen in Kepler multi-exoplanet systems, and estimate the average number of planets in circumstellar habitable zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lineweaver, Charles H.

    2015-08-01

    The Titius-Bode (TB) relation’s successful prediction of the period of Uranus was the main motivation that led to the search for another planet between Mars and Jupiter. This search led to the discovery of the asteroid Ceres and the rest of the asteroid belt. The TB relation can also provide useful hints about the periods of as-yet-undetected planets around other stars. In Bovaird & Lineweaver (2013) [1], we used a generalized TB relation to analyze 68 multi-planet systems with four or more detected exoplanets. We found that the majority of exoplanet systems in our sample adhered to the TB relation to a greater extent than the Solar System does. Thus, the TB relation can make useful predictions about the existence of as-yet-undetected planets in Kepler multi-planet systems. These predictions are one way to correct for the main obstacle preventing us from estimating the number of Earth-like planets in the universe. That obstacle is the incomplete sampling of planets of Earth-mass and smaller [2-5]. In [6], we use a generalized Titius-Bode relation to predict the periods of 228 additional planets in 151 of these Kepler multiples. These Titius-Bode-based predictions suggest that there are, on average, 2±1 planets in the habitable zone of each star. We also estimate the inclination of the invariable plane for each system and prioritize our planet predictions by their geometric probability to transit. We highlight a short list of 77 predicted planets in 40 systems with a high geometric probability to transit, resulting in an expected detection rate of ~15 per cent, ~3 times higher than the detection rate of our previous Titius-Bode-based predictions.References: [1] Bovaird, T. & Lineweaver, C.H (2013) MNRAS, 435, 1126-1138. [2] Dong S. & Zhu Z. (2013) ApJ, 778, 53 [3] Fressin F. et al. (2013) ApJ, 766, 81 [4] Petigura E. A. et al. (2013) PNAS, 110, 19273 [5] Silburt A. et al. (2014), ApJ (arXiv:1406.6048v2) [6] Bovaird, T., Lineweaver, C.H. & Jacobsen, S.K. (2015, in

  9. Habitable zone lifetimes of exoplanets around main sequence stars.

    PubMed

    Rushby, Andrew J; Claire, Mark W; Osborn, Hugh; Watson, Andrew J

    2013-09-01

    The potential habitability of newly discovered exoplanets is initially assessed by determining whether their orbits fall within the circumstellar habitable zone of their star. However, the habitable zone (HZ) is not static in time or space, and its boundaries migrate outward at a rate proportional to the increase in luminosity of a star undergoing stellar evolution, possibly including or excluding planets over the course of the star's main sequence lifetime. We describe the time that a planet spends within the HZ as its "habitable zone lifetime." The HZ lifetime of a planet has strong astrobiological implications and is especially important when considering the evolution of complex life, which is likely to require a longer residence time within the HZ. Here, we present results from a simple model built to investigate the evolution of the "classic" HZ over time, while also providing estimates for the evolution of stellar luminosity over time in order to develop a "hybrid" HZ model. These models return estimates for the HZ lifetimes of Earth and 7 confirmed HZ exoplanets and 27 unconfirmed Kepler candidates. The HZ lifetime for Earth ranges between 6.29 and 7.79×10⁹ years (Gyr). The 7 exoplanets fall in a range between ∼1 and 54.72 Gyr, while the 27 Kepler candidate planets' HZ lifetimes range between 0.43 and 18.8 Gyr. Our results show that exoplanet HD 85512b is no longer within the HZ, assuming it has an Earth analog atmosphere. The HZ lifetime should be considered in future models of planetary habitability as setting an upper limit on the lifetime of any potential exoplanetary biosphere, and also for identifying planets of high astrobiological potential for continued observational or modeling campaigns. PMID:24047111

  10. Geophysical Limitations on the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, L.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2015-10-01

    Planets are typically classified as potentially life-bearing planets (i.e. habitable planets) if they are rocky planets and if a liquid (e.g. water) could exist at the surface. The latter depends on several factors, like for example the amount of available solar energy, greenhouse effects in the atmosphere and an efficient CO2-cycle. However, the definition of the habitable zone should be updated to include possible geophy-sical constraints, that could potentially influence the CO2-cycle. Planets like Mars without plate tectonics and no or only limited volcanic events can only be considered to be habitable at the inner boundary of the habitable zone, since the greenhouse effect needed to ensure liquid surface water farther away from the sun is strongly reduced. We investigate how these geophysical processes depend on the mass and interior structure of terrestrial planets. We find that plate tectonics, if it occurs, always leads to sufficient volcanic outgassing and therefore greenhouse effect needed for the outer boundary of the habitable zone (several tens of bar CO2). One-plate planets, however, may suffer strong volcanic limitations if their mass and/or iron content exceeds a critical value, reducing their possible surface habitability.

  11. Flux of icy asteroids towards the habitable zone in binary stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Bancelin, David; Bazso, Akos; Eggl, Siegfried

    2015-08-01

    From studies of habitability in our solar system we can conclude that a fraction of the water on Earth was transported via asteroids and comets to our planet. Assuming that other planetary systems would need similar water-bringing-scenarios we studied the efficiency of the water transport in binary star systems where we considered S-type planetary motion. We will show a detailed analysis of the dynamcial perturbations in the disk for different binary-planet configurations and analyse the efficiency of water transport via icy asteroids into the circumstellar habitable zone.

  12. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21707386

  13. A population-based Habitable Zone perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zsom, Andras

    2015-08-01

    What can we tell about exoplanet habitability if currently only the stellar properties, planet radius, and the incoming stellar flux are known? The Habitable Zone (HZ) is the region around stars where planets can harbor liquid water on their surfaces. The HZ is traditionally conceived as a sharp region around the star because it is calculated for one planet with specific properties e.g., Earth-like or desert planets , or rocky planets with H2 atmospheres. Such planet-specific approach is limiting because the planets’ atmospheric and geophysical properties, which influence the surface climate and the presence of liquid water, are currently unknown but expected to be diverse.A statistical HZ description is outlined which does not select one specific planet type. Instead the atmospheric and surface properties of exoplanets are treated as random variables and a continuous range of planet scenarios are considered. Various probability density functions are assigned to each observationally unconstrained random variable, and a combination of Monte Carlo sampling and climate modeling is used to generate synthetic exoplanet populations with known surface climates. Then, the properties of the liquid water bearing subpopulation is analyzed.Given our current observational knowledge of small exoplanets, the HZ takes the form of a weakly-constrained but smooth probability function. The model shows that the HZ has an inner edge: it is unlikely that planets receiving two-three times more stellar radiation than Earth can harbor liquid water. But a clear outer edge is not seen: a planet that receives a fraction of Earth's stellar radiation (1-10%) can be habitable, if the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere is strong enough. The main benefit of the population-based approach is that it will be refined over time as new data on exoplanets and their atmospheres become available.

  14. HYDROGEN GREENHOUSE PLANETS BEYOND THE HABITABLE ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond; Gaidos, Eric E-mail: gaidos@hawaii.edu

    2011-06-10

    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{sub 2}-He mixtures can maintain surface temperatures above the freezing point of water well beyond the 'classical' habitable zone defined for CO{sub 2} greenhouse atmospheres. Using a one-dimensional radiative-convective model, we find that 40 bars of pure H{sub 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{sub 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{sub 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{sub 2}-He atmosphere and be habitable at {approx}2.6 AU from its host M star.

  15. Habitable zone dependence on stellar parameter uncertainties

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.

    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.

  16. Tectonics and the photosynthetic habitable zone (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleep, N. H.

    2009-12-01

    The traditional habitable zone lies between an inner stellar radius where the surface of the planet becomes too hot for liquid water carbon-based life and on outer radius, where the surface freezes. It is effectively the zone where photosynthesis is feasible. The concept extends to putative life on objects with liquid methane at the surface, like Titan. As a practical matter, photosynthesis leaves detectable biosignatures in the geological record; black shale on the Earth indicates that sulfide and probably FeO based photosynthesis existed by 3.8 Ga. The hard crustal rocks and the mantle sequester numerous photosynthetic biosignatures. Photosynthesis can produce detectable free oxygen with ozone in the atmosphere of extrasolar planets. In contrast, there is no outer limit for subsurface life in large silicate objects. Pre-photosynthetic niches are dependable but meager and not very detectable at great antiquity or great distance, with global productivity less than 1e-3 of the photosynthetic ones. Photosynthetic organisms have bountiful energy that modifies their surface environment and even tectonics. For example, metamorphic rocks formed at the expense of thick black shale are highly radioactive and hence self-fluxing. Active tectonics with volcanism and metamorphism prevents volatiles from being sequestered in the subsurface as on Mars. A heat-pipe object, like a larger Io, differs from the Earth in that the volatiles return to the deep interior distributed within massive volcanic deposits rather than concentrated in the shallow oceanic crust. One the Earth, the return of water to the surface by arc volcanoes controls its mantle abundance at the transition between behaving as a trace element and behaving as a major element that affects melting. The ocean accumulates the water that the mantle and crust do not take. The Earth has the “right” amount of water that erosion/deposition and tectonics both tend to maintain near sea level surfaces. The mantle contains

  17. NASA's Kepler Discovers Its Smallest 'Habitable Zone' Planets to Date

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature o...

  18. Habitable Zone Boundaries: Implications for our Solar System and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Kopparapu, R.; Harman, C.; Batalha, N. E.; Haqq-Misra, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    The successful completion of NASA's Kepler Mission has led to renewed interest in the definition and boundaries of the circumstellar habitable zone (HZ), where liquid water can be stable on a planet's surface. Goldblatt et al. [1] showed that the runaway greenhouse effect, which defines the inner edge of the HZ, depends critically on absorption coefficients of H2O obtained from the new HITEMP database. Kopparapu et al. [2,3] followed up on this observation by recalculating HZ boundaries using HITEMP coefficients. This caused the inner edge to move out to 0.99 AU in their (fully saturated, cloud-free) 1-D climate model. Leconte et al. [4] then used a 3-D climate model to show that the inner edge moves back in to 0.95 AU when relative humidity and clouds are taken into account. In their model, however, the upper stratosphere remained cold and dry, making it difficult to explain how Venus lost its water. But Leconte et al. only looked at surface temperatures up to ~330 K. At somewhat higher surface temperatures (350 K), our own 1-D model predicts that the stratosphere should indeed become wet [5]. Towards the outer edge of the HZ, it now appears that planets should undergo limit cycles involving global glaciation, CO2 buildup from volcanism, and CO2 drawdown from weathering [6,7]. If supplemented with volcanic H2 [8], such cycles could explain how early Mars could have been cold much of the time and yet have experienced enough warm periods to carve the observed fluvial features. Results from a new model of this process will be discussed. Refs: 1. Goldblatt, C., Robinson, T. D., Zahnle, K. J., & Crisp, D. 2013, Nature Geoscience, 6, 661 2. Kopparapu, R. K., et al. 2013, Astrophysical Journal, 765 3. ---. 2013, Astrophysical Journal, 770 4. Leconte, J., Forget, F., Charnay, B., Wordsworth, R., & Pottier, A. 2013, Nature, 504, 268 5. Kasting, J. F., Chen, H., & Kopparapu, R. K. in prep., Ap J Lett 6. Kadoya, S., & Tajika, E. 2014, Astrophysical Journal, 790 7. Menou, K

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-10

    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.

  1. Geophysical Limitations on the Habitable Zone: Volcanism and Plate Tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Lena; Rivoldini, Attilio; Van Hoolst, Tim

    2016-04-01

    Planets are typically classified as potentially life-bearing planets (i.e. habitable planets) if they are rocky planets and if a liquid (e.g. water) could exist at the surface. The latter depends on several factors, like for example the amount of available solar energy, greenhouse effects in the atmosphere and an efficient CO2-cycle. However, the definition of the habitable zone should be updated to include possible geophysical constraints, that could potentially influence the CO2-cycle. Planets like Mars without plate tectonics and no or only limited volcanic events can only be considered to be habitable at the inner boundary of the habitable zone, since the greenhouse effect needed to ensure liquid surface water farther away from the sun is strongly reduced. We investigate if the planet mass as well as the interior structure can set constraints on the occurrence of plate tectonics and outgassing, and therefore affect the habitable zone, using both parameterized evolution models [1] and mantle convection simulations [1,2]. We find that plate tectonics, if it occurs, always leads to sufficient volcanic outgassing and therefore greenhouse effect needed for the outer boundary of the habitable zone (several tens of bar CO2), see also [3]. One-plate planets, however, may suffer strong volcanic limitations. The existence of a dense-enough CO2 atmosphere allowing for the carbon-silicate cycle and release of carbon at the outer boundary of the habitable zone may be strongly limited for planets: 1) without plate tectonics, 2) with a large planet mass, and/or 3) a high iron content. Acknowledgements This work has been funded by the Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme initiated by the Belgian Science Policy Office through the Planet Topers alliance, and results within the collaboration of the COST Action TD 1308. References Noack, L., Rivoldini, A., and Van Hoolst, T.: CHIC - Coupling Habitability, Interior and Crust, INFOCOMP 2015, ISSN 2308-3484, ISBN 978

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. CANDIDATE PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF KEPLER STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Gaidos, Eric

    2013-06-20

    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{sub 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{sub HZ}. Sixty-two planets have p{sub 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 ({eta}{sub Circled-Plus }) 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.

  4. THE HABITABLE ZONES OF PRE-MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2014-12-20

    We calculate the pre-main-sequence habitable zone (HZ) for stars of spectral classes F-M. The spatial distribution of liquid water and its change during the pre-main-sequence phase of protoplanetary systems is important for understanding how planets become habitable. Such worlds are interesting targets for future missions because the coolest stars could provide habitable conditions for up to 2.5 billion years post-accretion. Moreover, for a given star type, planetary systems are more easily resolved because of higher pre-main-sequence stellar luminosities, resulting in larger planet-star separation for cool stars than is the case for the traditional main-sequence (MS) HZ. We use one-dimensional radiative-convective climate and stellar evolutionary models to calculate pre-main-sequence HZ distances for F1-M8 stellar types. We also show that accreting planets that are later located in the traditional MS HZ orbiting stars cooler than a K5 (including the full range of M stars) receive stellar fluxes that exceed the runaway greenhouse threshold, and thus may lose substantial amounts of water initially delivered to them. We predict that M-star planets need to initially accrete more water than Earth did, or, alternatively, have additional water delivered later during the long pre-MS phase to remain habitable. Our findings are also consistent with recent claims that Venus lost its water during accretion.

  5. Probing the Compositions of Two Habitable Zone Super-Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benneke, Bjorn; Knutson, Heather; Crossfield, Ian; Deck, Katherine; Greene, Tom; Rogers, Leslie; Vanderburg, Andrew; Barman, Travis; Morley, Caroline; Lothringer, Josh; Werner, Michael; Beichman, Charles

    2015-10-01

    The recent discovery of two super-Earths orbiting in the habitable zones of nearby M stars have provided us with an unprecedented new opportunity to characterize the properties of small and potentially habitable planets outside of the solar system. Here, we propose to probe their atmospheric compositions, search for escaping hydrogen, and obtain the first bulk mass and densities estimate of a habitable zone super-Earth. The proposed observations will complement our approved HST WFC3 observations of K2-18b (15-orbits, GO13665, PI Benneke) as well as the approved HST STIS/MAMA observations of K2-18b by PI Ehrenreich. These observations will determine whether or not these two planets have primarily rocky or volatile-rich compositions, and in the volatile-rich case would enable the first studies of atmospheric chemistry in this regime. Mass loss also plays a critical role in the evolution of hydrogen-rich atmospheres on small planets, and our obsevations will provide the first constraints on the stability of these atmospheres.

  6. THESIS: terrestrial and habitable zone infrared spectroscopy spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  7. THESIS: the terrestrial habitable-zone exoplanet spectroscopy infrared spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swain, Mark R.; Vasisht, Gautam; Henning, Thomas; Tinetti, Giovanna; Beaulieu, Jean-Phillippe

    2010-07-01

    THESIS, the Transiting Habitable-zone Exoplanet Spectroscopy Infrared Spacecraft, is a concept for a medium/Probe class exoplanet mission. Building on the recent Spitzer successes in exoplanet characterization, THESIS would extend these types of measurements to super-Earth-like planets. A strength of the THESIS concept is simplicity, low technical risk, and modest cost. The mission concept has the potential to dramatically advance our understanding of conditions on extrasolar worlds and could serve as a stepping stone to more ambitious future missions. We envision this mission as a joint US-European effort with science objectives that resonate with both the traditional astronomy and planetary science communities.

  8. Determination of the habitable zone through planetary atmospheric absorption analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poffo, D. A.; Caranti, G. M.; Comes, R. A.

    2014-03-01

    The so-called Habitable Zone (HZ) is a region around a star where a planet without atmosphere and considered as a black body, is subjected to a radiative flux appropriate to maintain liquid water on its surface. The location of this region is closely related to the physical properties of the star and in particular with its luminosity. It is important to note that being a planet within the HZ region is a necessary condition but may not be a sufficient one to be habitable. The concept of Planetary Habitability means that not only orbital conditions must be satisfied, but also that the planet itself must be able to develop and maintain a biosphere (Porto de Mello et al. 2006). This paper aims to determine the planetary HZ for a planet with similar conditions than the Earth, i.e. having an atmosphere, using a simple model based on the interactions between the star radiation and the radiation emitted by the planet with the atmosphere. The absorption spectrum for the proposed atmospheric chemical composition is calculated as a function of temperature by means of the HITRAN database. Another important factor taken into account in this model is cloud cover. Clouds act as "traps" to the long wave radiation emitted by the surface of the planet, resulting in an additional warming contributing to the greenhouse effect, but at the same time, reflect solar radiation back into space (albedo), producing surface cooling (Porto de Mello 2010). Taken these effects into account on a global level, we find a relationship between the orbital location of the planet and the average surface temperature that allows us to extend the habitable limits proposed by Kasting et al (1993).

  9. Stellar Activity Mimics a Habitable-zone Planet around Kapteyn's Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Paul; Roy, Arpita; Mahadevan, Suvrath

    2015-06-01

    Kapteyn’s star is an old M subdwarf believed to be a member of the Galactic halo population of stars. A recent study has claimed the existence of two super-Earth planets around the star based on radial velocity (RV) observations. The innermost of these candidate planets—Kapteyn b (P = 48 days)—resides within the circumstellar habitable zone (HZ). Given recent progress in understanding the impact of stellar activity in detecting planetary signals, we have analyzed the observed HARPS data for signatures of stellar activity. We find that while Kapteyn’s star is photometrically very stable, a suite of spectral activity indices reveal a large-amplitude rotation signal, and we determine the stellar rotation period to be 143 days. The spectral activity tracers are strongly correlated with the purported RV signal of “planet b,” and the 48-day period is an integer fraction (1/3) of the stellar rotation period. We conclude that Kapteyn b is not a planet in the HZ, but an artifact of stellar activity.

  10. Toward the minimum inner edge distance of the habitable zone

    SciTech Connect

    Zsom, Andras; Seager, Sara; De Wit, Julien; Stamenković, Vlada

    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.

  11. Accounting planetary habitability using non standard conditions. Impact on the definition of Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoncini, E.; Delgado-Bonal, A.; Martin-Torres, F. J.

    2012-12-01

    Although during the 1960s, atmospheric disequilibrium has been proposed as a sign of habitability of Earth and, in general, of a planet [1, 2], no calculation has been done until now. In order to provide a first evaluation of Earth's atmospheric disequilibrium, we have developed a new formulation to account for the thermodynamic conditions of a wide range of planetary atmospheres, from terrestrial planets to icy satellites, to hot exoplanets. Using this new formulation, we estimate the departure of different planetary atmospheres from their equilibrium conditions, computing the dissipation of free energy due to all chemical processes [3]. In particular, we focus on the effect of our proposed changes on O2/CO2 chemistry (comparing Io satellite atmosphere and Earth Mesosphere), N2 (Venus, Earth and Titan) and H2O stability on terrestrial planets and exoplanets. Our results have an impact in the definition of Habitable Zone by considering appropriate physical-chemical conditions of planetary atmospheres. References [1] J. E. Lovelock, A physical basis for life detection experiments. Nature, 207, 568-570 (1965). [2] J. E. Lovelock, Thermodynamics and the recognition of alien biospheres. Proc. R. Soc. Lond., B. 189, 167 - 181 (1975). [3] Simoncini E., Delgado-Bonal A., Martin-Torres F.J., Accounting thermodynamic conditions in chemical models of planetary atmospheres. Submitted to Astrophysical Journal.

  12. Habitable Zone Limits as a Guide to Count, Identify and Characterize Potential Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopparapu, R.

    2014-04-01

    Identifying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of other stars is one of the primary goals of ongoing exoplanet surveys and proposed space-based flagship missions. I will present our recent results on the new estimates of HZs around Main-sequence stars with Earth and super-Earth planets. According to our new model, a conservative estimate of the inner (moist greenhouse) and outer (maximum greenhouse) HZ limits for our Solar System are at 0.99 AU and 1.67 AU, respectively, and more massive planets (superEarths) have wider HZs. I will also discuss HZ limits from 3D climate models, which point to a sharp shift in the width of the HZs from F to M stars. Applying the new HZ limits to extrasolar planetary systems in NASA's "Kepler" data, we find that potentially habitable planets around M-dwarfs are more common than previously reported, and the frequency of Earth-size planets around G & K stars may be lower (~ 10-15%) than recent estimates (~22%).

  13. Habitable Zones of Post-Main Sequence Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2016-05-01

    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.

  14. ON THE HABITABLE ZONES OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Hinkel, Natalie R.

    2013-01-01

    The effect of the stellar flux on exoplanetary systems is becoming an increasingly important property as more planets are discovered in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler mission has recently uncovered circumbinary planets with relatively complex HZs due to the combined flux from the binary host stars. Here, we derive HZ boundaries for circumbinary systems and show their dependence on the stellar masses, separation, and time while accounting for binary orbital motion and the orbit of the planet. We include stability regimes for planetary orbits in binary systems with respect to the HZ. These methods are applied to several of the known circumbinary planetary systems such as Kepler-16, 34, 35, and 47. We also quantitatively show the circumstances under which single-star approximations break down for HZ calculations.

  15. A Statistical Analysis of Exoplanets in Their Habitable Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Arthur; Kane, S. R.

    2014-01-01

    The Kepler mission has detected a wealth of planets through planetary transits since its launch in 2009. An important step in the continued study of exoplanets is to characterize planets based on their orbital properties and compositions. As the Kepler mission has progressed the data sensitivity to planetary transits at longer orbital periods has increased. This allows for an enhanced probability of detecting planets which lie in the Habitable Zones (HZs) of their host stars. We present the results of statistical analyses of Kepler planetary candidates to study the percentage of orbital time spent in the HZ as a function of planetary parameters, including planetary mass, radius, and orbital eccentricity. We compare these results to the confirmed exoplanet population.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-04-20

    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{sub 2}O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N{sub 2}, Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life.

  17. The first Earth-sized habitable zone exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barclay, T.; Quintana, E.

    2014-03-01

    The goal of the Kepler mission is the discovery of Earth-sized planets orbiting within the habitable zone (HZ) of their host star. Most HZ planets found to date are gas giants, but a few such as Kepler-62f are potentially rocky despite being larger than Earth. Here we report on the progress being made to identify transiting planets in Kepler data that are truly Earth-sized and unambiguously terrestrial in nature. We consider the structure of the identified systems and deduce likely formation scenarios. We consider whether water delivery to these planets is probable or even possible. The discovery of the first Earth-like planets will be a milestone on the road toward the finding life outside our solar system.

  18. The Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA): A Database of Habitable Zones Around Nearby Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, Colin Orion; McDonald, Iain; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-03-01

    Locating planets in circumstellar habitable zones (HZs) is a priority for many exoplanet surveys. Space-based and ground-based surveys alike require robust toolsets to aid in target selection and mission planning. We present the Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA), a database of HZs around 37,000 nearby stars. We calculated stellar parameters, including effective temperatures, masses, and radii, and we quantified the orbital distances and periods corresponding to the circumstellar HZs. We gauged the accuracy of our predictions by contrasting CELESTA’s computed parameters to observational data. We ascertain a potential return on investment by computing the number of HZs probed for a given survey duration. A versatile framework for extending the functionality of CELESTA into the future enables ongoing comparisons to new observations, and recalculations when updates to HZ models, stellar temperatures, or parallax data become available. We expect to upgrade and expand CELESTA using data from the Gaia mission as the data become available.

  19. The habitable-zone planet finder calibration system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halverson, Samuel; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Ramsey, Lawrence; Terrien, Ryan; Roy, Arpita; Schwab, Christian; Bender, Chad; Hearty, Fred; Levi, Eric; Osterman, Steve; Ycas, Gabe; Diddams, Scott

    2014-08-01

    We present the design concept of the wavelength calibration system for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder instrument (HPF), a precision radial velocity (RV) spectrograph designed to detect terrestrial-mass planets around M-dwarfs. HPF is a stabilized, fiber-fed, R~50,000 spectrograph operating in the near-infrared (NIR) z/Y/J bands from 0.84 to 1.3 microns. For HPF to achieve 1 m s-1 or better measurement precision, a unique calibration system, stable to several times better precision, will be needed to accurately remove instrumental effects at an unprecedented level in the NIR. The primary wavelength calibration source is a laser frequency comb (LFC), currently in development at NIST Boulder, discussed separately in these proceedings. The LFC will be supplemented by a stabilized single-mode fiber Fabry-Perot interferometer reference source and Uranium-Neon lamp. The HPF calibration system will combine several other new technologies developed by the Penn State Optical-Infrared instrumentation group to improve RV measurement precision including a dynamic optical coupling system that significantly reduces modal noise effects. Each component has been thoroughly tested in the laboratory and has demonstrated significant performance gains over previous NIR calibration systems.

  20. HABITABLE ZONES AROUND MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS: NEW ESTIMATES

    SciTech Connect

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Ramirez, Ramses; Kasting, James F.; Eymet, Vincent; Robinson, Tyler D.; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Meadows, Victoria; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Terrien, Ryan C.; Deshpande, Rohit

    2013-03-10

    Identifying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of other stars is one of the primary goals of ongoing radial velocity (RV) and transit exoplanet surveys and proposed future space missions. Most current estimates of the boundaries of the HZ are based on one-dimensional (1D), cloud-free, climate model calculations by Kasting et al. However, this model used band models that were based on older HITRAN and HITEMP line-by-line databases. The inner edge of the HZ in the Kasting et al. model was determined by loss of water, and the outer edge was determined by the maximum greenhouse provided by a CO{sub 2} atmosphere. A conservative estimate for the width of the HZ from this model in our solar system is 0.95-1.67 AU. Here an updated 1D radiative-convective, cloud-free climate model is used to obtain new estimates for HZ widths around F, G, K, and M stars. New H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} absorption coefficients, derived from the HITRAN 2008 and HITEMP 2010 line-by-line databases, are important improvements to the climate model. According to the new model, the water-loss (inner HZ) and maximum greenhouse (outer HZ) limits for our solar system are at 0.99 and 1.70 AU, respectively, suggesting that the present Earth lies near the inner edge. Additional calculations are performed for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 and 7200 K, and the results are presented in parametric form, making them easy to apply to actual stars. The new model indicates that, near the inner edge of the HZ, there is no clear distinction between runaway greenhouse and water-loss limits for stars with T{sub eff} {approx}< 5000 K, which has implications for ongoing planet searches around K and M stars. To assess the potential habitability of extrasolar terrestrial planets, we propose using stellar flux incident on a planet rather than equilibrium temperature. This removes the dependence on planetary (Bond) albedo, which varies depending on the host star's spectral type. We suggest that

  1. Habitable Zones around Main-sequence Stars: New Estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Ramirez, Ramses; Kasting, James F.; Eymet, Vincent; Robinson, Tyler D.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Terrien, Ryan C.; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Meadows, Victoria; Deshpande, Rohit

    2013-03-01

    Identifying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of other stars is one of the primary goals of ongoing radial velocity (RV) and transit exoplanet surveys and proposed future space missions. Most current estimates of the boundaries of the HZ are based on one-dimensional (1D), cloud-free, climate model calculations by Kasting et al. However, this model used band models that were based on older HITRAN and HITEMP line-by-line databases. The inner edge of the HZ in the Kasting et al. model was determined by loss of water, and the outer edge was determined by the maximum greenhouse provided by a CO2 atmosphere. A conservative estimate for the width of the HZ from this model in our solar system is 0.95-1.67 AU. Here an updated 1D radiative-convective, cloud-free climate model is used to obtain new estimates for HZ widths around F, G, K, and M stars. New H2O and CO2 absorption coefficients, derived from the HITRAN 2008 and HITEMP 2010 line-by-line databases, are important improvements to the climate model. According to the new model, the water-loss (inner HZ) and maximum greenhouse (outer HZ) limits for our solar system are at 0.99 and 1.70 AU, respectively, suggesting that the present Earth lies near the inner edge. Additional calculations are performed for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 and 7200 K, and the results are presented in parametric form, making them easy to apply to actual stars. The new model indicates that, near the inner edge of the HZ, there is no clear distinction between runaway greenhouse and water-loss limits for stars with T eff <~ 5000 K, which has implications for ongoing planet searches around K and M stars. To assess the potential habitability of extrasolar terrestrial planets, we propose using stellar flux incident on a planet rather than equilibrium temperature. This removes the dependence on planetary (Bond) albedo, which varies depending on the host star's spectral type. We suggest that conservative estimates of the

  2. Evolution of galaxy habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobat, R.; Hong, S. E.

    2016-08-01

    We combine a semi-analytic model of galaxy evolution with constraints on circumstellar habitable zones and the distribution of terrestrial planets in order to probe the suitability of galaxies of different mass and type to host habitable planets, and how it evolves with time. We find that the fraction of stars with terrestrial planets in their habitable zone (known as habitability) depends only weakly on galaxy mass, with a maximum around 4 × 1010M⊙. We estimate that 0.7% of all stars in Milky Way-type galaxies to host a terrestrial planet within their habitable zone, consistent with the value derived from Kepler observations. On the other hand, the habitability of passive galaxies is slightly but systematically higher, unless we assume an unrealistically high sensitivity of planets to supernovae. We find that the overall habitability of galaxies has not changed significantly in the last ~8 Gyr, with most of the habitable planets in local disk galaxies having formed ~1.5 Gyr before our own solar system. Finally, we expect that ~1.4 ×109 planets similar to present-day Earth have existed so far in our galaxy.

  3. The Water Content of Exo-earths in the Habitable Zone around Low-mass Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulders, Gijs Dirk; Ciesla, Fred; Pascucci, Ilaria; apai, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    Terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of low-mass M dwarf stars have become the focus of many astronomical studies: they are more easily accessible to detection and characterization than their counterparts around sunlike stars. The habitability of these planets, however, faces a number of challenges, including inefficient or negligible water delivery during accretion. To understand the water content of planets in and around the habitable zone, simulations of the final stages of planet formation are necessary.We present detailed accretion simulations of wet and dry planetary embryos around a range of stellar masses. We focus on different pathways of delivering water from beyond the snow line to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. We explore the impact of using either asteroid-like or comet-like bodies, and the effects of a dispersion in snow line locations. We derive the probability distribution of water abundances for terrestrial sized planets in the habitable zone.While these models predict that the bulk of terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M stars will be dry, a small fraction receives earth-like amounts of water. Given their larger numbers and higher planet occurrence rates, this population of water-enriched worlds in the habitable zone of M stars may equal that around sun-like stars in numbers.References:Ciesla, Mulders et al. 2015Mulders et al. ApJ subm.

  4. TERRESTRIAL, HABITABLE-ZONE EXOPLANET FREQUENCY FROM KEPLER

    SciTech Connect

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2012-01-20

    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 <14.0) having transiting planets >0.5 Earth radius and periods <42 days. It is also assumed that the size distribution of planets is independent of orbital period and that there are no hidden biases in the data. Six significant statistical results are found: there is a paucity of small planet detections around faint target stars, probably an instrumental effect; the frequency of mid-size planet detections is independent of whether the host star is bright or faint; there are significantly fewer planets detected with periods <3 days, compared to longer periods, almost certainly an astrophysical effect; the frequency of all planets in the population with periods <42 days is 29%, broken down as terrestrials 9%, ice giants 18%, and gas giants 3%; the population has a planet frequency with respect to period which follows a power-law relation dN/dP {approx} P{sup {beta}-1}, with {beta} {approx_equal} 0.71 {+-} 0.08; and an extrapolation to longer periods gives the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZs of FGK stars as {eta}{sub Circled-Plus} {approx_equal} (34 {+-} 14)%. Thus about one-third of FGK stars are predicted to have at least one terrestrial, HZ planet.

  5. Limit Cycles Can Reduce the Width of the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Batalha, Natasha E.; Harman, Chester E.; Kasting, James F.

    2016-08-01

    The liquid water habitable zone (HZ) describes the orbital distance at which a terrestrial planet can maintain above-freezing conditions through regulation by the carbonate-silicate cycle. Recent calculations have suggested that planets in the outer regions of the HZ cannot maintain stable, warm climates, but rather should oscillate between long, globally glaciated states and shorter periods of climatic warmth. Such conditions, similar to “Snowball Earth” episodes experienced on Earth, would be inimical to the development of complex land life, including intelligent life. Here, we build on previous studies with an updated energy balance climate model to calculate this “limit cycle” region of the HZ where such cycling would occur. We argue that an abiotic Earth would have a greater CO2 partial pressure than today because plants and other biota help to enhance the storage of CO2 in soil. When we tune our abiotic model accordingly, we find that limit cycles can occur but that previous calculations have overestimated their importance. For G stars like the Sun, limit cycles occur only for planets with CO2 outgassing rates less than that on modern Earth. For K- and M-star planets, limit cycles should not occur; however, M-star planets may be inhospitable to life for other reasons. Planets orbiting late G-type and early K-type stars retain the greatest potential for maintaining warm, stable conditions. Our results suggest that host star type, planetary volcanic activity, and seafloor weathering are all important factors in determining whether planets will be prone to limit cycling.

  6. Astronomers Find First Earth-like Planet in Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-04-01

    Astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, an exoplanet with a radius only 50% larger than the Earth and capable of having liquid water. Using the ESO 3.6-m telescope, a team of Swiss, French and Portuguese scientists discovered a super-Earth about 5 times the mass of the Earth that orbits a red dwarf, already known to harbour a Neptune-mass planet. The astronomers have also strong evidence for the presence of a third planet with a mass about 8 Earth masses. ESO PR Photo 22a/07 ESO PR Photo 22a/07 The Planetary System Around Gliese 581 This exoplanet - as astronomers call planets around a star other than the Sun - is the smallest ever found up to now [1] and it completes a full orbit in 13 days. It is 14 times closer to its star than the Earth is from the Sun. However, given that its host star, the red dwarf Gliese 581 [2], is smaller and colder than the Sun - and thus less luminous - the planet nevertheless lies in the habitable zone, the region around a star where water could be liquid! The planet's name is Gliese 581 c. "We have estimated that the mean temperature of this super-Earth lies between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius, and water would thus be liquid," explains Stéphane Udry, from the Geneva Observatory (Switzerland) and lead-author of the paper reporting the result. "Moreover, its radius should be only 1.5 times the Earth's radius, and models predict that the planet should be either rocky - like our Earth - or fully covered with oceans," he adds. ESO PR Photo 22c/07 ESO PR Photo 22c/07 The star Gliese 581 "Liquid water is critical to life as we know it," avows Xavier Delfosse, a member of the team from Grenoble University (France). "Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial life. On the treasure map of the Universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X." The

  7. Astrophysical, Geochemical, Geophysical and Biological Limits on Planet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lineweaver, C.

    2014-03-01

    For life forms like us, the most important feature of the Earth is its habitability. Understanding habitability and using that knowledge to locate the nearest habitable planet may be crucial for our survival as a species. Over the past decade, expectations that the universe could be filled with habitable planets have been bolstered by the increasingly large overlap between terrestrial environments known to harbor life and the variety of environments on newly detected rocky exoplanets. The inhabited and uninhabited regions on Earth tell us that temperature and the presence of water are the main constraints that can be used in a habitability classification scheme for rocky planets. Our compilation and review of recent exoplanet detections suggests that the fraction of stars with planets is ~ 100%, and that the fraction with rocky planets may be comparably large. We review extensions to the circumstellar habitable zone including an abiogenesis habitable zone and the galactic habitable zone.

  8. The Habitability of Our Earth and Other Earths: Astrophysical, Geochemical, Geophysical, and Biological Limits on Planet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lineweaver, Charles H.; Chopra, Aditya

    2012-05-01

    For life-forms like us, the most important feature of Earth is its habitability. Understanding habitability and using that knowledge to locate the nearest habitable planet may be crucial for our survival as a species. During the past decade, expectations that the universe could be filled with habitable planets have been bolstered by the increasingly large overlap between terrestrial environments known to harbor life and the variety of environments on newly detected rocky exoplanets. The inhabited and uninhabited regions on Earth tell us that temperature and the presence of water are the main constraints that can be used in a habitability classification scheme for rocky planets. Our compilation and review of recent exoplanet detections suggests that the fraction of stars with planets is ˜100%, and that the fraction with rocky planets may be comparably large. We review extensions to the circumstellar habitable zone (HZ), including an abiogenesis habitable zone and the galactic habitable zone.

  9. Corrections in the Application of the Habitable Zone to Planets in Elliptical Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendez, A.

    2014-04-01

    Estimates on the occurrence of exoplanets orbiting within the habitable zone of their star, including those potentially habitable, require the correct application of formal definitions of the habitable zone. About 74% of all known confirmed planets have eccentricities larger than Earth. It is then often assumed that the mean equilibrium temperature of a planet in an elliptical orbit can be simply calculated from its mean orbital distance or stellar flux. Here we calculated analytic solutions for both the spatial and temporal averages of orbital distance, stellar flux, and equilibrium temperature. Our solutions demonstrate that while elliptical orbits do cause an increase of the mean stellar flux as compared to a circular orbit, the mean equilibrium temperature of a planet decreases with eccentricity until a converging value. Therefore, the mean surface temperature of a planet in an elliptical orbit might decrease or increase depending on the greenhouse effect as compared to a circular orbit. This result is important to correctly assess whether planets in elliptical orbits are within the habitable zone or not. This analysis was incorporated for all known confirmed planets in the PHL's Exoplanet Orbit Catalog where many were duly reclassified. About 12% of all known confirmed planets are in the habitable zone, but only 4% of the Kepler candidates. Additional suggestions will be presented on how to classify planets and their potential habitability.

  10. A METHOD FOR COUPLING DYNAMICAL AND COLLISIONAL EVOLUTION OF DUST IN CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS: THE EFFECT OF A DEAD ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Charnoz, Sebastien; Taillifet, Esther

    2012-07-10

    Dust is a major component of protoplanetary and debris disks as it is the main observable signature of planetary formation. However, since dust dynamics are size-dependent (because of gas drag or radiation pressure) any attempt to understand the full dynamical evolution of circumstellar dusty disks that neglect the coupling of collisional evolution with dynamical evolution is thwarted because of the feedback between these two processes. Here, a new hybrid Lagrangian/Eulerian code is presented that overcomes some of these difficulties. The particles representing 'dust clouds' are tracked individually in a Lagrangian way. This system is then mapped on an Eulerian spatial grid, inside the cells of which the local collisional evolutions are computed. Finally, the system is remapped back in a collection of discrete Lagrangian particles, keeping their number constant. An application example of dust growth in a turbulent protoplanetary disk at 1 AU is presented. First, the growth of dust is considered in the absence of a dead zone and the vertical distribution of dust is self-consistently computed. It is found that the mass is rapidly dominated by particles about a fraction of a millimeter in size. Then the same case with an embedded dead zone is investigated and it is found that coagulation is much more efficient and produces, in a short timescale, 1-10 cm dust pebbles that dominate the mass. These pebbles may then be accumulated into embryo-sized objects inside large-scale turbulent structures as shown recently.

  11. Moon Radius Limits for a Habitable Zone Kepler Transiting Planet Candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, K.

    2014-04-01

    In addition to planets being potentially habitable bodies, moons, both inside and beyond the habitable zones of their host star may also be suitable sites for life. One promising method to detect such habitable moons is the through the transit technique, in particular using the high quality, long baseline Kepler dataset. Planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars tend to have long orbital periods and thus exhibit few transits within the 3.5 year Kepler mission. In addition, candidate planets are more likely to be confirmed if they are in multiple systems where planetary perturbations may make moon detection through transit timing very challenging. As a result we focus on the direct detection moon technique first described by Sartoretti and Schneider (1999), which involves searching and fitting the extra dip due to a moon in each transit light curve directly. To test this method in the presence of realistic photometric noise, we developed a Kepler light curve simulator that generates noisy light curves corresponding to physically consistent planet-moon systems. Using this program we calculate sets of unique light curve realisations for a Kepler candidate (KOI3681.01) in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star, for a grid of physically realistic moon radii and semi-major axes, and process them using our detection code. This allows us to robustly place constraints on potentially habitable terrestrial moons thus demonstrating the power of this approach.

  12. EXPLORING THE HABITABLE ZONE FOR KEPLER PLANETARY CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.

    2011-08-01

    This Letter outlines a simple approach to evaluate habitability of terrestrial planets by assuming different types of planetary atmospheres and using corresponding model calculations. Our approach can be applied for current and future candidates provided by the Kepler mission and other searches. The resulting uncertainties and changes in the number of planetary candidates in the HZ for the Kepler 2011 February data release are discussed. To first order, the HZ depends on the effective stellar flux distribution in wavelength and time, the planet albedo, and greenhouse gas effects. We provide a simple set of parameters which can be used for evaluating future planet candidates from transit searches.

  13. Accreting Planets in the Habitable Zones of M-Stars Are Too Hot to Retain Liquid Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, R. M.; Kopparapu, R. K.; Kasting, J. F.

    2014-12-01

    Previous studies1,2 have shown that young accreting planets in the habitable zones (HZ) of pre-main sequence M-stars face major dynamical hurdles in both the retention and acquisition of volatiles. High collision rates with other bodies, short planetary formation timescales, and inefficient radial mixing are among the major problems encountered. However, another equally-important concern is the high temperatures predicted within the circumstellar disk, greatly hindering volatile delivery. We use a 1-D radiative-convective climate model to demonstrate that the fluxes received by accreting planets orbiting late K-M stars exceed the runaway greenhouse threshold. Given that M-stars are disproportionately brighter in their pre main-sequence lifetimes as compared to Sun-like stars (i.e. G-class insolation), planets orbiting M-stars are especially susceptible to the runaway, with intensity and duration increasing for cooler M-stars. Thus, accreting planetesimals in the HZs of M-stars could be too hot to maintain liquid water on their surfaces. In contrast, accreting planets located at Earth's distance (or farther) from a pre-main sequence solar analogue (i.e. G2 spectral class) receive stellar fluxes well below that of the runaway point. Our results suggest that future missions and surveys can improve their prospects of finding alien life by targeting HZ planets orbiting Sun-like stars. Moreover, our findings support recent claims that Venus may have lost its water during accretion3. REFERENCES1. Lissauer, Jack J. "Planets formed in habitable zones of M dwarf stars probably are deficient in volatiles." The Astrophysical Journal Letters 660.2 (2007): L149. 2. Raymond, Sean N., John Scalo, and Victoria S. Meadows. "A decreased probability of habitable planet formation around low-mass stars." The Astrophysical Journal 669.1 (2007): 606. 3. Hamano, Keiko, Yutaka Abe, and Hidenori Genda. "Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean." Nature

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    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.

  15. Habitable evaporated cores: transforming mini-Neptunes into super-Earths in the habitable zones of M dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luger, R; Barnes, R; Lopez, E; Fortney, J; Jackson, B; Meadows, V

    2015-01-01

    We show that photoevaporation of small gaseous exoplanets ("mini-Neptunes") in the habitable zones of M dwarfs can remove several Earth masses of hydrogen and helium from these planets and transform them into potentially habitable worlds. We couple X-ray/extreme ultraviolet (XUV)-driven escape, thermal evolution, tidal evolution, and orbital migration to explore the types of systems that may harbor such "habitable evaporated cores" (HECs). We find that HECs are most likely to form from planets with ∼1 M⊕ solid cores with up to about 50% H/He by mass, though whether or not a given mini-Neptune forms a HEC is highly dependent on the early XUV evolution of the host star. As terrestrial planet formation around M dwarfs by accumulation of local material is likely to form planets that are small and dry, evaporation of small migrating mini-Neptunes could be one of the dominant formation mechanisms for volatile-rich Earths around these stars. PMID:25590532

  16. Observations of exoplanets in time-evolving habitable zones of pre-main-sequence M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Feng

    2015-09-01

    It is recently proposed that planets in the habitable zones (HZ) of pre-main-sequence (PMS) M dwarfs are good targets for the detection of habitable environments. In this note we show that future ground-based telescopes will be able to observe planets in time-evolving HZ of PMS M dwarfs with duration 10-100 Myrs. Based on X-ray measurements, there are >18 M0-M4 PMS stars within 10 pc, the characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets around which could provide highly valuable information regarding the evolution of habitable environments. There are tens of M dwarfs within 10 pc with X-ray to total luminosity ratios similar to that of the young Sun, the observations of potential planets around which could significantly improve our understanding of the physical states of early Solar System rocky planets.

  17. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION AROUND THE CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE ZONE: INWARD MIGRATION IN THE PLANETESIMAL SWARM

    SciTech Connect

    Gong Yanxiang; Zhou Jilin; Xie Jiwei E-mail: zhoujl@nju.edu.cn

    2013-01-20

    According to the core accretion theory, circumbinary embryos can form only beyond a critical semimajor axis (CSMA). However, due to the relatively high density of solid materials in the inner disk, a significant amount of small planetesimals must exist in the inner zone when embryos form outside this CSMA. Thus, embryo migration induced by the planetesimal swarm is possible after gas disk depletion. Through numerical simulations, we found that (1) the scattering-driven inward migration of embryos is robust and planets can form in the habitable zone if we adopt a mass distribution of an MMSN-like disk; (2) the total mass of the planetesimals in the inner region and continuous embryo-embryo scattering are two key factors that cause significant embryo migrations; and (3) the scattering-driven migration of embryos is a natural water-delivery mechanism. We propose that planet detections should focus on the close binary with its habitable zone near CSMA.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Agol, Eric

    2011-04-20

    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 {approx}0.005 to 0.02 AU for white dwarfs with masses from 0.4 to 0.9 M{sub sun}, temperatures less than {approx}10{sup 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.

  19. ASTROPHYSICAL PARAMETERS AND HABITABLE ZONE OF THE EXOPLANET HOSTING STAR GJ 581

    SciTech Connect

    Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Ciardi, David R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; McAlister, Harold A.; Henry, Todd J.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Riedel, Adric R.; Van Belle, Gerard T.; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Subasavage, John P.; Schaefer, Gail; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Sturmann, Laszlo; Sturmann, Judit; Mazingue, Jude; Turner, Nils H.; Farrington, Chris; Goldfinger, P. J.; Ridgway, Stephen

    2011-03-10

    GJ 581 is an M dwarf host of a multiplanet system. We use long-baseline interferometric measurements from the CHARA Array, coupled with trigonometric parallax information, to directly determine its physical radius to be 0.299 {+-} 0.010 R{sub sun}. Literature photometry data are used to perform spectral energy distribution fitting in order to determine GJ 581's effective surface temperature T{sub EFF} = 3498 {+-} 56 K and its luminosity L = 0.01205 {+-} 0.00024 L{sub sun}. From these measurements, we recompute the location and extent of the system's habitable zone and conclude that two of the planets orbiting GJ 581, planets d and g, spend all or part of their orbit within or just on the edge of the habitable zone.

  20. The 1 AU region around M-dwarfs as a habitable zone for exotic life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunine, J. I.

    2009-12-01

    A stringent test for the hypothesis that life is a general outcome of suitable physical and chemical processes is to search for life in planetary environments very different from that on Earth. Saturn’s moon Titan is one such target where hydrocarbon seas might host an exotic type of life. Further, Titan represents a planetary environment potentially abundant throughout the cosmos, because its effective temperature corresponds to that experienced by a body orbiting ~1 AU from a late M-dwarf, and suitable for direct spectroscopic study. Unlike the classical liquid-water habitable zone at ~0.1 AU from an M-dwarf, where tidal locking and effects of flares render habitability doubtful, the 1 AU zone is much less severe. A search for rocky/icy exoplanets with methane-rich atmospheres at appropriate distances from M-dwarfs--the cosmos' most abundant main sequence type-- would put exploration of Titan in a cosmic context.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    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.

  2. MOA-2011-BLG-293LB: First microlensing planet possibly in the habitable zone

    SciTech Connect

    Batista, V.; Gould, A.; Yee, J. C.; Gaudi, B. S.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Bennett, D. P.; Fukui, A.; Sumi, T.; Udalski, A. E-mail: gould@astronomy.ohio-state.edu E-mail: beaulieu@iap.fr E-mail: afukui@oao.nao.ac.jp E-mail: udalski@astrouw.edu.pl

    2014-01-01

    We used Keck adaptive optics observations to identify the first planet discovered by microlensing to lie in or near the habitable zone, i.e., at projected separation r = 1.1 ± 0.1 AU from its M{sub L} = 0.86 ± 0.06 M {sub ☉} host, being the highest microlensing mass definitely identified. The planet has a mass m{sub p} = 4.8 ± 0.3 M {sub Jup}, and could in principle have habitable moons. This is also the first planet to be identified as being in the Galactic bulge with good confidence: D{sub L} = 7.72 ± 0.44 kpc. The planet/host masses and distance were previously not known, but only estimated using Bayesian priors based on a Galactic model. These estimates had suggested that the planet might be a super-Jupiter orbiting an M dwarf, a very rare class of planets. We obtained high-resolution JHK images using Keck adaptive optics to detect the lens and so test this hypothesis. We clearly detect light from a G dwarf at the position of the event, and exclude all interpretations other than that this is the lens with high confidence (95%), using a new astrometric technique. The calibrated magnitude of the planet host star is H{sub L} = 19.16 ± 0.13. We infer the following probabilities for the three possible orbital configurations of the gas giant planet: 53% to be in the habitable zone, 35% to be near the habitable zone, and 12% to be beyond the snow line, depending on the atmospherical conditions and the uncertainties on the semimajor axis.

  3. Validating the First Habitable-Zone Planet Candidates Identified by the NASA Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Fressin, Francois; Ballard, Sarah; Borucki, William; Latham, David; Gilliland, Ronald; Seager, Sara; Knutson, Heather; Fortney, Jonathan; Brown, Timothy; Ford, Eric; Deming, Drake; Torres, Guillermo

    2011-05-01

    At the beginning of Cycle 8, the NASA Kepler Mission will have completed two years of science observations, the minimum baseline sufficient to identify candidate transiting exoplanets orbiting within the habitable-zones of Sun-like stars. The principal task that lies ahead is to reject from this sample the false positives (blends of eclipsing binaries that precisely mimic the signal of a transiting exoplanet), and to confirm the planetary nature of the remaining candidates. For planets more massive than Neptune, the direct confirmation of their planetary status can be accomplished by radial-velocity measurements. However, such planets possess primordial envelopes of hydrogen and helium that make them unsuitable to life as we know it. The most exciting candidates -- and the ones that Kepler is specifically tasked with finding -- are super-Earth and Earth-sized planets orbiting within their stellar habitable zones. Kepler has just begun to identify such planet candidates, and it will identify many more as its baseline increases throughout the coming year. While the Kepler team has developed powerful tools to weed out the impostors, Spitzer possesses the unique ability to provide the final validation of these candidates as planets, namely by measuring the depth of the transit at infrared wavelengths. By combining the infrared and optical measurements of the transit depth with models of hypothetical stellar blends, we can definitively test the stellar-blend hypothesis. We propose to observe the transits of 20 candidate habitable-zone super-Earths to be identified by the Kepler Mission. The results from this Exploration Science Program will be twofold: First, we will definitively validate the first potentially habitable planets ever identified. Second, we will determine the rate of occurrence of impostors. This rate of false positives can then be applied to the much larger sample of candidates identified by Kepler, to deduce the true rate of planetary companions.

  4. Atmospheres and Oceans of Rocky Planets In and Beyond the Habitable Zones of M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Feng

    2015-12-01

    he evolution of M dwarfs during their pre-main-sequence phase causes rocky planets in and beyond the habitable zones these stars to be in the runaway and moist greenhouse states. This scenario has been studied by three groups of researchers recently (Ramirez and Kaltenegger 2014, Tian and Ida 2015, Luger and Barnes 2015), and their consensus is that massive amount of water could have been lost during this time -- early evolution of M dwarfs could have changed the water contents of rocky planets around them, which could strongly influence the habitability of rocky planets around low mass stars. It has been proposed that dense oxygen dominant atmospheres (up to 2000 bars, Luger and Barnes 2015) because of rapid water loss. Is this true? If so, what's the condition for such atmospheres to exist and can they be maintained? On the other hand, what's the likelihood for sub-Neptunes to shrink into habitable planets under such environment? In general how is the habitability of planets around M dwarfs different from those around Sun-type stars? These are the questions we will attempt to address in this work.

  5. Habitable Zones Exposed: Astrosphere Collapse Frequency as a Function of Stellar Mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David S.; Scalo, John M.

    2009-09-01

    Stellar astrospheres -- the plasma cocoons carved out of the interstellar medium by stellar windsâ -- are one of several buffers that partially screen planetary atmospheres and surfaces from high-energy radiation. Screening by astrospheres is continually influenced by the passage of stars through the fluctuating density field of the interstellar medium (ISM). The most extreme events occur inside dense interstellar clouds, where the increased pressure may compress an astrosphere to a size smaller than the liquid-water habitable-zone distance. Habitable planets then enjoy no astrospheric buffering from exposure to the full flux of galactic cosmic rays and interstellar dust and gas, a situation we call "descreening" or "astrospheric collapse." Under such conditions the ionization fraction in the atmosphere and contribution to radiation damage of putative coding organisms at the surface would increase significantly, and a series of papers have suggested a variety of global responses to descreening. These possibilities motivate a more careful calculation of the frequency of descreening events. Using a ram-pressure balance model, we compute the size of the astrosphere in the apex direction as a function of parent-star mass and velocity and ambient interstellar density, emphasizing the importance of gravitational focusing of the interstellar flow. The interstellar densities required to descreen planets in the habitable zone of solar- and subsolar-mass stars are found to be about 600(M/M⊙)-2 cm-3 for the Sun's velocity relative to the local ISM. Such clouds are rare and small, indicating that descreening encounters are rare. We use statistics from two independent catalogues of dense interstellar clouds to derive a dependence of descreening frequency on the parent-star mass that decreases strongly with decreasing stellar mass, due to the weaker gravitational focusing and smaller habitable-zone distances for lower-mass stars. We estimate an uncertain upper limit to the

  6. Habitable zones exposed: astrosphere collapse frequency as a function of stellar mass.

    PubMed

    Smith, David S; Scalo, John M

    2009-09-01

    Stellar astrospheres--the plasma cocoons carved out of the interstellar medium by stellar winds--are one of several buffers that partially screen planetary atmospheres and surfaces from high-energy radiation. Screening by astrospheres is continually influenced by the passage of stars through the fluctuating density field of the interstellar medium (ISM). The most extreme events occur inside dense interstellar clouds, where the increased pressure may compress an astrosphere to a size smaller than the liquid-water habitable-zone distance. Habitable planets then enjoy no astrospheric buffering from exposure to the full flux of galactic cosmic rays and interstellar dust and gas, a situation we call "descreening" or "astrospheric collapse." Under such conditions the ionization fraction in the atmosphere and contribution to radiation damage of putative coding organisms at the surface would increase significantly, and a series of papers have suggested a variety of global responses to descreening. These possibilities motivate a more careful calculation of the frequency of descreening events. Using a ram-pressure balance model, we compute the size of the astrosphere in the apex direction as a function of parent-star mass and velocity and ambient interstellar density, emphasizing the importance of gravitational focusing of the interstellar flow. The interstellar densities required to descreen planets in the habitable zone of solar- and subsolar-mass stars are found to be about 600(M/M[middle dot in circle])(-2) cm(-3) for the Sun's velocity relative to the local ISM. Such clouds are rare and small, indicating that descreening encounters are rare. We use statistics from two independent catalogues of dense interstellar clouds to derive a dependence of descreening frequency on the parent-star mass that decreases strongly with decreasing stellar mass, due to the weaker gravitational focusing and smaller habitable-zone distances for lower-mass stars. We estimate an uncertain

  7. Selections from 2015: Earth-Sized Planet Found in Star's Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-03-01

    Editors Note:In these last two weeks of 2015, well be looking at a few selections from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume after the AAS winter meeting.Discovery and Validation of Kepler-452b: a 1.6 R Super Earth Exoplanet in the Habitable Zone of a G2 StarPublished July2015Main takeaway:A phase-folded light curve showing the transit of Kepler-452b. Its transit lasts 10.5 hours, and its period is 385 days. [Jenkins et al. 2015]A team led by Jon Jenkins (NASA Ames Research Center) announced the discovery and confirmation of Kepler-452b, an exoplanet only 60% larger than Earth and located in the habitable zone of its G2 star. This planet orbits its star at a distance of just over 1 AU, taking 385 days to complete an orbit. Kepler-452b also stands a good chance of being rocky, according to estimates.Why its interesting:Kepler-452b is the first near-Earth-sized planet to be found in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star making this the closest analog to the Earth-Sun system found in the Kepler dataset so far.About the history of the system (and the future of ours?):The authors estimate that the system is ~6 billion years old, and that Kepler-452b has been in the habitable zone of its star throughout its lifetime a substantially longer time than Earth has been around and habitable! Kepler-452bs host star, in addition to being 1.5 billion years older than the Sun, is roughly 10% larger. This system might therefore provide a glimpse of what Earths environment may be like in the future, as the Sun slowly expands on its way to becoming a red giant.CitationJon M. Jenkins et al 2015 AJ 150 56. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/2/56

  8. The Instellation Habitable Zone: Liquid Water Stability on a Single Axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Virtual Planetary Laboratory

    2011-12-01

    The habitable zone is the region around a star for which liquid water might be stable at the surface of a planet. This is roughly defined as orbital distances greater than those for which runaway greenhouses are triggered or water loss via H escape becomes rapid, yet less than those for which snowball Earth conditions are unavoidable. Both of these limits are inherently tied to surface temperature of the planet. Exoplanet observers have often defined habitable zones based on estimates of the equilibrium temperature for a planet, using that as a proxy for surface. However, the calculation of equilibrium temperature requires knowledge of the planet's albedo, which is usually not known. Furthermore, translating a planet's equilibrium temperature into a surface temperature requires estimations of greenhouse and anti-greenhouse effects that are also unknown. Venus presents both of these problems: it has a much-higher albedo than the value commonly assumed for Earth-like exoplanets, and yet its surface temperature is hundreds of degrees higher than its equilibrium temperature. Without knowledge of the albedo of a planet or the magnitude of the greenhouse effect, equilibrium temperature is an unknown quantity that provides unreliable estimates of the surface temperature of a planet. For these reasons, atmospheric modelers have incorporated the effects of albedo and of greenhouse effects into definitions of the habitable zone. Historically, these definitions have been based on the luminosity of the host star and the semi-major axis of the planet's orbit. This has served the community well, as planets are treated and analyzed on a case-by-base basis. However, the presence of two criteria for habitability (semi-major axis and stellar luminosity) presents an impediment to plotting planets in 2-dimensional diagrams that also include geophysical parameters such as planetary radius, mass, or density. While such plots were not previously warranted for ~Earth-sized planets because

  9. AN ANALYTIC METHOD TO DETERMINE HABITABLE ZONES FOR S-TYPE PLANETARY ORBITS IN BINARY STAR SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Gyergyovits, Markus; Funk, Barbara; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos E-mail: elke.pilat-lohinger@univie.ac.at

    2012-06-10

    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.

  10. Analytical Investigation of the Decrease in the Size of the Habitable Zone Due to a Limited CO2 Outgassing Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbot, Dorian S.

    2016-08-01

    The habitable zone concept is important because it focuses the scientific search for extraterrestrial life and aids the planning of future telescopes. Recent work has shown that planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone might not actually be able to stay warm and habitable if CO2 outgassing rates are not large enough to maintain high CO2 partial pressures against removal by silicate weathering. In this paper, I use simple equations for the climate and CO2 budget of a planet in the habitable zone that can capture the qualitative behavior of the system. With these equations I derive an analytical formula for an effective outer edge of the habitable zone, including limitations imposed by the CO2 outgassing rate. I then show that climate cycles between a snowball state and a warm climate are only possible beyond this limit if the weathering rate in the snowball climate is smaller than the CO2 outgassing rate (otherwise stable snowball states result). I derive an analytical solution for the climate cycles including a formula for their period in this limit. This work allows us to explore the qualitative effects of weathering processes on the effective outer edge of the habitable zone, which is important because weathering parameterizations are uncertain.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. Exomoon Habitability Constrained by Illumination and Tidal Heating

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. Exploring the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone with Fully Coupled Oceans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Way, M.J; Del Genio, A.D.; Kelley, M.; Aleinov, I.; Clune, T.

    2015-01-01

    The role of rotation in planetary atmospheres plays an important role in regulating atmospheric and oceanic heat flow, cloud formation and precipitation. Using the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) three dimension General Circulation Model (3D-GCM) we demonstrate how varying rotation rate and increasing the incident solar flux on a planet are related to each other and may allow the inner edge of the habitable zone to be much closer than many previous habitable zone studies have indicated. This is shown in particular for fully coupled ocean runs -- some of the first that have been utilized in this context. Results with a 100m mixed layer depth and our fully coupled ocean runs are compared with those of Yang et al. 2014, which demonstrates consistency across models. However, there are clear differences for rotations rates of 1-16x present earth day lengths between the mixed layer and fully couple ocean models, which points to the necessity of using fully coupled oceans whenever possible. The latter was recently demonstrated quite clearly by Hu & Yang 2014 in their aquaworld study with a fully coupled ocean when compared with similar mixed layer ocean studies and by Cullum et al. 2014. Atmospheric constituent amounts were also varied alongside adjustments to cloud parameterizations (results not shown here). While the latter have an effect on what a planet's global mean temperature is once the oceans reach equilibrium they do not qualitatively change the overall relationship between the globally averaged surface temperature and incident solar flux for rotation rates ranging from 1 to 256 times the present Earth day length. At the same time this study demonstrates that given the lack of knowledge about the atmospheric constituents and clouds on exoplanets there is still a large uncertainty as to where a planet will sit in a given star's habitable zone.

  14. Extending Galactic Habitable Zone Modeling to Include the Emergence of Intelligent Life.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Ian S; Gowanlock, Michael G

    2015-08-01

    Previous studies of the galactic habitable zone have been concerned with identifying those regions of the Galaxy that may favor the emergence of complex life. A planet is deemed habitable if it meets a set of assumed criteria for supporting the emergence of such complex life. In this work, we extend the assessment of habitability to consider the potential for life to further evolve to the point of intelligence--termed the propensity for the emergence of intelligent life, φI. We assume φI is strongly influenced by the time durations available for evolutionary processes to proceed undisturbed by the sterilizing effects of nearby supernovae. The times between supernova events provide windows of opportunity for the evolution of intelligence. We developed a model that allows us to analyze these window times to generate a metric for φI, and we examine here the spatial and temporal variation of this metric. Even under the assumption that long time durations are required between sterilizations to allow for the emergence of intelligence, our model suggests that the inner Galaxy provides the greatest number of opportunities for intelligence to arise. This is due to the substantially higher number density of habitable planets in this region, which outweighs the effects of a higher supernova rate in the region. Our model also shows that φI is increasing with time. Intelligent life emerged at approximately the present time at Earth's galactocentric radius, but a similar level of evolutionary opportunity was available in the inner Galaxy more than 2 Gyr ago. Our findings suggest that the inner Galaxy should logically be a prime target region for searches for extraterrestrial intelligence and that any civilizations that may have emerged there are potentially much older than our own. PMID:26274865

  15. Gj 832c: A super-Earth in the habitable zone

    SciTech Connect

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Horner, Jonathan; Tinney, C. G.; Marshall, J. P.; Bailey, J.; Salter, G. S.; Wright, D.; Tuomi, Mikko; Jones, H. R. A.; Butler, R. P.; Arriagada, P.; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Carter, B. D.; O'Toole, S. J.; Crane, J. D.; Schectman, S. A.; Thompson, I.; Minniti, D.; Jenkins, J. S.; Diaz, M.

    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.

  16. GJ 832c: A Super-Earth in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Tuomi, Mikko; Butler, R. P.; Jones, H. R. A.; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Horner, Jonathan; Tinney, C. G.; Marshall, J. P.; Carter, B. D.; Bailey, J.; Salter, G. S.; O'Toole, S. J.; Wright, D.; Crane, J. D.; Schectman, S. A.; Arriagada, P.; Thompson, I.; Minniti, D.; Jenkins, J. S.; Diaz, M.

    2014-08-01

    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. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at the Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  17. 55 CANCRI: STELLAR ASTROPHYSICAL PARAMETERS, A PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE RADIUS OF A TRANSITING SUPER-EARTH

    SciTech Connect

    Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Ciardi, David R.; Tabetha, S. Boyajian; McAlister, Harold A.; White, Russel; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Schaefer, Gail; Sturmann, Laszlo; Sturmann, Judit; Turner, Nils H.; Farrington, Chris; Goldfinger, P. J.; Van Belle, Gerard T.; Raymond, Sean N.; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Ridgway, Stephen T.

    2011-10-10

    The bright star 55 Cancri is known to host five planets, including a transiting super-Earth. The study presented here yields directly determined values for 55 Cnc's stellar astrophysical parameters based on improved interferometry: R = 0.943 {+-} 0.010 R{sub sun}, T{sub EFF} = 5196 {+-} 24 K. We use isochrone fitting to determine 55 Cnc's age to be 10.2 {+-} 2.5 Gyr, implying a stellar mass of 0.905 {+-} 0.015 M{sub sun}. Our analysis of the location and extent of the system's habitable zone (HZ; 0.67-1.32 AU) shows that planet f, with period {approx}260 days and Msin i = 0.155 M{sub Jupiter}, spends the majority of the duration of its elliptical orbit in the circumstellar HZ. Though planet f is too massive to harbor liquid water on any planetary surface, we elaborate on the potential of alternative low-mass objects in planet f's vicinity: a large moon and a low-mass planet on a dynamically stable orbit within the HZ. Finally, our direct value for 55 Cancri's stellar radius allows for a model-independent calculation of the physical diameter of the transiting super-Earth 55 Cnc e ({approx}2.05 {+-} 0.15 R{sub +}), which, depending on the planetary mass assumed, implies a bulk density of 0.76 {rho}{sub +} or 1.07 {rho}{sub +}.

  18. Extending Galactic Habitable Zone Modelling to Include the Emergence of Intelligent Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, I. S.; Gowanlock, M. G.

    2014-03-01

    Previous studies of the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ) have been concerned with identifying those regions of the Galaxy that may favour the emergence of "complex life" - typically defined to be land-based life. A planet is deemed "habitable" if it meets a set of assumed criteria for supporting the emergence of such complex life. The notion of the GHZ, and the premise that sufficient chemical evolution is required for planet formation, was quantified by Gonzalez et al. (2001). This work was later broadened to include dangers to the formation and habitability of terrestrial planets by Lineweaver et al. (2004) and then studied using a Monte Carlo simulation on the resolution of individual stars in the previous work of Gowanlock et al. (2011). The model developed in the latter work considers the stellar number density distribution and formation history of the Galaxy, planet formation mechanisms and the hazards to planetary biospheres as a result of supernova sterilization events that take place in the vicinity of the planets. Based on timescales taken from the origin and evolution of complex life on Earth, the model suggests large numbers of potentially habitable planets exist in our Galaxy, with the greatest concentration likely being towards the inner Galaxy. In this work we extend the assessment of habitability to consider the potential for life to further evolve on habitable planets to the point of intelligence - which we term the propensity for the emergence of intelligent life. We assume the propensity is strongly influenced by the time durations available for evolutionary processes to proceed undisturbed by the "resetting" effect of nearby supernovae. The model of Gowanlock et al. (2011) is used to produce a representative population of habitable planets by matching major observable properties of the Milky Way. Account is taken of the birth and death dates of each habitable planet and the timing of supernova events in each planet's vicinity. The times between

  19. Exomoon habitability constrained by illumination and tidal heating.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23305357

  20. GLIESE 581D IS THE FIRST DISCOVERED TERRESTRIAL-MASS EXOPLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Wordsworth, Robin D.; Forget, Francois; Millour, Ehouarn; Charnay, Benjamin; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Selsis, Franck

    2011-06-01

    It has been suggested that the recently discovered exoplanet GJ581d might be able to support liquid water due to its relatively low mass and orbital distance. However, GJ581d receives 35% less stellar energy than Mars and is probably locked in tidal resonance, with extremely low insolation at the poles and possibly a permanent night side. Under such conditions, it is unknown whether any habitable climate on the planet would be able to withstand global glaciation and/or atmospheric collapse. Here we present three-dimensional climate simulations which demonstrate that GJ581d will have a stable atmosphere and surface liquid water for a wide range of plausible cases, making it the first confirmed super-Earth (exoplanet of 2-10 Earth masses) in the habitable zone. We find that atmospheres with over 10 bar CO{sub 2} and varying amounts of background gas (e.g., N{sub 2}) yield global mean temperatures above 0{sup 0}C for both land and ocean-covered surfaces. Based on the emitted IR radiation calculated by the model, we propose observational tests that will allow these cases to be distinguished from other possible scenarios in the future.

  1. Radiative Convective Transfer Calculations for Effective Stellar Fluxes of Habitable and Life Supporting Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludwig, Wolfgang; Eggl, Siegfried; Neubauer, David; Leitner, Johannes; Firneis, Maria; Hitzenberger, Regina

    2014-05-01

    Recent fields of interest in exoplanetary research include studies of potentially habitable planets orbiting stars outside of our Solar System. Habitable Zones (HZs) are currently defined by calculating the inner and the outer limits of the mean distance between exoplanets and their central stars based on effective solar fluxes that allow for maintaining liquid water on the planet's surface. Kasting et al. (1993), Selsis et al. (2007), and recently Kopparapu et al. (2013) provided stellar flux limits for such scenarios. We compute effective solar fluxes for Earth-like planets using Earth-like and other atmospheric scenarios including atmospheres with high level and low level clouds. Furthermore we provide habitability limits for solvents other than water, i.e. limits for the so called Life Supporting Zone, introduced by Leitner et al. (2010). The Life Supporting Zone (LSZ) encompasses many habitable zones based on a variety of liquid solvents. Solvents like ammonia and sulfuric acid have been identified for instance by Leitner et al (2012) as possibly life supporting. Assuming planets on circular orbits, the extent of the individual HZ is then calculated via the following equation, d(i,o) = [L/Lsun*1/S(i,o)]**0.5 au, where L is the star's luminosity, and d(i,o) and S(i,o) are the distances to the central star for the inner and the outer edge and effective insolation for inner and the outer edge of the HZ, respectively. After generating S(i,o) values for a selection of solvents, we provide the means to determine LSZ boundaries for main sequence stars. Effective flux calculations are done using a one dimensional radiative convective model (Neubauer et al. 2011) based on a modified version of the open source radiative transfer software Streamer (Key and Schweiger, 1998). Modifications include convective adjustments, additional gases for absorption and the use of an offline cloud model, which allow us to observe the influence of clouds on effective stellar fluxes

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24744370

  3. CALCULATING THE HABITABLE ZONE OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS. II. P-TYPE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Haghighipour, Nader; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2013-11-10

    We have developed a comprehensive methodology for calculating the circumbinary habitable zone (HZ) in planet-hosting P-type binary star systems. We present a general formalism for determining the contribution of each star of the binary to the total flux received at the top of the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and use the Sun's HZ to calculate the inner and outer boundaries of the HZ around a binary star system. We apply our calculations to the Kepler's currently known circumbinary planetary systems and show the combined stellar flux that determines the boundaries of their HZs. We also show that the HZ in P-type systems is dynamic and, depending on the luminosity of the binary stars, their spectral types, and the binary eccentricity, its boundaries vary as the stars of the binary undergo their orbital motion. We present the details of our calculations and discuss the implications of the results.

  4. Searching for Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone of M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kürster, M.; Endl, M.

    2004-12-01

    We present results from our search program for terrestrial planets around M dwarfs with the VLT+UVES. We demonstrate the achieved RV precision of ≈ 2.5 ms-1. Different variability and noise components are disentangled for Barnard's star by means of Pooled Variance Analysis. Stellar activity effects and implications for convection properties are discussed. New data complement our previously published ones showing an excellent match with the predicted RV secular acceleration of Barnard's star. Mass upper limits to planetary companions in circular orbits are shown for Barnard's star as well as for Proxima Centauri. For both stars we can exclude planets with m sin i > 3 Mearth at the inner edge of their respective habitable zone up to > 5 Mearth at the outer edge.

  5. Finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone: the Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Caldwell, Douglas; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward; Gautier, Thomas N.; Geary, John; Gilliland, Ronald; Jenkins, Jon; Kondo, Yoji; Latham, David; Lissauer, Jack J.; Monet, David

    2008-05-01

    The Kepler Mission is a space-based mission whose primary goal is to detect Earth-size and smaller planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars. The mission will monitor more than 100,000 stars for transits with a differential photometric precision of 20 ppm at V=12 for a 6.5 hour transit. It will also provide asteroseismic results on several thousand dwarf stars. It is specifically designed to continuously observe a single field of view of greater than 100 square degrees for 3.5 or more years. This overview describes the mission design, its goals and capabilities, the measured performance for those photometer components that have now been tested, the Kepler Input Catalog, an overview of the analysis pipeline, the plans for the Follow-up Observing Program to validate the detections and characterize the parent stars, and finally, the plans for the Guest Observer and Astrophysical Data Program.

  6. Space telescope design to directly image the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bendek, Eduardo A.; Belikov, Ruslan; Lozi, Julien; Thomas, Sandrine; Males, Jared; Weston, Sasha; McElwain, Michael

    2015-09-01

    The scientific interest in directly imaging and identifying Earth-like planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) around nearby stars is driving the design of specialized direct imaging missions such as ACESAT, EXO-C, EXO-S and AFTA-C. The inner edge of Alpha Cen A and B Habitable Zone is found at exceptionally large angular separations of 0.7" and 0.4" respectively. This enables direct imaging of the system with a 0.3m class telescope. Contrast ratios on the order of 1010 are needed to image Earth-brightness planets. Low-resolution (5-band) spectra of all planets may allow establishing the presence and amount of an atmosphere. This star system configuration is optimal for a specialized small, and stable space telescope that can achieve high-contrast but has limited resolution. This paper describes an innovative instrument design and a mission concept based on a full Silicon Carbide off-axis telescope, which has a Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization coronagraph embedded in the telescope. This architecture maximizes stability and throughput. A Multi-Star Wave Front algorithm is implemented to drive a deformable mirror controlling simultaneously diffracted light from the on-axis and binary companion star. The instrument has a Focal Plane Occulter to reject starlight into a highprecision pointing control camera. Finally we utilize a Orbital Differential Imaging (ODI) post-processing method that takes advantage of a highly stable environment (Earth-trailing orbit) and a continuous sequence of images spanning 2 years, to reduce the final noise floor in post processing to ~2e-11 levels, enabling high confidence and at least 90% completeness detections of Earth-like planets.

  7. Can there be additional rocky planets in the Habitable Zone of tight binary stars with a known gas giant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funk, B.; Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Eggl, S.

    2015-04-01

    Locating planets in Habitable Zones (HZs) around other stars is a growing field in contemporary astronomy. Since a large percentage of all G-M stars in the solar neighbourhood are expected to be part of binary or multiple stellar systems, investigations of whether habitable planets are likely to be discovered in such environments are of prime interest to the scientific community. As current exoplanet statistics predicts that the chances are higher to find new worlds in systems that are already known to have planets, we examine four known extrasolar planetary systems in tight binaries in order to determine their capacity to host additional habitable terrestrial planets. Those systems are Gliese 86, γ Cephei, HD 41004 and HD 196885. In the case of γ Cephei, our results suggest that only the M dwarf companion could host additional potentially habitable worlds. Neither could we identify stable, potentially habitable regions around HD 196885 A. HD 196885 B can be considered a slightly more promising target in the search for Earth-twins. Gliese 86 A turned out to be a very good candidate, assuming that the system's history has not been excessively violent. For HD 41004, we have identified admissible stable orbits for habitable planets, but those strongly depend on the parameters of the system. A more detailed investigation shows that for some initial conditions stable planetary motion is possible in the HZ of HD 41004 A. In spite of the massive companion HD 41004 Bb, we found that HD 41004 B, too, could host additional habitable worlds.

  8. DDT_ldecin_2: Unraveling the enigmatic nature of the turbulent interaction zone between the circumstellar and interstellar medium around the well-known supergiant Beteleuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decin, L.

    2011-01-01

    Evolved stars are the birthplaces of the interstellar gas and solid dust particles. Such stars lose mass through a stellar wind, which is slow and dusty for cool giants and supergiants, or through impressive supernova explo- sions. However, recent observations with the PACS and SPIRE photometers reveal that the encounter between these slow and dusty winds and the interstellar medium is as spectacular as supernova explosions: multiple arcs, bar-like structures and different kind of instabilities (Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin-Helmholtz) are detected. The most outstanding example concerns the well-known supergiant Betelgeuse. However, with the current set of Herschel observations, it is impossible to dene the exact physical mechanism causing the observed infrared emission. We propose to obtain PACS [O I] and HIFI [C II] spectroscopic observations at different pointings in the turbulent wind interaction zone around Betelgeuse. The proposed DDT observations would only take 3.1 hr and would give the astronomical community the rst possibility to study spectroscopically the different dynam- ical and chemical processes partaking in the interaction zone between circumstellar and interstellar material. The derived spectroscopic information will be valuable to the whole community in preparation of OT2.

  9. WISE Detections of Dust in the Habitable Zones of Planet-bearing Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Padgett, D. L.; Bryden, G.; Werner, M. W.; Furlan, E.

    2012-09-01

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 μm (T dust ~ 300 and/or ~150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia as of 2012 January 31, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at >=5σ level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to confirm bona fide point sources. We find nine planet-bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 μm at >=3σ level around young, main-sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of ~2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but ~1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  10. WISE Detections of Dust in the Habitable Zones of Planet-bearing Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Padgett, D.; Bryden, G.; Werner, M. W.; Furlan, E.

    2013-01-01

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 micron (T_dust ~300 and/or ~150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia as of January 31, 2012, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at 5-sigma level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to conrm bona fide point sources. We find 9 planet bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 micron at 3-sigma level around young, main sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of 2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but 1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  11. WISE Detections of Dust in the Habitable Zones of Planet-Bearing Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Padgett, Deborah L.; Bryden, Geoffrey; Werner, M. W.; Furlan, E.

    2012-01-01

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 microns (T(sub dust) approx.300 and/or approx.150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopedia as of 2012 January 31, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at > or = 5(sigma) level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to confirm bona fide point sources. We find nine planet-bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 microns at > or = 3(sigma) level around young, main-sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of approx.2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but approx.1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  12. WISE DETECTIONS OF DUST IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF PLANET-BEARING STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Bryden, G.; Werner, M. W.; Padgett, D. L.; Furlan, E.

    2012-09-20

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 {mu}m (T{sub dust} {approx} 300 and/or {approx}150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia as of 2012 January 31, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at {>=}5{sigma} level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to confirm bona fide point sources. We find nine planet-bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 {mu}m at {>=}3{sigma} level around young, main-sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of {approx}2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but {approx}1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  13. Exploring the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone with Fully Coupled Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, M.; Del Genio, A. D.; Kiang, N. Y.; Kelley, M.; Aleinov, I. D.; Clune, T.; Puma, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Rotation in planetary atmospheres plays an important role inregulating atmospheric and oceanic heat flow, cloud formation and precipitation.Using the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) three dimensional GeneralCirculation Model (3D-GCM) we demonstrate how varying rotation rate andincreasing the incident solar flux on a planet are related to each other and mayallow the inner edge of the habitable zone to be much closer than many previoushabitable zone studies have indicated. This is shown in particular for fullycoupled ocean runs over a large range of insolation and rotation rates.Results with a 100m mixed layer depth and our fully coupled ocean runs arecompared with those of Yang et al. 2014, which demonstrates consistencyacross models. However, there are clear differences for rotations rates of 1-16xpresent earth day lengths between the mixed layer and fully coupled ocean models,which points to the necessity of using fully coupled oceans whenever possible.The latter was recently demonstrated quite clearly by Hu & Yang 2014 in theiraquaplanet study with a fully coupled ocean when compared with similar mixedlayer ocean studies and by Cullum et al. 2014. Atmospheric constituent amounts were also varied alongside adjustments to cloudparameterizations. While the latter have an effect on what a planet's global meantemperature is once the oceans reach equilibrium they donot qualitatively change the overall relationship between the globally averagedsurface temperature and incident solar flux for rotation rates ranging from 1to 256 times the present Earth day length. At the same time this studydemonstrates that given the lack of knowledge about the atmospheric constituentsand clouds on exoplanets there is still a large uncertainty as to where a planetwill sit in a given star's habitable zone. We also explore options for understanding the possibility for regional habitabilityvia an aridity index and a separate moisture index. The former is related to the

  14. Constraining the Radiation and Plasma Environment of the Kepler Circumbinary Habitable-zone Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  15. Toward Detection of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone of Our Closest Neighbor: Proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, Michael; Kuerster, M.

    2009-01-01

    In recent years the precision of radial velocity (RV) measurements for the indirect detection of planetary companions to nearby stars has improved to a level that allowed the first discoveries of extrasolar planets in the Neptune and Super-Earth mass range. Detections of extremely low mass planets, possibly even down to 1 Earth mass or below, in short-period orbits can lie in the mid-term future of RV planet searches. Discoveries of such Earth-like planets via ground-based RV programs will help to determine the parameter eta_Earth, the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars. We monitored Proxima Centauri (M5V) as part of our M dwarf program in search of low-mass planetary companions. In the absence of a significant detection we want to use these data to demonstrate the general capability of the RV method to find terrestrial planets. For late M dwarfs the classic liquid surface water habitable zone (HZ) is located very close to the star, precisely where the RV method is most sensitive. We determine upper limits to the masses of companions in circular orbits via numerical simulations. As a result of our companion limit calculations we find that we successfully recover all test signals with RV amplitudes corresponding to planets with m sin i > 2-3 M_Earth residing inside the HZ of Proxima Cen with a statistical significance of >99%. Over the same period range we can recover 50% of the test planets with masses of m sin i > 1.5-2.5 M_Earth. We also discuss the effects of stellar activity on our RV measurements.

  16. Photoevaporation of Earth and Super-Earth Atmospheres in the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2015-08-01

    Kepler data show that multiple terrestrial-sized planets (i.e., Earths / super-Earths), packed in very close to the central star, are the norm in exoplanetary systems around low-mass stars. Around M dwarfs, a significant fraction of these planets reside within the Habitable Zone (HZ). This has kindled intense excitement about the possibility of finding habitable planets around these cool red stars. However, M dwarfs also remain extremely magnetically active for much longer than solar-type stars: e.g., an M3 dwarf evinces saturated levels of coronal and chromospheric activity over Gyr timescales, compared to ~100 Myr for solar-mass stars. Thus, basal levels of coronal/chromospheric X-ray/EUV emission from M dwarfs, integrated over their saturated activity lifetimes, may severely photoevaporate the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in M dwarf HZs; this would only be exacerbated by flares (which are correspondingly more intense in active M dwarfs). Here we present detailed hydrodynamic calculations of such photoevaporation for planets spanning a range of Earth/super-Earth sizes, residing in the HZ of M dwarfs of various spectral sub-types, over Gyr evolutionary timescales. Our calculations include the effects of: (1) simultaneous X-ray and EUV heating, using state-of-the-art stellar XUV SED models; (2) the change in the stellar XUV SED over evolutionary timescales; (3) realistic radiative losses (which can both dominate and vary in time); (4) thermal evolution of the planetary core; and (5) a range of initial planetary entropies (i.e.,`hot' or `cold' start) and core compositions. The analysis yields the location and extent of the HZ as a function of planetary mass, core composition, initial conditions and M sub-type. We will focus on H/He dominated (i.e., solar abundance) atmospheres; however, we will also discuss qualtitative trends for CO2 / H2O dominated atmospheres, which we are beginning to explore by coupling a detailed photochemical code with our hydrodynamic

  17. Dynamical Accretion of Primordial Atmospheres around Planets with Masses between 0.1 and 5 M ⊕ in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stökl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst A.; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut

    2016-07-01

    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 ⊕ 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 (˜105 years) is sufficient for the accumulation of significant amounts of hydrogen atmosphere that are unlikely to be removed by later atmospheric escape processes.

  18. Dynamical Accretion of Primordial Atmospheres around Planets with Masses between 0.1 and 5 M ⊕ in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stökl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst A.; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut

    2016-07-01

    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 ⊕ 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 (∼105 years) is sufficient for the accumulation of significant amounts of hydrogen atmosphere that are unlikely to be removed by later atmospheric escape processes.

  19. CALCULATING THE HABITABLE ZONE OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS. I. S-TYPE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Haghighipour, Nader

    2013-11-10

    We have developed a comprehensive methodology for calculating the boundaries of the habitable zone (HZ) of planet-hosting S-type binary star systems. Our approach is general and takes into account the contribution of both stars to the location and extent of the binary HZ with different stellar spectral types. We have studied how the binary eccentricity and stellar energy distribution affect the extent of the HZ. Results indicate that in binaries where the combination of mass-ratio and orbital eccentricity allows planet formation around a star of the system to proceed successfully, the effect of a less luminous secondary on the location of the primary's HZ is generally negligible. However, when the secondary is more luminous, it can influence the extent of the HZ. We present the details of the derivations of our methodology and discuss its application to the binary HZ around the primary and secondary main-sequence stars of an FF, MM, and FM binary, as well as two known planet-hosting binaries α Cen AB and HD 196886.

  20. Calculating the habitable zones of multiple star systems with a new interactive Web site

    SciTech Connect

    Müller, Tobias W. A.; Haghighipour, Nader

    2014-02-10

    We have developed a comprehensive methodology and an interactive Web site for calculating the habitable zone (HZ) of multiple star systems. Using the concept of spectral weight factor, as introduced in our previous studies of the calculations of HZ in and around binary star systems, we calculate the contribution of each star (based on its spectral energy distribution) to the total flux received at the top of the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet, and use the models of the HZ of the Sun to determine the boundaries of the HZ in multiple star systems. Our interactive Web site for carrying out these calculations is publicly available at http://astro.twam.info/hz. We discuss the details of our methodology and present its application to some of the multiple star systems detected by the Kepler space telescope. We also present the instructions for using our interactive Web site, and demonstrate its capabilities by calculating the HZ for two interesting analytical solutions of the three-body problem.

  1. A Space Mission Concept to Directly Image the Habitable Zone of Alpha Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bendek, E.; Belikov, R.; Males, J.; Thomas, S.; Lozi, J.

    2015-12-01

    The inner edge of Alpha Cen A&B Habitable Zone is found at exceptionally large angular separations of 0.7" and 0.4" respectively. This enables direct imaging of the system with a 30cm class telescope. Contrast ratios in the order of 1010 are needed to image Earth-brightness planets. Low-resolution (5-band) spectra of all planets, will allow establishing the presence and amount of an atmosphere. This star system configuration is optimal for a specialized small, and stable space telescope, that can achieve high-contrast but has limited resolution. This paper describes an innovative instrument design and a mission concept based on a full Silicon Carbide off-axis telescope, which has a Phase Induce Amplitude Apodization coronagraph embedded in the telescope. This architecture maximizes stability and throughput. The Multi-Star Wave Front algorithm is implemented to drive a deformable mirror controlling simultaneously diffracted light from the on-axis and binary companion star. The instrument has a Focal Plane Occulter to reject starlight into a Low Order Wavefront Sensor that delivers high-precision pointing control. Finally we utilize the ODI post-processing method that takes advantage of a highly stable environment (Earth-trailing orbit) and a continuous sequence of images spanning 2 years, to reduce the final noise floor in post processing to ~2e-11 levels, enabling high confidence and at least 90% completeness detections of Earth-like planets.

  2. A Y+J Band Laser Frequency Comb for the Habitable Zone Planet Finder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterman, Steve; Ycas, G. G.; Diddams, S. A.; Bender, C. F.; Donaldson, C. L.; Mahadevan, S.; Quinlan, F.; Ramsey, L. W.

    2013-01-01

    The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) scheduled for deployment to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope in late 2015 will extend the radial velocity search for exoplanets into the near infrared by providing a high precision, stabilized near infrared spectrograph spanning the Y+J bands (0.98-1.3μm) with 50,000 resolution. Working in the near infrared will allow the HPF to study cooler, lower mass stars than is possible with the current generation of optical spectrographs. In order to extend the precision of the HPF to lower minimum RV signatures we are proposing to develop a deployable, fully autonomous version of the Y+J band laser frequency comb currently in operation at the NIST Time and Frequency Division in Boulder, Colorado. The Y+J comb is derived from the H band (1.45-1.7μm) comb which was successfully demonstrated at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope in 2010. The deployed version will leverage off of existing hardware and demonstrated technology. We present instrument architecture and current performance as well as results of long term stability tests, filter modeling, modal noise reduction results and predicted end-to-end performance.

  3. An Inconvenient Truth: Do We Really Know Where the Habitable Zone Is?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, S.

    2014-04-01

    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 I will address an inconvenient truth: the location of the HZ has (sometimes substantial) error bars. I will demonstrate the uncertainty in the location of the HZ based on the stellar parameter uncertainties, both for the Kepler candidates and the confirmed exoplanets. I will show applications of this HZ uncertainty to several known systems with a supposed HZ planet to determine the uncertainty in their HZ status.

  4. Asteroid flux and water transport towards circumprimary habitable zones in binary star systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bancelin, D.; Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Eggl, S.; Lammer, H.; Johnston, C.; Maindl, T. I.; Dvorak, R.

    2015-10-01

    Dynamical simulations show that the outcome of planetary formation process can lead to various planetary architectures (i.e. location, size, mass and water content) when the star system is single or double. In the late phase of planetary formation, when embryosized objects dominate the inner region of the system, asteroids are also present and can provide additional material for objects inside the habitable zone (HZ). In this study, we make a comparison of several binary star systems' characteristics and their efficiency to move icy asteroids from beyond the snow-line into orbits crossing the HZ. In our results, we highlight the key role of secular and mean motion resonances, causing an efficient flux of asteroids to the HZ on a short timescale. This in turn leads to asteroids bearing a non negligeable amount of water towards the HZ and available for any planets or embryos moving in this area. We also discuss how mass loss mechanisms can alter the water content on asteroids' surface.

  5. RESEARCH PAPER: The dynamical architecture and habitable zones of the quintuplet planetary system 55 Cancri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Jiang-Hui; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Liu, Lin; Li, Guang-Yu

    2009-06-01

    We perform numerical simulations to study the secular orbital evolution and dynamical structure of the quintuplet planetary system 55 Cancri with the self-consistent orbital solutions by Fischer and coworkers. In the simulations, we show that this system can be stable for at least 108 yr. In addition, we extensively investigate the planetary configuration of four outer companions with one terrestrial planet in the wide region of 0.790 AU <= a <= 5.900 AU to examine the existence of potential asteroid structure and Habitable Zones (HZs). We show that there are unstable regions for orbits about 4:1, 3:1 and 5:2 mean motion resonances (MMRs) of the outermost planet in the system, and several stable orbits can remain at 3:2 and 1:1 MMRs, which resembles the asteroid belt in the solar system. From a dynamical viewpoint, proper HZ candidates for the existence of more potential terrestrial planets reside in the wide area between 1.0 AU and 2.3 AU with relatively low eccentricities.

  6. DIRECT IMAGING IN THE HABITABLE ZONE AND THE PROBLEM OF ORBITAL MOTION

    SciTech Connect

    Males, Jared R.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Close, Laird M.

    2013-07-01

    High contrast imaging searches for exoplanets have been conducted on 2.4-10 m telescopes, typically at H band (1.6 {mu}m) and used exposure times of {approx}1 hr to search for planets with semi-major axes of {approx}> 10 AU. We are beginning to plan for surveys using extreme-AO systems on the next generation of 30 m class telescopes, where we hope to begin probing the habitable zones (HZs) of nearby stars. Here we highlight a heretofore ignorable problem in direct imaging: planets orbit their stars. Under the parameters of current surveys, orbital motion is negligible over the duration of a typical observation. However, this motion is not negligible when using large diameter telescopes to observe at relatively close stellar distances (1-10 pc), over the long exposure times (10-20 hr) necessary for direct detection of older planets in the HZ. We show that this motion will limit our achievable signal-to-noise ratio and degrade observational completeness. Even on current 8 m class telescopes, orbital motion will need to be accounted for in an attempt to detect HZ planets around the nearest Sun-like stars {alpha} Cen A and B, a binary system now known to harbor at least one planet. Here we derive some basic tools for analyzing this problem, and ultimately show that the prospects are good for de-orbiting a series of shorter exposures to correct for orbital motion.

  7. Habitable Zone Planets: PLATO, and the search for Earth 2.0

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, D. J. A.

    2015-10-01

    The PLATO mission, part of ESA's Cosmic Vision program, will launch in 2024 and will revolutionize the field of transiting exoplanets. By observing a large sample of bright stars, PLATO will discover thousands of terrestrial planets, including hundreds in the habitable zones of their host stars. The brightness of PLATO targets allows full characterization of both the planets and their host stars, including asteroseismic analysis to precisely determine masses, radii, and ages. Moreover, PLATO host stars will be bright enough to allow atmospheric spectroscopy. Confirmation and characterization of PLATO planets will require a coordinated, ground-based follow-up program to both eliminate false-positives, and derive planetary masses. I will present an introduction to PLATO, discussing the scientific motivation behind the mission, its aims and goals, and the significant contribution that PLATO will make to the search for a second Earth. I will also talk about the requirements and formulation of the follow-up program, showing that the demands are not as onerous as might be feared.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  9. Using Kepler Candidates to Examine the Properties of Habitable Zone Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Arthur D.; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-07-01

    An analysis of the currently known exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) of their host stars is of interest both in the wake of the NASA Kepler mission and with prospects for expanding the known planet population through future ground- and space-based projects. In this paper, we compare the empirical distributions of the properties of stellar systems with transiting planets to those with transiting HZ planets. This comparison includes two categories: confirmed/validated transiting planet systems, and Kepler planet and candidate planet systems. These two categories allow us to present quantitative analyses on both a conservative data set of known planets and a more optimistic and numerous sample of Kepler candidates. Both are subject to similar instrumental and detection biases, and are vetted against false positive detections. We examine whether the HZ distributions vary from the overall distributions in the Kepler sample with respect to planetary radius as well as stellar mass, effective temperature, and metallicity. We find that while the evidence is strongest in suggesting a difference between the size distributions of planets in the HZ and the overall size distribution, none of the statistical results provide strong empirical evidence for HZ planets or HZ planet-hosting stars being significantly different from the full Kepler sample with respect to these properties.

  10. Transit and radial velocity survey efficiency comparison for a habitable zone Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, Christopher J.

    2014-09-01

    Transit and radial velocity searches are two techniques for identifying nearby extrasolar planets to Earth that transit bright stars. Identifying a robust sample of these exoplanets around bright stars for detailed atmospheric characterization is a major observational undertaking. In this study we describe a framework that answers the question of whether a transit or radial velocity survey is more efficient at finding transiting exoplanets given the same amount of observing time. Within the framework we show that a transit survey's window function can be approximated using the hypergeometric probability distribution. We estimate the observing time required for a transit survey to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone (HZ) with an emphasis on late-type stars. We also estimate the radial velocity precision necessary to detect the equivalent HZ Earth-mass exoplanet that also transits when using an equal amount of observing time as the transit survey. We find that a radial velocity survey with σ{sub rv} ∼ 0.6 m s{sup –1} precision has comparable efficiency in terms of observing time to a transit survey with the requisite photometric precision σ{sub phot} ∼ 300 ppm to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the HZ of late M dwarfs. For super-Earths, a σ{sub rv} ∼ 2.0 m s{sup –1} precision radial velocity survey has comparable efficiency to a transit survey with σ{sub phot} ∼ 2300 ppm.

  11. Validation of Twelve Small Kepler Transiting Planets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldwell, Douglas A.; Torres, Guillermo; Kipping, David M.; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Steve; Ciardi, David R.; Crepp, Justin R.; Everett, Mark; Fressin, Francois; Henze, Christopher; Horch, Elliott; Howard, Andrew; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Kolbl, Rea; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; McCauliff, Sean D.; Muirhead, Philip Steven; Newton, Elizabeth; Petigura, Erik; Twicken, Joseph D.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Barclay, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We report on the work to validate twelve candidate-transiting planets from Kepler with orbital periods ranging from 34 to 207 days initially identified in the pipeline search of three years of Kepler data from quarters 1 to 12. The candidates were selected based on pipeline Data Validation models indicating that they are small and potentially in the habitable zone (HZ) of their parent stars. As their expected Doppler signals are too small for a direct measure of their masses, we verify their planetary nature by validating them statistically using the BLENDER technique. BLENDER simulates large numbers of false-positive scenarios and compares the resulting light curves with the Kepler photometry, taking into account additional information from the analysis of Kepler flux centroids and new follow-up observations, including high-resolution optical and NIR spectroscopy, adaptive optics imaging, and speckle imaging. For eleven of the candidates we show that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive, to a 99.73% confidence level. For the twelfth candidate, the planet confidence level is about 99.2%. Using improved stellar parameters for the host stars, we derive planetary radii ranging from 1.12 to 2.73 R⊕. All twelve objects are confirmed to be in the HZ, and nine are small enough to be rocky. Excluding three of the candidates that have been previously validated by others, our study doubles the number of known potentially rocky planets in the HZ.

  12. ‘Ground Truth’ Insights on Space Weather Effects at Habitable Zone Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhmann, Janet G.; Lillis, Robert; Lee, Christina; hara, Takuya; Halekas, Jasper; Morgan, David; Gurnett, Donald; Brain, David; McEnulty, Tess; Fang, Xiaohua; Jakosky, Bruce; Mahaffy, Paul; Eparvier, Frank; Futaana, Yoshifumi; Holmstrom, Matts; Edberg, Niklas; Opgenoorth, Hermann; Leblanc, Francois; Opitz, Andrea; Espley, Jared; Ma, Yingjuan; Russell, Christopher T.; Zhang, Tielong; Withers, Paul; Odstrcil, Dusan

    2015-08-01

    In investigations of the role of atmosphere escape to space in habitable zone terrestrial planet evolution, solar activity and its related interplanetary consequences have been suggested as possibly key to increasing rates to historically significant levels. While at least the present day impacts at planets with magnetospheres is relatively well-understood because of extensive observations at Earth, that at our neighboring weakly magnetized planets remains a matter of wide speculation. We describe the various components of solar activity-produced space weather events and what we look for in observations at Venus and Mars. Effects may include enhanced upper atmosphere heating and ionization from increased solar EUV, X-ray, and precipitating particle fluxes, reduced dayside ionopause/magnetopause altitudes from increased solar wind pressure, greater roles of planetary/interplanetary magnetic field reconnection at Mars in enabling escape, enhanced planetary ion acceleration and pickup, and related atmosphere sputtering. We summarize to what extent these have been identified and characterized in observations so far ranging from Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Venus Express to Mars Express and the MAVEN mission.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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. PMID:25592420

  14. Delayed Gratification Habitable Zones: When Deep Outer Solar System Regions Become Balmy During Post-Main Sequence Stellar Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    2003-06-01

    Like all low- and moderate-mass stars, the Sun will burn as a red giant during its later evolution, generating of solar luminosities for some tens of millions of years. During this post-main sequence phase, the habitable (i.e., liquid water) thermal zone of our Solar System will lie in the region where Triton, Pluto-Charon, and Kuiper Belt objects orbit. Compared with the 1 AU habitable zone where Earth resides, this "delayed gratification habitable zone" (DGHZ) will enjoy a far less biologically hazardous environment - with lower harmful radiation levels from the Sun, and a far less destructive collisional environment. Objects like Triton, Pluto-Charon, and Kuiper Belt objects, which are known to be rich in both water and organics, will then become possible sites for biochemical and perhaps even biological evolution. The Kuiper Belt, with >105 objects >=50 km in radius and more than three times the combined surface area of the four terrestrial planets, provides numerous sites for possible evolution once the Sun's DGHZ reaches it. The Sun's DGHZ might be thought to only be of academic interest owing to its great separation from us in time. However, ~109 Milky Way stars burn as luminous red giants today. Thus, if icy-organic objects are common in the 20-50 AU zones of these stars, as they are in our Solar System (and as inferred in numerous main sequence stellar disk systems), then DGHZs may form a niche type of habitable zone that is likely to be numerically common in the Galaxy.

  15. Delayed gratification habitable zones: when deep outer solar system regions become balmy during post-main sequence stellar evolution.

    PubMed

    Stern, S Alan

    2003-01-01

    Like all low- and moderate-mass stars, the Sun will burn as a red giant during its later evolution, generating of solar luminosities for some tens of millions of years. During this post-main sequence phase, the habitable (i.e., liquid water) thermal zone of our Solar System will lie in the region where Triton, Pluto-Charon, and Kuiper Belt objects orbit. Compared with the 1 AU habitable zone where Earth resides, this "delayed gratification habitable zone" (DGHZ) will enjoy a far less biologically hazardous environment - with lower harmful radiation levels from the Sun, and a far less destructive collisional environment. Objects like Triton, Pluto-Charon, and Kuiper Belt objects, which are known to be rich in both water and organics, will then become possible sites for biochemical and perhaps even biological evolution. The Kuiper Belt, with >10(5) objects > or =50 km in radius and more than three times the combined surface area of the four terrestrial planets, provides numerous sites for possible evolution once the Sun's DGHZ reaches it. The Sun's DGHZ might be thought to only be of academic interest owing to its great separation from us in time. However, approximately 10(9) Milky Way stars burn as luminous red giants today. Thus, if icy-organic objects are common in the 20-50 AU zones of these stars, as they are in our Solar System (and as inferred in numerous main sequence stellar disk systems), then DGHZs may form a niche type of habitable zone that is likely to be numerically common in the Galaxy. PMID:14577880

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24993348

  17. THE HUNT FOR EXOMOONS WITH KEPLER (HEK). III. THE FIRST SEARCH FOR AN EXOMOON AROUND A HABITABLE-ZONE PLANET

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-10

    Kepler-22b is the first transiting planet to have been detected in the habitable zone of its host star. At 2.4 R{sub ⊕}, Kepler-22b is too large to be considered an Earth analog, but should the planet host a moon large enough to maintain an atmosphere, then the Kepler-22 system may yet possess a telluric world. Aside from being within the habitable zone, the target is attractive due to the availability of previously measured precise radial velocities and low intrinsic photometric noise, which has also enabled asteroseismology studies of the star. For these reasons, Kepler-22b was selected as a target-of-opportunity by the 'Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler' (HEK) project. In this work, we conduct a photodynamical search for an exomoon around Kepler-22b leveraging the transits, radial velocities, and asteroseismology plus several new tools developed by the HEK project to improve exomoon searches. We find no evidence for an exomoon around the planet and exclude moons of mass M{sub S} > 0.5 M{sub ⊕} to 95% confidence. By signal injection and blind retrieval, we demonstrate that an Earth-like moon is easily detected for this planet even when the time-correlated noise of the data set is taken into account. We provide updated parameters for the planet Kepler-22b, including a revised mass of M{sub P} < 53 M{sub ⊕} to 95% confidence and an eccentricity of 0.13{sub -0.13}{sup +0.36} by exploiting Single-body Asterodensity Profiling. Finally, we show that Kepler-22b has a >95% probability of being within the empirical habitable zone but a <5% probability of being within the conservative habitable zone.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.; Ciardi, David; Fischer, Debra A.; 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  20. Observations of interstellar formamide: availability of a prebiotic precursor in the galactic habitable zone.

    PubMed

    Adande, Gilles R; Woolf, Neville J; Ziurys, Lucy M

    2013-05-01

    We conducted a study on interstellar formamide, NH2CHO, toward star-forming regions of dense molecular clouds, using the telescopes of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). The Kitt Peak 12 m antenna and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) were used to measure multiple rotational transitions of this molecule between 100 and 250 GHz. Four new sources of formamide were found [W51M, M17 SW, G34.3, and DR21(OH)], and complementary data were obtained toward Orion-KL, W3(OH), and NGC 7538. From these observations, column densities for formamide were determined to be in the range of 1.1×10(12) to 9.1×10(13) cm(-2), with rotational temperatures of 70-177 K. The molecule is thus present in warm gas, with abundances relative to H2 of 1×10(-11) to 1×10(-10). It appears to be a common constituent of star-forming regions that foster planetary systems within the galactic habitable zone, with abundances comparable to that found in comet Hale-Bopp. Formamide's presence in comets and molecular clouds suggests that the compound could have been brought to Earth by exogenous delivery, perhaps with an infall flux as high as ~0.1 mol/km(2)/yr or 0.18 mmol/m(2) in a single impact. Formamide has recently been proposed as a single-carbon, prebiotic source of nucleobases and nucleic acids. This study suggests that a sufficient amount of NH2CHO could have been available for such chemistry. PMID:23654214

  1. Habitable Zones Around Main-Sequence Stars: Dependence on Planetary Mass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kotte, James Schottel; Kasting, James F.; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Eymet, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing discoveries of extra-solar planets are unveiling a wide range of terrestrial mass (size) planets around their host stars. In this Letter, we present estimates of habitable zones (HZs) around stars with stellar effective temperatures in the range 2600 K-7200 K, for planetary masses between 0.1M and 5M. Assuming H2O-(inner HZ) and CO2-(outer HZ) dominated atmospheres, and scaling the background N2 atmospheric pressure with the radius of the planet, our results indicate that larger planets have wider HZs than do smaller ones. Specifically, with the assumption that smaller planets will have less dense atmospheres, the inner edge of the HZ (runaway greenhouse limit) moves outward (approx.10% lower than Earth flux) for low mass planets due to larger greenhouse effect arising from the increased H2O column depth. For larger planets, the H2O column depth is smaller, and higher temperatures are needed before water vapor completely dominates the outgoing long-wave radiation. Hence the inner edge moves inward (approx.7% higher than Earth's flux). The outer HZ changes little due to the competing effects of the greenhouse effect and an increase in albedo. New, three-dimensional climate model results from other groups are also summarized, and we argue that further, independent studies are needed to verify their predictions. Combined with our previous work, the results presented here provide refined estimates of HZs around main-sequence stars and provide a step toward a more comprehensive analysis of HZs.

  2. Bistability of the climate around the habitable zone: a thermodynamic investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascale, S.; Boschi, R.; Lucarini, V.

    2012-12-01

    The goal of this paper is to explore the potential multistability of the cli- mate of a planet around the habitable zone. We apply our methodology to the Earth system, but our investigation has more general relevance. A thor- ough investigation of the thermodynamics of the climate system is performed for very diverse conditions of energy input and infrared atmosphere opacity. Using PlaSim, an Earth-like general circulation model, the solar constant S is modulated between 1160 and 1510 Wm-2 and the CO2 concentration, [CO2], from 90 to 2880 ppm. It is observed that in such a parameter range the climate is bistable, i.e. there are two coexisting attractors, one char- acterised by warm, moist climates (W) and one by completely frozen sea surface (Snowball Earth, SB). Linear relationships are found for the two transition lines (W→SB and SB →W) in (S,[CO2]) between S and the log- arithm of [CO2]. The dynamical and thermodynamical properties - energy fluxes, Lorenz energy cycle, Carnot efficiency, material entropy production - of the W and SB states are very different: W states are dominated by the hydrological cycle and latent heat is prominent in the material entropy production; the SB states are eminently dry climates where heat transport is realized through sensible heat fluxes and entropy mostly generated by dis- sipation of kinetic energy. We also show that the Carnot efficiency regularly increases towards each transition between W and SB, with a large decrease in each transition. Finally, we propose well-defined empirical functions al- lowing for expressing the global non-equilibrium thermodynamical properties of the system in terms of either the mean surface temperature or the mean planetary emission temperature. This paves the way for the possibility of proposing efficient parametrisations of complex non-equilibrium properties and of practically deducing fundamental properties of a planetary system from a relatively simple observable.

  3. Observations of Interstellar Formamide: Availability of a Prebiotic Precursor in the Galactic Habitable Zone

    PubMed Central

    Adande, Gilles R.; Woolf, Neville J.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We conducted a study on interstellar formamide, NH2CHO, toward star-forming regions of dense molecular clouds, using the telescopes of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). The Kitt Peak 12 m antenna and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) were used to measure multiple rotational transitions of this molecule between 100 and 250 GHz. Four new sources of formamide were found [W51M, M17 SW, G34.3, and DR21(OH)], and complementary data were obtained toward Orion-KL, W3(OH), and NGC 7538. From these observations, column densities for formamide were determined to be in the range of 1.1×1012 to 9.1×1013 cm−2, with rotational temperatures of 70–177 K. The molecule is thus present in warm gas, with abundances relative to H2 of 1×10−11 to 1×10−10. It appears to be a common constituent of star-forming regions that foster planetary systems within the galactic habitable zone, with abundances comparable to that found in comet Hale-Bopp. Formamide's presence in comets and molecular clouds suggests that the compound could have been brought to Earth by exogenous delivery, perhaps with an infall flux as high as ∼0.1 mol/km2/yr or 0.18 mmol/m2 in a single impact. Formamide has recently been proposed as a single-carbon, prebiotic source of nucleobases and nucleic acids. This study suggests that a sufficient amount of NH2CHO could have been available for such chemistry. Key Words: Formamide—Astrobiology—Radioastronomy—ISM—Comets—Meteorites. Astrobiology 13, 439–453. PMID:23654214

  4. Asteroid flux towards circumprimary habitable zones in binary star systems. II. Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bancelin, D.; Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Bazsó, Á.

    2016-06-01

    Context. Secular and mean motion resonances (MMR) are effective perturbations for shaping planetary systems. In binary star systems, they play a key role during the early and late phases of planetary formation, as well as for the dynamical stability of a planetary system. Aims: In this study, we aim to correlate the presence of orbital resonances with the rate of icy asteroids crossing the habitable zone (HZ) from a circumprimary disk of planetesimals in various binary star systems. Methods: We modelled a belt of small bodies in the inner and outer regions, interior and exterior to the orbit of a gas giant planet, respectively. The planetesimals are equally placed around a primary G-type star and move under the gravitational influence of the two stars and the gas giant. We numerically integrated the system for 50 Myr, considering various parameters for the secondary star. Its stellar type varies from a M- to F-type; its semimajor axis is either 50 au or 100 au, and its eccentricity is either 0.1 or 0.3. For comparison, we also varied the gas giant's orbital and physical parameters. Results: Our simulations highlight that a disk of planetesimals will suffer from perturbations owing to a perturbed gas giant, mean motion, and secular resonances. We show that a secular resonance - with location and width varying according to the secondary star's characteristics - can exist in the icy asteroid belt region and overlap with MMRs, which have an impact on the dynamical lifetime of the disk. In addition, we point out that, in any case, the 2:1 MMR, the 5:3 MMR, and the secular resonance are powerful perturbations for the flux of icy asteroids towards the HZ and the transport of water therein.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  6. A simple evolutional model of Habitable Zone around host stars with various mass and low metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oishi, Midori; Kamaya, Hideyuki

    2016-02-01

    Habitable Zone (HZ) is defined as a life existence area, where water at the surface of the terrestrial planet is in liquid phase. This is caused by the balance of flux from the host star and effective radiative cooling with greenhouse effect of the planet. However, the flux varies according to evolutional phase of the host star. So, a simple but newest HZ model considering stellar mass range from 0.08 to 4.00 M⊙ has been proposed. It studies both at zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) and terminal-age main sequence (TMS) phases to examine persistence of HZ. By the way, it discusses the case of the metallicity like the Sun. Actually, it is interesting to study a HZ model considering host stars with low metallicity. So, we examine the effect of metallicity, following the precedent simple model. In our analysis, metallicity affects little for HZ orbital range at ZAMS, while it affects clearly in case of TMS. Since the inner and outer HZ boundaries at TMS are shifted outward especially in the mass range from 1.5 to 2.0 M⊙, we find persistent HZ is allowed above about 1.8 M⊙. The age of the universe is 13.8 Gyr, which is comparable to main sequence life time of about 0.8 M⊙ for the low metallicity case. Then, the effect of metallicity to estimate HZ of low metallicity host stars is important for the mass range from 0.8 to 1.8 M⊙.

  7. HABITABLE ZONES AROUND MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS: DEPENDENCE ON PLANETARY MASS

    SciTech Connect

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kasting, James F.; SchottelKotte, James; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Eymet, Vincent

    2014-06-01

    The ongoing discoveries of extra-solar planets are unveiling a wide range of terrestrial mass (size) planets around their host stars. In this Letter, we present estimates of habitable zones (HZs) around stars with stellar effective temperatures in the range 2600 K-7200 K, for planetary masses between 0.1 M {sub ⊕} and 5 M {sub ⊕}. Assuming H{sub 2}O-(inner HZ) and CO{sub 2}-(outer HZ) dominated atmospheres, and scaling the background N{sub 2} atmospheric pressure with the radius of the planet, our results indicate that larger planets have wider HZs than do smaller ones. Specifically, with the assumption that smaller planets will have less dense atmospheres, the inner edge of the HZ (runaway greenhouse limit) moves outward (∼10% lower than Earth flux) for low mass planets due to larger greenhouse effect arising from the increased H{sub 2}O column depth. For larger planets, the H{sub 2}O column depth is smaller, and higher temperatures are needed before water vapor completely dominates the outgoing longwave radiation. Hence the inner edge moves inward (∼7% higher than Earth's flux). The outer HZ changes little due to the competing effects of the greenhouse effect and an increase in albedo. New, three-dimensional climate model results from other groups are also summarized, and we argue that further, independent studies are needed to verify their predictions. Combined with our previous work, the results presented here provide refined estimates of HZs around main-sequence stars and provide a step toward a more comprehensive analysis of HZs.

  8. Validation of 12 Small Kepler Transiting Planets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kipping, David M.; Fressin, Francois; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Twicken, Joseph D.; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Ciardi, David R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Muirhead, Philip S.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Petigura, Erik A.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J.; Crepp, Justin R.; Everett, Mark E.; Horch, Elliott P.; Howard, Andrew W.; Kolbl, Rea; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; McCauliff, Sean; Quintana, Elisa V.

    2015-02-01

    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 ⊕. 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.

  9. The Mt John University Observatory search for Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of α Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, Michael; Bergmann, Christoph; Hearnshaw, John; Barnes, Stuart I.; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Ramm, David; Kilmartin, Pam; Gunn, Fraser; Brogt, Erik

    2015-04-01

    The `holy grail' in planet hunting is the detection of an Earth-analogue: a planet with similar mass as the Earth and an orbit inside the habitable zone. If we can find such an Earth-analogue around one of the stars in the immediate solar neighbourhood, we could potentially even study it in such great detail to address the question of its potential habitability. Several groups have focused their planet detection efforts on the nearest stars. Our team is currently performing an intensive observing campaign on the α Centauri system using the High Efficiency and Resolution Canterbury University Large Échelle Spectrograph (Hercules) at the 1 m McLellan telescope at Mt John University Observatory in New Zealand. The goal of our project is to obtain such a large number of radial velocity (RV) measurements with sufficiently high temporal sampling to become sensitive to signals of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zones of the two stars in this binary system. Over the past few years, we have collected more than 45 000 spectra for both stars combined. These data are currently processed by an advanced version of our RV reduction pipeline, which eliminates the effect of spectral cross-contamination. Here we present simulations of the expected detection sensitivity to low-mass planets in the habitable zone by the Hercules programme for various noise levels. We also discuss our expected sensitivity to the purported Earth-mass planet in a 3.24-day orbit announced by Dumusque et al. (2012).

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25629240

  11. Toward detection of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of our closest neighbor: proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, M.; Kürster, M.

    2008-09-01

    Context: The precision of radial velocity (RV) measurements to detect indirectly planetary companions of nearby stars has improved to enable the discovery of extrasolar planets in the Neptune and Super-Earth mass range. Detections of extremely low mass planets, even as small as 1 Earth mass or below, in short-period orbits now appears conceivable in ongoing RV planet searches. Discoveries of these Earth-like planets by means of ground-based RV programs will help to determine the parameter η⊕, the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars. Aims: In search of low-mass planetary companions we monitored Proxima Centauri (M5V) as part of our M dwarf program. In the absence of a significant detection, we use these data to demonstrate the general capability of the RV method in finding terrestrial planets. For late M dwarfs the classic liquid surface water habitable zone (HZ) is located close to the star, in which circumstances the RV method is most effective. We want to demonstrate that late M dwarfs are ideal targets for the search of terrestrial planets with the RV technique. Methods: Using the iodine cell technique we obtained differential RV measurements of Proxima Cen over a time span of 7 years with the UVES spectrograph at the ESO VLT. We determine upper limits to the masses of companions in circular orbits by means of numerical simulations. Results: The RV data of Proxima Cen have a total rms scatter of 3.1~m s-1 and a period search does not reveal any significant signals. In contrast to our earlier results for Barnard's star, the RV results for the active M dwarf Proxima Cen are only weakly correlated with Hα line index measurements. As a result of our companion limit calculations, we find that we successfully recover all test signals with RV amplitudes corresponding to planets with m sin i ≥ 2-3 M_⊕ residing inside the HZ of Proxima Cen with a statistical significance of >99%. Over the same period range, we can recover 50% of the test

  12. EFFECT OF METALLICITY ON THE EVOLUTION OF THE HABITABLE ZONE FROM THE PRE-MAIN SEQUENCE TO THE ASYMPTOTIC GIANT BRANCH AND THE SEARCH FOR LIFE

    SciTech Connect

    Danchi, William C.; Lopez, Bruno E-mail: bruno.lopez@oca.eu

    2013-05-20

    During the course of stellar evolution, the location and width of the habitable zone changes as the luminosity and radius of the star evolves. The duration of habitability for a planet located at a given distance from a star is greatly affected by the characteristics of the host star. A quantification of these effects can be used observationally in the search for life around nearby stars. The longer the duration of habitability, the more likely it is that life has evolved. The preparation of observational techniques aimed at detecting life would benefit from the scientific requirements deduced from the evolution of the habitable zone. We present a study of the evolution of the habitable zone around stars of 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 M{sub Sun} for metallicities ranging from Z = 0.0001 to Z = 0.070. We also consider the evolution of the habitable zone from the pre-main sequence until the asymptotic giant branch is reached. We find that metallicity strongly affects the duration of the habitable zone for a planet as well as the distance from the host star where the duration is maximized. For a 1.0 M{sub Sun} star with near solar metallicity, Z = 0.017, the duration of the habitable zone is >10 Gyr at distances 1.2-2.0 AU from the star, whereas the duration is >20 Gyr for high-metallicity stars (Z = 0.070) at distances of 0.7-1.8 AU, and {approx}4 Gyr at distances of 1.8-3.3 AU for low-metallicity stars (Z = 0.0001). Corresponding results have been obtained for stars of 1.5 and 2.0 solar masses.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luger, Rodrigo; Barnes, Rory

    2015-01-01

    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 Myr following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase. 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. We find that the amount of water lost roughly scales with the planet mass: super-Earths, which lose water primarily via the escape of hydrogen, lose more water than Earth-mass planets, which lose water more slowly via the escape of both hydrogen and oxygen. If the surface is able to absorb most of the photolytically produced oxygen, planets around low mass M dwarfs can be completely desiccated for initial inventories of up to several tens of Earth oceans. On the other hand, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bars 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 of ~5 bars/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ~25 bars/Myr on super- Earths. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  16. "Grandeur in this view of life": N-body simulation models of the Galactic habitable zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vukotić, B.; Steinhauser, D.; Martinez-Aviles, G.; Ćirković, M. M.; Micic, M.; Schindler, S.

    2016-04-01

    We present an isolated Milky Way-like simulation in GADGET2 N-body SPH code. The Galactic disk star formation rate (SFR) surface densities and stellar mass indicative of Solar neighbourhood are used as thresholds to model the distribution of stellar mass in life friendly environments. SFR and stellar component density are calculated averaging the GADGET2 particle properties on a 2D grid mapped on the Galactic plane. The peak values for possibly habitable stellar mass surface density move from 10 to 15 kpc cylindrical galactocentric distance in 10 Gyr simulated time span. At 10 Gyr the simulation results imply the following. Stellar particles which have spent almost all of their life time in habitable friendly conditions reside typically at ˜16 kpc from Galactic centre and are ˜3 Gyr old. Stellar particles that have spent ≥90% of their 4 - 5 Gyr long life time in habitable friendly conditions, are also predominantly found in the outskirts of the Galactic disk. Less then 1% of these particles can be found at a typical Solar system galactocentric distance of 8 - 10 kpc. Our results imply that the evolution of an isolated spiral galaxy is likely to result in galactic civilizations emerging at the outskirts of the galactic disk around stellar hosts younger than the Sun.

  17. `Grandeur in this view of life': N-body simulation models of the Galactic habitable zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vukotić, B.; Steinhauser, D.; Martinez-Aviles, G.; Ćirković, M. M.; Micic, M.; Schindler, S.

    2016-07-01

    We present an isolated Milky-Way-like simulation in the GADGET2 N-body smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code. The Galactic disc star formation rate (SFR) surface densities and a stellar mass indicative of the Solar neighbourhood are used as thresholds to model the distribution of stellar mass in life-friendly environments. SFR and stellar component density are calculated by averaging the GADGET2 particle properties on a 2D grid mapped on the Galactic plane. The peak values for possibly habitable stellar mass surface density move from 10 to 15 kpc cylindrical galactocentric distance in a 10-Gyr simulated time span. At 10 Gyr, the simulation results imply the following. Stellar particles that have spent almost all of their lifetime in habitable-friendly conditions typically reside at ˜16 kpc from the Galactic Centre and are ˜3 Gyr old. Stellar particles that have spent ≥90 per cent of their 4-5 Gyr long lifetime in habitable-friendly conditions are also predominantly found in the outskirts of the Galactic disc. Fewer than 1 per cent of these particles can be found at a typical Solar system galactocentric distance of 8-10 kpc. Our results imply that the evolution of an isolated spiral galaxy is likely to result in galactic civilizations emerging at the outskirts of the galactic disc around stellar hosts younger than the Sun.

  18. The Inhabitance Paradox: how habitability and inhabitancy are inseparable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldblatt, C.

    2015-12-01

    The dominant paradigm in assigning "habitability" to terrestrial planets is to define a circumstellar habitable zone: the locus of orbital radii in which the planet is neither too hot nor too cold for life as we know it. One dimensional climate models have put theoretically impressive boundaries on this: a runaway greenhouse or water loss at the inner edge (Venus), and low-latitude glaciation followed by formation of CO2 clouds at the outer edge. A cottage industry now exists to "refine" the definition of these boundaries each year to the third decimal place of an AU. Using exactly that kind of model, I'll show that the different climate states can overlap very substantially and that "snowball Earth", temperate climate and a post-runaway climate can all be stable under the same solar flux. Furthermore, the radial extent of the temperature climate band is very narrow for pure water atmospheres. The width of the habitable zone is determined by the atmospheric inventories of di-nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Yet Earth teaches us that these abundances are very heavily influenced (perhaps even controlled) by biology. This is paradoxical: the habitable zone seeks to define the region a planet should be capable of harbouring life; yet whether the planet is inhabited will determine whether the climate may be habitable at any given distance from the star. This matters, because future life detection missions may use habitable zone boundaries in mission design. A historical view of solar system exploration helps frame the problem; robotic exploration of the outer solar system revealed the un-imagined nature of the Jovian and Saturnian moons, whilst showing that the Venusian jungle died long ago. Prediction will fall to data but the unexpected may emerge. To soften that fall we should revise the paradigm of habitability to acknowledge that habitability depends on inhabitance; for life as we know it is a planetary scale--and planet dominating--phenomenon.

  19. DIAGNOSING CIRCUMSTELLAR DEBRIS DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, Joseph M.

    2010-08-20

    A numerical model of a circumstellar debris disk is developed and applied to observations of the circumstellar dust orbiting {beta} Pictoris. The model accounts for the rates at which dust is produced by collisions among unseen planetesimals, and the rate at which dust grains are destroyed due to collisions. The model also accounts for the effects of radiation pressure, which is the dominant perturbation on the disk's smaller but abundant dust grains. Solving the resulting system of rate equations then provides the dust abundances versus grain size and dust abundances over time. Those solutions also provide the dust grains' collisional lifetime versus grain size, and the debris disk's optical depth and surface brightness versus distance from the star. Comparison to observations then yields estimates of the unseen planetesimal disk's radius, and the rate at which the disk sheds mass due to planetesimal grinding. The model can also be used to measure or else constrain the dust grain's physical and optical properties, such as the dust grains' strength, their light-scattering asymmetry parameter, and the grains' efficiency of light scattering Q{sub s}. The model is then applied to optical observations of the edge-on dust disk orbiting {beta} Pictoris, and good agreement is achieved when the unseen planetesimal disk is broad, with 75 {approx}< r {approx}< 150 AU. If it is assumed that the dust grains are bright like Saturn's icy rings (Q{sub s} = 0.7), then the cross section of dust in the disk is A{sub d} {approx_equal} 2 x 10{sup 20} km{sup 2} and its mass is M{sub d} {approx_equal} 11 lunar masses. In this case, the planetesimal disk's dust-production rate is quite heavy, M-dot {sub d{approx}}9 M {sub +} Myr{sup -1}, implying that there is or was a substantial amount of planetesimal mass there, at least 110 Earth masses. If the dust grains are darker than assumed, then the planetesimal disk's mass-loss rate and its total mass are heavier. In fact, the apparent dearth

  20. STRONG DEPENDENCE OF THE INNER EDGE OF THE HABITABLE ZONE ON PLANETARY ROTATION RATE

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S.; Boué, Gwenaël; Fabrycky, Daniel C.

    2014-05-20

    Planetary rotation rate is a key parameter in determining atmospheric circulation and hence the spatial pattern of clouds. Since clouds can exert a dominant control on planetary radiation balance, rotation rate could be critical for determining the mean planetary climate. Here we investigate this idea using a three-dimensional general circulation model with a sophisticated cloud scheme. We find that slowly rotating planets (like Venus) can maintain an Earth-like climate at nearly twice the stellar flux as rapidly rotating planets (like Earth). This suggests that many exoplanets previously believed to be too hot may actually be habitable, depending on their rotation rate. The explanation for this behavior is that slowly rotating planets have a weak Coriolis force and long daytime illumination, which promotes strong convergence and convection in the substellar region. This produces a large area of optically thick clouds, which greatly increases the planetary albedo. In contrast, on rapidly rotating planets a much narrower belt of clouds form in the deep tropics, leading to a relatively low albedo. A particularly striking example of the importance of rotation rate suggested by our simulations is that a planet with modern Earth's atmosphere, in Venus' orbit, and with modern Venus' (slow) rotation rate would be habitable. This would imply that if Venus went through a runaway greenhouse, it had a higher rotation rate at that time.

  1. Circumstellar grain formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draine, B. T.

    1986-01-01

    Dust formation around cool giant and supergiant stars is examined in terms of grain formulation. Optical properties of small clusters, molecular physics of cluster nucleation and growth, circumstellar mass flows, and their application to alpha Ori are discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    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.

  3. Differences in Water Vapor Radiative Transfer among 1D Models Can Significantly Affect the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jun; Leconte, Jérémy; Wolf, Eric T.; Goldblatt, Colin; Feldl, Nicole; Merlis, Timothy; Wang, Yuwei; Koll, Daniel D. B.; Ding, Feng; Forget, François; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2016-08-01

    An accurate estimate of the inner edge of the habitable zone is critical for determining which exoplanets are potentially habitable and for designing future telescopes to observe them. Here, we explore differences in estimating the inner edge among seven one-dimensional radiative transfer models: two line-by-line codes (SMART and LBLRTM) as well as five band codes (CAM3, CAM4_Wolf, LMDG, SBDART, and AM2) that are currently being used in global climate models. We compare radiative fluxes and spectra in clear-sky conditions around G and M stars, with fixed moist adiabatic profiles for surface temperatures from 250 to 360 K. We find that divergences among the models arise mainly from large uncertainties in water vapor absorption in the window region (10 μm) and in the region between 0.2 and 1.5 μm. Differences in outgoing longwave radiation increase with surface temperature and reach 10–20 W m‑2 differences in shortwave reach up to 60 W m‑2, especially at the surface and in the troposphere, and are larger for an M-dwarf spectrum than a solar spectrum. Differences between the two line-by-line models are significant, although smaller than among the band models. Our results imply that the uncertainty in estimating the insolation threshold of the inner edge (the runaway greenhouse limit) due only to clear-sky radiative transfer is ≈10% of modern Earth’s solar constant (i.e., ≈34 W m‑2 in global mean) among band models and ≈3% between the two line-by-line models. These comparisons show that future work is needed that focuses on improving water vapor absorption coefficients in both shortwave and longwave, as well as on increasing the resolution of stellar spectra in broadband models.

  4. Atmospheric expansion in runaway greenhouse atmospheres: the inner edge of the habitable zone depends on planet mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldblatt, C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2014-12-01

    As a wet planet becomes hot, evaporation of the ocean provides a thick steam atmosphere. As the atmosphere thickens, the level at which optical depth is unity (whence radiative emission and absorption dominantly occur) rises into the atmosphere, first for thermal wavelengths and later for solar wavelengths. Consequently, two radiation limits emerge. First, an asymptotic limit on the thermal radiation, as the level at which thermal emission occurs tends towards a fixed temperature, decoupled from surface temperature. Next, a limit the albedo of the planet, as all incoming sunlight is either reflected or absorbed in the atmosphere and almost none reaches the surface. A runaway greenhouse occurs when the product of co-albedo and area-averaged incoming sunlight exceeds the thermal radiation limit. Earth today is perilously close to this [1].Returning to the first sentence, we generate a thick atmosphere: the height of optical depth of unity becomes a non-trivial fraction of the planetary radius. Hence the area of the absorbing and emitting surfaces increase. Thermal emission wins slightly, as this occurs higher, increasing thermal emission in all cases. The underlying tendency is for a larger thermal limit for heavier planets due to pressure effects, making these appear more resistant to a runaway. However, atmospheric expansion affects light planets more, making these seem much more resilient. The least resilient planet would be between Mars-size and Venus-size (Figure 1). It would be foolish to regard small planets as habitable. As the atmospheres become large, so does the problem of atmospheric escape. Theoretical considerations show hydrodynamic escape to happen disastrously for a Europa-size planet. The observation is that Mars is too feeble to hold on to any hefty atmosphere, even far from the Sun as it is, is probably relevant too. The take home points for habitable zone nerds are: (1) planet size matters (2) for small planets, atmospheric escape from a "moist

  5. Occurrence and food habits of the round goby in the profundal zone of southwestern Lake Ontario

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walsh, M.G.; Dittman, D.E.; O'Gorman, R.

    2007-01-01

    Little is known about the ecology of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), an invasive benthic fish, in the profundal zone of the Great Lakes. In April 2002–2005 we caught increasing numbers of round gobies with a bottom trawl in the 45–150 m depth range of southwestern Lake Ontario. In 2005, we examined gut contents of 30 round gobies from each of three depths, 55, 95, and 130 m, and qualitatively compared gut contents with density of benthic invertebrates determined by Ponar grabs. Round goby guts contained mostly Dreissena spp. and opposum shrimp, Mysis relicta (Mysis); the frequency of occurrence of dreissenids in guts decreased with depth, whereas the frequency of occurrence of Mysis in guts increased with depth. Abundance of these invertebrates in the environment followed the same pattern, although dreissenids of optimum edible size (3–12 mm) were still abundant (1,373/m2) at 130 m, where round gobies primarily consumed Mysis, suggesting that round gobies may switch from dreissenids to more profitable prey when it is available. Other food items were ostracods and fish, with ostracods generally eaten by smaller round gobies and fish eaten by larger round gobies. Occurrence and increasing abundance of round gobies in the profundal zone and predation on Mysis by round goby could have far-reaching consequences for the Lake Ontario fish community.

  6. The habitable-zone planet finder: a stabilized fiber-fed NIR spectrograph for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadevan, Suvrath; Ramsey, Lawrence; Bender, Chad; Terrien, Ryan; Wright, Jason T.; Halverson, Sam; Hearty, Fred; Nelson, Matt; Burton, Adam; Redman, Stephen; Osterman, Steven; Diddams, Scott; Kasting, James; Endl, Michael; Deshpande, Rohit

    2012-09-01

    We present the scientific motivation and conceptual design for the recently funded Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF), a stabilized fiber-fed near-infrared (NIR) spectrograph for the 10 meter class Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) that will be capable of discovering low mass planets around M dwarfs. The HPF will cover the NIR Y and J bands to enable precise radial velocities to be obtained on mid M dwarfs, and enable the detection of low mass planets around these stars. The conceptual design is comprised of a cryostat cooled to 200K, a dual fiber-feed with a science and calibration fiber, a gold coated mosaic echelle grating, and a Teledyne Hawaii-2RG (H2RG) *NIR detector with a 1.7μm cutoff. A uranium-neon hollow-cathode lamp is the baseline wavelength calibration source, and we are actively testing laser frequency combs to enable even higher radial velocity precision. We will present the overall instrument system design and integration with the HET, and discuss major system challenges, key choices, and ongoing research and development projects to mitigate risk. We also discuss the ongoing process of target selection for the HPF survey.

  7. Delayed Gratification Habitable Zones (DG-HZs): When Deep Outer Solar System Regions Become Balmy During Post-Main Sequence Stellar Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. A.

    2002-09-01

    Late in the Sun's evolution it, like all low and moderate mass stars, it will burn as a red giant, generating 1000s of solar luminosities for a few tens of millions of years. A dozen years ago this stage of stellar evolution was predicted to create observable sublimation signatures in systems where Kuiper Belts (KBs) are extant (Stern et al. 1990, Nature, 345, 305); recently, the SWAS spacecraft detected such systems (Melnick et al. 2001, 412, 160). During the red giant phase, the habitable zone of our solar system will lie in the region where Triton, Pluto-Charon, and KBOs orbit. Compared to the 1 AU habitable zone where Earth resided early in the solar system's history, this "delayed gratification habitable zone (DG-HZ)" will enjoy a far less biologically hazardous environment-- with far lower harmful UV radiation levels from the Sun, and a far quieter collisional environment. Objects like Triton, Pluto-Charon, and KBOs, which are known to be rich in both water and organics, will then become possible sites for biochemical and perhaps even biological evolution. The Sun's DG-HZ may only be of academic interest owing to its great separation from us in time. However, several 108 approximately solar-type Milky Way stars burn as luminous red giants today. Thus, if icy-organic objects are common in the 20-50 AU zones of these stars, as they are in our solar system (and as inferred in numerous main sequence stellar disk systems), then DG-HZs form a kind of niche habitable zone that is likely to be numerically common in the galaxy. I will show the calculated temporal evolution of DG-HZs around various stellar types using modern stellar evolution luminosity tracks, and then discuss various aspects of DG-HZs, including the effects of stellar pulsations and mass loss winds. This work was supported by NASA's Origins of Solar Systems Program.

  8. A dynamically-packed planetary system around GJ 667C with three super-Earths in its habitable zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Tuomi, Mikko; Gerlach, Enrico; Barnes, Rory; Heller, René; Jenkins, James S.; Wende, Sebastian; Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Reiners, Ansgar; Jones, Hugh R. A.

    2013-08-01

    centered on the only island of stability left in the six-planet solution. Habitability assessments accounting for the stellar flux, as well as tidal dissipation effects, indicate that three (maybe four) planets are potentially habitable. Doppler and space-based transit surveys indicate that 1) dynamically packed systems of super-Earths are relatively abundant and 2) M-dwarfs have more small planets than earlier-type stars. These two trends together suggest that GJ 667C is one of the first members of an emerging population of M-stars with multiple low-mass planets in their habitable zones. Based on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility under request number ANGLADA36104. Such data had been previously obtained with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope under the programs 183.C-0437, 072.C-0488 and 088.C-0662, and with the UVES spectrograph at the Very Large Telescopes under the program 087.D-0069. This study also contains observations obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory - which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology - and observations obtained with the Magellan Telescopes, operated by the Carnegie Institution, Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of Arizona, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Time-series (Table C.2) are 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/556/A126Appendices except Table C.2 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  9. Dust in circumstellar disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodmann, Jens

    2006-02-01

    This thesis presents observational and theoretical studies of the size and spatial distribution of dust particles in circumstellar disks. Using millimetre interferometric observations of optically thick disks around T Tauri stars, I provide conclusive evidence for the presence of millimetre- to centimetre-sized dust aggregates. These findings demonstrate that dust grain growth to pebble-sized dust particles is completed within less than 1 Myr in the outer disks around low-mass pre-main-sequence stars. The modelling of the infrared spectral energy distributions of several solar-type main-sequence stars and their associated circumstellar debris disks reveals the ubiquity of inner gaps devoid of substantial amounts of dust among Vega-type infrared excess sources. It is argued that the absence of circumstellar material in the inner disks is most likely the result of the gravitational influence of a large planet and/or a lack of dust-producing minor bodies in the dust-free region. Finally, I describe a numerical model to simulate the dynamical evolution of dust particles in debris disks, taking into account the gravitational perturbations by planets, photon radiation pressure, and dissipative drag forces due to the Poynting-Robertson effect and stellar wind. The validity of the code it established by several tests and comparison to semi-analytic approximations. The debris disk model is applied to simulate the main structural features of a ring of circumstellar material around the main-sequence star HD 181327. The best agreement between model and observation is achieved for dust grains a few tens of microns in size locked in the 1:1 resonance with a Jupiter-mass planet (or above) on a circular orbit.

  10. Discovery and Validation of Kepler-452b: A 1.6 R⨁ Super Earth Exoplanet in the Habitable Zone of a G2 Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Twicken, Joseph D.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Latham, David W.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Seader, Shawn; Bieryla, Allyson; Petigura, Erik; Ciardi, David R.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Huber, Daniel; Rowe, Jason F.; Torres, Guillermo; Bryson, Stephen T.; Buchhave, Lars; Ramirez, Ivan; Wolfgang, Angie; Li, Jie; Campbell, Jennifer R.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Sanderfer, Dwight; Henze, Christopher E.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Borucki, William J.

    2015-08-01

    We report on the discovery and validation of Kepler-452b, a transiting planet identified by a search through the 4 years of data collected by NASA’s Kepler Mission. This possibly rocky {1.63}-0.20+0.23 {R}\\oplus planet orbits its G2 host star every {384.843}-0.012+0.007 days, the longest orbital period for a small ({R}{{P}}\\lt 2 {R}\\oplus ) transiting exoplanet to date. The likelihood that this planet has a rocky composition lies between 49% and 62%. The star has an effective temperature of 5757 ± 85 K and a {log}g of 4.32 ± 0.09. At a mean orbital separation of {1.046}-0.015+0.019 AU, this small planet is well within the optimistic habitable zone of its star (recent Venus/early Mars), experiencing only 10% more flux than Earth receives from the Sun today, and slightly outside the conservative habitable zone (runaway greenhouse/maximum greenhouse). The star is slightly larger and older than the Sun, with a present radius of {1.11}-0.09+0.15 {R}⊙ and an estimated age of ˜6 Gyr. Thus, Kepler-452b has likely always been in the habitable zone and should remain there for another ˜3 Gyr.

  11. The Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone for Synchronously Rotating Planets around Low-mass Stars Using General Circulation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi kumar; Wolf, Eric T.; Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Yang, Jun; Kasting, James F.; Meadows, Victoria; Terrien, Ryan; Mahadevan, Suvrath

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial planets at the inner edge of the habitable zone (HZ) of late-K and M-dwarf stars are expected to be in synchronous rotation, as a consequence of strong tidal interactions with their host stars. Previous global climate model (GCM) studies have shown that, for slowly rotating planets, strong convection at the substellar point can create optically thick water clouds, increasing the planetary albedo, and thus stabilizing the climate against a thermal runaway. However these studies did not use self-consistent orbital/rotational periods for synchronously rotating planets placed at different distances from the host star. Here we provide new estimates of the inner edge of the HZ for synchronously rotating terrestrial planets around late-K and M-dwarf stars using a 3D Earth-analog GCM with self-consistent relationships between stellar metallicity, stellar effective temperature, and the planetary orbital/rotational period. We find that both atmospheric dynamics and the efficacy of the substellar cloud deck are sensitive to the precise rotation rate of the planet. Around mid-to-late M-dwarf stars with low metallicity, planetary rotation rates at the inner edge of the HZ become faster, and the inner edge of the HZ is farther away from the host stars than in previous GCM studies. For an Earth-sized planet, the dynamical regime of the substellar clouds begins to transition as the rotation rate approaches ∼10 days. These faster rotation rates produce stronger zonal winds that encircle the planet and smear the substellar clouds around it, lowering the planetary albedo, and causing the onset of the water-vapor greenhouse climatic instability to occur at up to ∼25% lower incident stellar fluxes than found in previous GCM studies. For mid-to-late M-dwarf stars with high metallicity and for mid-K to early-M stars, we agree with previous studies.

  12. Determining the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone Around M and late K-Stars Using 3-D Climate Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi; Wolf, Eric T.; Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Jun, Yang; Kasting, James; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Terrien, Ryan

    2015-12-01

    We present preliminary results for the inner edge of the habitable zone (HZ) around M and late K-stars, calculated from state of the art 3-D global climate models, the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model and Flexible Modeling System (FMS) developed by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. Both 1-D and 3-D models show that, for a water-rich planet, as the surface temperature increases due to increased stellar radiation, water vapor becomes a significant fraction of the atmosphere. M- and late K-stars have their peak flux in the near-infrared, where water is a strong absorber. Our models have been updated with a new radiation scheme and with H2O absorption coefficients derived from the most recent line-by-line databases (HITRAN2012 and HITEMP2010). These updates will most likely result in moving the inner edge of the HZ around M and late-K stars further away from the star than previous estimates. The initial targets for survey missions such as K2 and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will likely be planets near the inner edge of the HZ due to the increased signal-to-noise ratio that results from their proximity to their host star. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) may be capable of probing the atmospheric composition of terrestrial planets around a nearby M-dwarf. Thus, determining the most accurate inner edge of the HZ around M-dwarf stars is crucial for selecting target candidates for atmospheric characterization and to identify potential biomarkers.

  13. The structure of circumstellar shells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fix, John D.

    1993-01-01

    This document provides a report on research activities carried out with the support of NASA grant NAG 5-1174, the Structure of Circumstellar Shells, funded under the Astrophysics Data Program. The research carried out with the support of this grant is a study of the properties of circumstellar dust shells for which spectra are available through IRAS low resolution spectrometry (LRS). This research consisted of the development and application of models of axisymmetric circumstellar shells and a preliminary survey of the applicability of neural nets for analysis of the IRAS LRS spectra of circumstellar dust shells.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2013-04-10

    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{sup +0.13}{sub -0.06} per star for Earth-size planets (0.5-1.4 R{sub Circled-Plus }). 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{sub Circled-Plus }, when we reanalyze their results, we obtain a terrestrial planet frequency of 0.48{sup +0.12}{sub -0.24} and 0.53{sup +0.08}{sub -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{sub Circled-Plus }, the frequency increases to 0.51{sup +0.10}{sub -0.20} per star for the conservative estimate and to 0.61{sup +0.07}{sub -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{sup +0.54}{sub -0.13}). So, the potential for finding Earth-like planets around M stars may be higher than previously reported.

  15. How do changes in the Diurnal Cycle affect Bi-stability and Climate Sensitivity in the Habitable Zone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boschi, R.; Valerio, L.

    2013-09-01

    fundamental properties of planets in the habitable zone from relatively simple observables.

  16. PLANET HUNTERS. V. A CONFIRMED JUPITER-SIZE PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE AND 42 PLANET CANDIDATES FROM THE KEPLER ARCHIVE DATA

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Schmitt, Joseph R.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Barclay, Thomas; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Jek, Kian J.; Hoekstra, Abe J.; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; LaCourse, Daryll; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Lynn, Stuart; Schawinski, Kevin; and others

    2013-10-10

    We report the latest Planet Hunter results, including PH2 b, a Jupiter-size (R{sub PL} = 10.12 ± 0.56 R{sub ⊕}) planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a solar-type star. PH2 b was elevated from candidate status when a series of false-positive tests yielded a 99.9% confidence level that transit events detected around the star KIC 12735740 had a planetary origin. Planet Hunter volunteers have also discovered 42 new planet candidates in the Kepler public archive data, of which 33 have at least 3 transits recorded. Most of these transit candidates have orbital periods longer than 100 days and 20 are potentially located in the habitable zones of their host stars. Nine candidates were detected with only two transit events and the prospective periods are longer than 400 days. The photometric models suggest that these objects have radii that range between those of Neptune and Jupiter. These detections nearly double the number of gas-giant planet candidates orbiting at habitable-zone distances. We conducted spectroscopic observations for nine of the brighter targets to improve the stellar parameters and we obtained adaptive optics imaging for four of the stars to search for blended background or foreground stars that could confuse our photometric modeling. We present an iterative analysis method to derive the stellar and planet properties and uncertainties by combining the available spectroscopic parameters, stellar evolution models, and transiting light curve parameters, weighted by the measurement errors. Planet Hunters is a citizen science project that crowd sources the assessment of NASA Kepler light curves. The discovery of these 43 planet candidates demonstrates the success of citizen scientists at identifying planet candidates, even in longer period orbits with only two or three transit events.

  17. Formation, Habitability, and Detection of Extrasolar Moons

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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. Key Words: Astrobiology—Extrasolar planets—Habitability—Planetary science—Tides. Astrobiology 14, 798–835. PMID:25147963

  18. Formation, Habitability, and Detection of Extrasolar Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heller, René; Williams, Darren; Kipping, David; Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin; Greenberg, Richard; Sasaki, Takanori; Bolmont, Émeline; 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25147963

  20. Confirmation of Circumstellar Phosphine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agúndez, M.; Cernicharo, J.; Decin, L.; Encrenaz, P.; Teyssier, D.

    2014-08-01

    Phosphine (PH3) was tentatively identified a few years ago in the carbon star envelopes IRC +10216 and CRL 2688 from observations of an emission line at 266.9 GHz attributable to the J = 1-0 rotational transition. We report the detection of the J = 2-1 rotational transition of PH3 in IRC +10216 using the HIFI instrument on board Herschel, which definitively confirms the identification of PH3. Radiative transfer calculations indicate that infrared pumping in excited vibrational states plays an important role in the excitation of PH3 in the envelope of IRC +10216, and that the observed lines are consistent with phosphine being formed anywhere between the star and 100 R * from the star, with an abundance of 10-8 relative to H2. The detection of PH3 challenges chemical models, none of which offer a satisfactory formation scenario. Although PH3 holds just 2% of the total available phosphorus in IRC +10216, it is, together with HCP, one of the major gas phase carriers of phosphorus in the inner circumstellar layers, suggesting that it could also be an important phosphorus species in other astronomical environments. This is the first unambiguous detection of PH3 outside the solar system, and is a further step toward a better understanding of the chemistry of phosphorus in space.

  1. CONFIRMATION OF CIRCUMSTELLAR PHOSPHINE

    SciTech Connect

    Agúndez, M.; Cernicharo, J.; Encrenaz, P.; Teyssier, D.

    2014-08-01

    Phosphine (PH{sub 3}) was tentatively identified a few years ago in the carbon star envelopes IRC +10216 and CRL 2688 from observations of an emission line at 266.9 GHz attributable to the J = 1-0 rotational transition. We report the detection of the J = 2-1 rotational transition of PH{sub 3} in IRC +10216 using the HIFI instrument on board Herschel, which definitively confirms the identification of PH{sub 3}. Radiative transfer calculations indicate that infrared pumping in excited vibrational states plays an important role in the excitation of PH{sub 3} in the envelope of IRC +10216, and that the observed lines are consistent with phosphine being formed anywhere between the star and 100 R {sub *} from the star, with an abundance of 10{sup –8} relative to H{sub 2}. The detection of PH{sub 3} challenges chemical models, none of which offer a satisfactory formation scenario. Although PH{sub 3} holds just 2% of the total available phosphorus in IRC +10216, it is, together with HCP, one of the major gas phase carriers of phosphorus in the inner circumstellar layers, suggesting that it could also be an important phosphorus species in other astronomical environments. This is the first unambiguous detection of PH{sub 3} outside the solar system, and is a further step toward a better understanding of the chemistry of phosphorus in space.

  2. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A 3.1 M{sub +} PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE NEARBY M3V STAR GLIESE 581

    SciTech Connect

    Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, E. J.; Haghighipour, N.; Henry, Gregory W.; Williamson, Michael H.

    2010-11-01

    We present 11 years of HIRES precision radial velocities (RVs) of the nearby M3V star Gliese 581, combining our data set of 122 precision RVs with an existing published 4.3-year set of 119 HARPS precision RVs. The velocity set now indicates six companions in Keplerian motion around this star. Differential photometry indicates a likely stellar rotation period of {approx}94 days and reveals no significant periodic variability at any of the Keplerian periods, supporting planetary orbital motion as the cause of all the RV variations. The combined data set strongly confirms the 5.37-day, 12.9-day, 3.15-day, and 67-day planets previously announced by Bonfils et al., Udry et al., and Mayor et al.. The observations also indicate a fifth planet in the system, GJ 581f, a minimum-mass 7.0 M{sub +} planet orbiting in a 0.758 AU orbit of period 433 days, and a sixth planet, GJ 581g, a minimum-mass 3.1 M{sub +} planet orbiting at 0.146 AU with a period of 36.6 days. The estimated equilibrium temperature of GJ 581g is 228 K, placing it squarely in the middle of the habitable zone of the star and offering a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet around a very nearby star. That a system harboring a potentially habitable planet has been found this nearby, and this soon in the relatively early history of precision RV surveys, indicates that {eta}{sub +}, the fraction of stars with potentially habitable planets, is likely to be substantial. This detection, coupled with statistics of the incompleteness of present-day precision RV surveys for volume-limited samples of stars in the immediate solar neighborhood, suggests that {eta}{sub +} could well be on the order of a few tens of percent. If the local stellar neighborhood is a representative sample of the galaxy as a whole, our Milky Way could be teeming with potentially habitable planets.

  3. Interstellar and Circumstellar Fullerenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernard-Salas, J.; Cami, J.; Jones, A.; Peeters, E.; Micelotta, E.; Otsuka, M.; Sloan, G. C.; Kemper, F.; Groenewegen, M.

    Fullerenes are a particularly stable class of carbon molecules in the shape of a hollow sphere or ellipsoid that might be formed in the outflows of carbon stars. Once injected into the interstellar medium (ISM), these stable species survive and are thus likely to be widespread in the Galaxy where they contribute to interstellar extinction, heating processes, and complex chemical reactions. In recent years, the fullerene species C60 (and to a lesser extent C70 ) have been detected in a wide variety of circumstellar and interstellar environments showing that when conditions are favourable, fullerenes are formed efficiently. Fullerenes are the first and only large aromatics firmly identified in space. The detection of fullerenes is thus crucial to provide clues as to the key chemical pathways leading to the formation of large complex organic molecules in space, and offers a great diagnostic tool to describe the environment in which they reside. Since fullerenes share many physical properties with PAHs, understanding how fullerenes form, evolve and respond to their physical environment will yield important insights into one of the largest reservoirs of organic material in space. In spite of all these detections, many questions remain about precisely which members of the fullerene family are present in space, how they form and evolve, and what their excitation mechanism is. We present here an overview of what we know from astronomical observations of fullerenes in these different environments, and discuss current thinking about the excitation process. We highlight the various formation mechanisms that have been proposed, discuss the physical conditions conducive to the formation and/or detection of fullerenes in carbon stars, and their possible connection to PAHs, HACs and other dust features.

  4. The effects of circumstellar gas on terrestrial planet formation: Theory and observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandell, Avram M.

    the remaining planets would be located in the Habitable Zone, suggesting that planetary systems with close-in giant planets are viable targets for searches for Earth-like habitable planets around other stars. I then present more realistic dynamical simulations of the effects of a migrating giant planet on a disk of protoplanetary material embedded in a gaseous disk, and the subsequent post-scattering evolution of the planetary system. I numerically investigate the dynamics of several types of post-migration planetary systems over 200 million years: a model with a single migrating giant planet, a model with one migrating and one nonmigrating giant planet, and a model excluding the effects of the gas disk. Material that is shepherded in front of the migrating giant planet by moving mean motion resonances accretes into "hot Earths", but survival of these bodies is strongly dependent on dynamical damping. Furthermore, a significant amount of material scattered outward by the giant planet survives in highly excited orbits; the orbits of these scattered bodies are then damped by gas drag and dynamical friction over the remaining accretion time. In all simulations Earth-mass planets accrete on approximately 100 Myr timescales, often with orbits in the Habitable Zone. These planets range in mass and water content, with both quantities increasing with the presence of a gas disk and decreasing with the presence of an outer giant planet. I use scaling arguments and previous results to derive a simple recipe that constrains which giant planet systems are able to form and harbor Earth-like planets in the Habitable Zone, demonstrating that roughly one third of the known planetary systems are potentially habitable. Finally, I present results from a search for new molecular tracers of warm gas in circumstellar disks using the NIRSPEC instrument on the Keck II telescope. I have detected emission from multiple ro-vibrational transitions in the v = 1--0 band of hydroxyl (OH) located in

  5. A Joint Approach to the Study of S-Type and P-Type Habitable Zones in Binary Systems: New Results in the View of 3-D Planetary Climate Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuntz, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    In two previous papers, given by Cuntz (2014a,b) [ApJ 780, A14 (19 pages); arXiv:1409.3796], a comprehensive approach has been provided for the study of S-type and P-type habitable zones in stellar binary systems, P-type orbits occur when the planet orbits both binary components, whereas in case of S-type orbits, the planet orbits only one of the binary components with the second component considered a perturbator. The selected approach considers a variety of aspects, including (1) the consideration of a joint constraint including orbital stability and a habitable region for a possible system planet through the stellar radiative energy fluxes; (2) the treatment of conservative (CHZ), general (GHZ) and extended zones of habitability (EHZ) [see Paper I for definitions] for the systems as previously defined for the Solar System; (3) the provision of a combined formalism for the assessment of both S-type and P-type habitability; in particular, mathematical criteria are devised for which kind of system S-type and P-type habitability is realized; and (4) the applications of the theoretical approach to systems with the stars in different kinds of orbits, including elliptical orbits (the most expected case). Particularly, an algebraic formalism for the assessment of both S-type and P-type habitability is given based on a higher-order polynomial expression. Thus, an a prior specification for the presence or absence of S-type or P-type radiative habitable zones is - from a mathematical point of view - neither necessary nor possible, as those are determined by the adopted formalism. Previously, numerous applications of the method have been given encompassing theoretical star-panet systems and and observations. Most recently, this method has been upgraded to include recent studies of 3-D planetary climate models. Originally, this type of work affects the extent and position of habitable zones around single stars; however, it has also profound consequence for the habitable

  6. Habit formation.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27069378

  7. Habit formation

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. The Copernicus observations - Interstellar or circumstellar material. [UV spectra of early stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steigman, G.; Strittmatter, P. A.; Williams, R. E.

    1975-01-01

    It is suggested that the sharp absorption lines observed in the ultraviolet spectra of early-type stars by the Copernicus satellite may be entirely accounted for by the circumstellar material in the H II regions and associated transition zones around the observed stars. If this interpretation is correct, the Copernicus results yield little information on the state of any interstellar (as opposed to circumstellar) gas and, in particular, shed little light on the degree of element depletion in interstellar space.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.; Horch, Elliott P.; Everett, Mark E.

    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.

  10. The HARPS search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. I. Very low-mass planets around HD 20794, HD 85512, and HD 192310

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepe, F.; Lovis, C.; Ségransan, D.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Dumusque, X.; Mayor, M.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Udry, S.

    2011-10-01

    Context. In 2009 we started an intense radial-velocity monitoring of a few nearby, slowly-rotating and quiet solar-type stars within the dedicated HARPS-Upgrade GTO program. Aims: The goal of this campaign is to gather very-precise radial-velocity data with high cadence and continuity to detect tiny signatures of very-low-mass stars that are potentially present in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Methods: Ten stars were selected among the most stable stars of the original HARPS high-precision program that are uniformly spread in hour angle, such that three to four of them are observable at any time of the year. For each star we recorded 50 data points spread over the observing season. The data points consist of three nightly observations with a total integration time of 10 min each and are separated by two hours. This is an observational strategy adopted to minimize stellar pulsation and granulation noise. Results: We present the first results of this ambitious program. The radial-velocity data and the orbital parameters of five new and one confirmed low-mass planets around the stars HD 20794, HD 85512, and HD 192310 are reported and discussed, among which is a system of three super-Earths and one that harbors a 3.6 M⊕-planet at the inner edge of the habitable zone. Conclusions: This result already confirms previous indications that low-mass planets seem to be very frequent around solar-type stars and that this may occur with a frequency higher than 30%. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on ESO's 3.6 m telescope at the La Silla Observatory in the frame of the HARPS-Upgrade GTO program ID 086.C-0230.Tables 7-9 (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/534/A58

  11. Age aspects of habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safonova, M.; Murthy, J.; Shchekinov, Yu. A.

    2016-04-01

    A `habitable zone' of a star is defined as a range of orbits within which a rocky planet can support liquid water on its surface. The most intriguing question driving the search for habitable planets is whether they host life. But is the age of the planet important for its habitability? If we define habitability as the ability of a planet to beget life, then probably it is not. After all, life on Earth has developed within only ~800 Myr after its formation - the carbon isotope change detected in the oldest rocks indicates the existence of already active life at least 3.8 Gyr ago. If, however, we define habitability as our ability to detect life on the surface of exoplanets, then age becomes a crucial parameter. Only after life had evolved sufficiently complex to change its environment on a planetary scale, can we detect it remotely through its imprint on the atmosphere - the so-called biosignatures, out of which the photosynthetic oxygen is the most prominent indicator of developed (complex) life as we know it. Thus, photosynthesis is a powerful biogenic engine that is known to have changed our planet's global atmospheric properties. The importance of planetary age for the detectability of life as we know it follows from the fact that this primary process, photosynthesis, is endothermic with an activation energy higher than temperatures in habitable zones, and is sensitive to the particular thermal conditions of the planet. Therefore, the onset of photosynthesis on planets in habitable zones may take much longer time than the planetary age. The knowledge of the age of a planet is necessary for developing a strategy to search for exoplanets carrying complex (developed) life - many confirmed potentially habitable planets are too young (orbiting Population I stars) and may not have had enough time to develop and/or sustain detectable life. In the last decade, many planets orbiting old (9-13 Gyr) metal-poor Population II stars have been discovered. Such planets had had

  12. Circumstellar, Cometary and Interplanetary Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crovisier, J.

    2000-11-01

    The Infrared Space Observatory made us available for the first time the full infrared spectrum of cosmic dust in a variety of astrophysical environments. I review what we learned from ISO on the composition of dust in the Solar System (cometary and interplanetary) and in circumstellar discs around young or evolved stars, what are the commonalities and parallels between dust in these different environments, and what this tells us on the cosmic dust cycle.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-05-01

    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. PMID:23599262

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E. E-mail: tajika@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-05-20

    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 {approx} 0.3 M{sub 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 {approx}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 {approx}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.

  16. Exoplanets, extremophiles and habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janot Pacheco, E.; Bernardes, L.

    2012-09-01

    Estimates of the average surface temperature and CO2 partial atmospheric pressure of already discovered exoplanets supposed to be in their Habitable Zone of their stars were surveyed from the Exoplanet Encyclopedia database. Moreover, since planetary surface temperature strongly depends on its albedo and geodynamic conditions, we have been feeding exoplanetary data into a comprehensive model of Earth's atmosphere to get better estimations. We also investigated the possible presence of "exomoons" belonging to giant planets capable of harbour dynamic stability and to retain atmospheric layers and keep geodynamic activity for long time spans. Collected information on biological data of micro-organisms classified as "extremophiles" indicate that such kind of microbial species could dwell in many of them. We thus propose an extension of the more astronomically defined "Habitable Zone" concept into the more astrobiologically "Extremophile Zone", taking into account other refined parameters allowing survival of more robust life forms.

  17. Where to Look for Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-03-01

    One of the main goals of exoplanet surveys like the Kepler mission is to find potentially habitable planets orbiting other stars. Finding planets in a stars habitable zone, however, is easier when we know in advance where to look! A recent study has provided us with a starting point.Defining the ZoneA habitable zone is defined as the range of distances from a star where liquid water could exist on an orbiting planet, given a dense enough planetary atmosphere. The habitable zone can be calculated from the stars parameters, and the inner and outer edges of a habitable zone are set considering hypothetical planetary atmospheres of different composition.Knowing the parameters of the habitable zones around nearby stars is important for current and future exoplanet surveys, as this information allows them to identify stars with habitable zones that can be probed, given the surveys sensitivity. To provide this target selection tool, a team of scientists led by Colin Chandler (San Francisco State University) has created a catalog of the habitable zones of roughly 37,000 nearby, main-sequence stars.Distribution of habitable-zone widths found in CELESTA, for conservative and optimistic measurements. [Chandler et al. 2016]Selecting for Sun-Like StarsThe Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets, or CELESTA, was built starting with the Revised Hipparcos Catalog, a high-precision catalog of photometry and parallax measurements (which provides the stars distance) for 117,955 bright, nearby stars. Chandler and collaborators combined these measurements with stellar models to determine parameters such as effective temperature, radius, and mass of the stars.The authors exclude giant stars and cool dwarfs, choosing to focus on main-sequence stars within the temperature range 26007200K, more similar to the Sun. They test their derived stellar parameters by comparing to observational data from the Exoplanet Data Explorer (EDE), where available, and confirm that their

  18. Habitable Trinity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dohm, J. M.; Maruyama, S.

    2013-12-01

    We propose a new concept of a habitable environment in the search for life beyond Earth that goes beyond the follow-the-water paradigm, newly named Habitable Trinity. Habitable Trinity is the coexistence of an atmosphere (consisting largely of C and N), an ocean (H and O), and a landmass (supplier of nutrients). It is the minimum requirement for the beginning of life to satisfy (1) formation of membrane, (2) metabolism, and (3) self-replication as we know it. A habitable planet, which has largely been defined as having an adequate climate, a sufficient atmosphere, and the presence of liquid water on its surface, is insufficient to meet the requirements to bear life. Also, material circulation driven by the Sun must be maintained with Habitable Trinity to continue the supply of elements necessary to sustain organic radical reactions that is the basis of life. The Sun is the major engine that links the three components primarily through hydrological cycling, including weathering, erosion, and transport of nutrient-enriched landmass materials to the ocean via far-reaching river systems. Habitable Trinity can be applied to other planets and moons to discuss the presence of extraterrestrial life. Mars is considered to be the best target to test the hypothesis of whether life exists elsewhere in our solar system, as it records an ancient Habitable Trinity (i.e., lakes and oceans which interacted with a landmass (cratered southern highlands) and an atmosphere). Other terrestrial planets, as well as satellites of the gaseous giants such as Europa and Titan, have little chance to harbor life as we know it because they lack Habitable Trinity. Going beyond 'the-follow-the-water-approach', the Habitable-Trinity concept provides an index in the quest for life-containing planetary bodies beyond our solar system as the reconnaissance systems become increasingly autonomous and at higher resolution, affording greater perspective during this golden age of international and

  19. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. XI. Three new companions and an orbit update: Giant planets in the habitable zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz, R. F.; Rey, J.; Demangeon, O.; Hébrard, G.; Boisse, I.; Arnold, L.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Bonfils, X.; Borgniet, S.; Bouchy, F.; Bourrier, V.; Courcol, B.; Deleuil, M.; Delfosse, X.; Ehrenreich, D.; Forveille, T.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Mayor, M.; Moutou, C.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santerne, A.; Santos, N. C.; Sahlmann, J.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Wilson, P. A.

    2016-07-01

    We report the discovery of three new substellar companions to solar-type stars, HD 191806, HD 214823, and HD 221585, based on radial velocity measurements obtained at the Haute-Provence Observatory. Data from the SOPHIE spectrograph are combined with observations acquired with its predecessor, ELODIE, to detect and characterise the orbital parameters of three new gaseous giant and brown dwarf candidates. Additionally, we combine SOPHIE data with velocities obtained at the Lick Observatory to improve the parameters of an already known giant planet companion, HD 16175 b. Thanks to the use of different instruments, the data sets of all four targets span more than ten years. Zero-point offsets between instruments are dealt with using Bayesian priors to incorporate the information we possess on the SOPHIE/ELODIE offset based on previous studies. The reported companions have orbital periods between three and five years and minimum masses between 1.6 MJup and 19 MJup. Additionally, we find that the star HD 191806 is experiencing a secular acceleration of over 11 m s-1 per year, potentially due to an additional stellar or substellar companion. A search for the astrometric signature of these companions was carried out using Hipparcos data. No orbit was detected, but a significant upper limit to the companion mass can be set for HD 221585, whose companion must be substellar. With the exception of HD 191806 b, the companions are located within the habitable zone of their host star. Therefore, satellites orbiting these objects could be a propitious place for life to develop. 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 (programme 07A.PNP.CONS to 15A.PNP.CONS).

  20. Kepler-22b: A 2.4 EARTH-RADIUS PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF A SUN-LIKE STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Batalha, Natalie; Rowe, Jason; Caldwell, Douglas A.; DeVore, Edna; Jenkins, Jon M.; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Geary, John C.; Latham, David W.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen; Cochran, William D.; Gautier, Thomas N.; Gilliland, Ronald; Gould, Alan; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; and others

    2012-02-01

    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 asteroseismic analysis of the Kepler photometry, leading to an estimated mass and radius of 0.970 {+-} 0.060 M{sub Sun} and 0.979 {+-} 0.020 R{sub Sun }. The depth of 492 {+-} 10 ppm for the three observed transits yields a radius of 2.38 {+-} 0.13 Re for the planet. The system passes a battery of tests for false positives, including reconnaissance spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and centroid motion. A full BLENDER analysis provides further validation of the planet interpretation by showing that contamination of the target by an eclipsing system would rarely mimic the observed shape of the transits. The final validation of the planet is provided by 16 radial velocities (RVs) obtained with the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer on Keck I over a one-year span. Although the velocities do not lead to a reliable orbit and mass determination, they are able to constrain the mass to a 3{sigma} upper limit of 124 M{sub Circled-Plus }, safely in the regime of planetary masses, thus earning the designation Kepler-22b. The radiative equilibrium temperature is 262 K for a planet in Kepler-22b's orbit. Although there is no evidence that Kepler-22b is a rocky planet, it is the first confirmed planet with a measured radius to orbit in the habitable zone of any star other than the Sun.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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. PMID:24277805

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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, Seff, 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. PMID:24277805

  3. A PLANETARY SYSTEM AROUND THE NEARBY M DWARF GJ 667C WITH AT LEAST ONE SUPER-EARTH IN ITS HABITABLE ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Anglada-Escude, Guillem; Butler, R. Paul; Arriagada, Pamela; Minniti, Dante; Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Haghighipour, Nader; Carter, Brad D.; Tinney, C. G.; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Bailey, Jeremy A.; O'Toole, Simon J.; Jones, Hugh R. A.; Jenkins, James S.

    2012-05-20

    We re-analyze 4 years of HARPS spectra of the nearby M1.5 dwarf GJ 667C available through the European Southern Observatory public archive. The new radial velocity (RV) measurements were obtained using a new data analysis technique that derives the Doppler measurement and other instrumental effects using a least-squares approach. Combining these new 143 measurements with 41 additional RVs from the Magellan/Planet Finder Spectrograph and Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer spectrometers reveals three additional signals beyond the previously reported 7.2 day candidate, with periods of 28 days, 75 days, and a secular trend consistent with the presence of a gas giant (period {approx}10 years). The 28 day signal implies a planet candidate with a minimum mass of 4.5 M{sub Circled-Plus} orbiting well within the canonical definition of the star's liquid water habitable zone (HZ), that is, the region around the star at which an Earth-like planet could sustain liquid water on its surface. Still, the ultimate water supporting capability of this candidate depends on properties that are unknown such as its albedo, atmospheric composition, and interior dynamics. The 75 day signal is less certain, being significantly affected by aliasing interactions among a potential 91 day signal, and the likely rotation period of the star at 105 days detected in two activity indices. GJ 667C is the common proper motion companion to the GJ 667AB binary, which is metal-poor compared to the Sun. The presence of a super-Earth in the HZ of a metal-poor M dwarf in a triple star system supports the evidence that such worlds should be ubiquitous in the Galaxy.

  4. Abundant Circumstellar Silica Dust and SiO Gas Created by a Giant Hypervelocity Collision in the 12 Myr HD172555 System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisse, Carey M.; Chen, C. H.; Wyatt, M. C.; Morlok, A.; Song, I.; Bryden, G.; Sheehan, P.

    2009-09-01

    We have used the IRS Spectrograph onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope to study the warm dust orbiting around the 29 pc distant β Pic analogue star HD172555. The dust mineralogy is very peculiar, composed primarily of highly refractory, non-equilibrium materials, with 3/4 of the Si atoms in silica (SiO2) species. Tektite and obsidian lab thermal emission spectra (non-equilibrium glassy silicas found in impact and magmatic systems) are required to fit the data. The best-fit model size distribution for the observed fine dust is dn/da = a-3.95±0.10. This steep a size distribution argues for a fresh source of material within the last 0.1 Myr. The location of the dust with respect to the star is at 5.8 ± 0.6 AU, within the terrestrial planet formation region but at the outer edge of any possible terrestrial habitability zone. The mass of fine dust is 4 x 1019 - 2 x 1020 kg, equivalent to a 150 - 200 km radius asteroid. Significant emission features centered at 4 and 8 µm due to fluorescing SiO gas are also found. Roughly 1022 kg of SiO gas, formed by vaporizing silicate rock, is also present in the system, and a separate population of very large, cool grains, massing 1021 - 1022 kg and equivalent to the largest sized asteroid currently found in the Solar System's main asteroid belt, dominates the solid circumstellar material by mass. The makeup of the observed dust and gas, and the noted lack of a dense circumstellar gas disk, strong primary x-ray activity, or an extended disk of β meteroids argues that the source of the observed circumstellar materials is a giant hypervelocity (> 10 km sec-1) impact between large rocky planetesimals, similar to the ones which formed the Moon and which stripped the surface crustal material off of Mercury's surface.

  5. Abundant Circumstellar Silica Dust and SiO Gas Created by a Giant Hypervelocity Collision in the 12 Myr HD172555 System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisse, Carey M.; Chen, C. H.; Wyatt, M. C.; Morlok, A.; Song, I.; Bryden, G.; Sheehan, P.

    2010-01-01

    We have used the InfraRed Spectrograph on the Spitzer Space Telescope to study the fine dust orbiting around the 29 pc distant β Pic analogue star HD172555. The dust mineralogy is is very peculiar, composed primarily of highly refractory, non-equilibrium materials, with 3/4 of the Si atoms in silica (SiO2) species. Tektite and obsidian lab thermal emission spectra (non-equilibrium glassy silicas found in impact and magmatic systems) are required to fit the data. The best-fit model size distribution for the observed fine dust is dn/da = a-3.95±0.10. This steep a size distribution argues for a fresh source of material within the last 0.1 Myr. The location of the dust with respect to the star is at 5.8 ± 0.6 AU, within the terrestrial planet formation region but at the outer edge of any possible terrestrial habitability zone. The mass of fine dust is 4 x 1019 - 2 x 1020 kg, equivalent to a 150 - 200 km radius asteroid. Significant emission features centered at 4 and 8 µm due to fluorescing SiO gas are also found. Roughly 1022 kg of SiO gas, formed by vaporizing silicate rock, is also present in-system, and a separate population of very large, cool grains, massing 1021 - 1022 kg and equivalent to the largest sized asteroid currently found in the Solar System's main asteroid belt, dominates the solid circumstellar material by mass. The makeup of the observed dust and gas, and the noted lack of a dense circumstellar gas disk, strong primary x-ray activity, or an extended disk of β meteroids argues that the source of the observed circumstellar materials is a giant hypervelocity (> 10 km sec-1) impact between large rocky planetesimals, similar to the ones which formed the Moon and which stripped the surface crustal material off of Mercury's surface.

  6. Circumstellar Dust in Symbiotic Novae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jurkic, T.; Kotnik-Karuza, D.

    2015-12-01

    We present a model of inner dust regions around the cool Mira component of the two symbiotic novae, RR Tel and HM Sge, based on the near-IR photometry, ISO spectra and mid-IR interferometry. The dust properties were determined using the DUSTY code. A compact circumstellar silicate dust shell with inner dust shell temperatures between 900 K and 1300 K and of moderate optical depth can explain all the observations. RR Tel shows the presence of an equatorially enhanced dust density during minimum obscuration. Obscuration events are explained by an increase in optical depth caused by the newly condensed dust. The mass loss rates are significantly higher than in intermediate-period single Miras but in agreement with longer-period O-rich AGB stars.

  7. Planetary Habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  8. Polytype distribution in circumstellar silicon carbide.

    SciTech Connect

    Daulton, T. L.; Bernatowicz, T. J.; Lewis, R. S.; Messenger, S.; Stadermann, F. J.; Amari, S.; Materials Science Division; Naval Research Lab.; Washington Univ.; Univ. of Chicago

    2002-06-07

    The inferred crystallographic class of circumstellar silicon carbide based on astronomical infrared spectra is controversial. We have directly determined the polytype distribution of circumstellar SiC from transmission electron microscopy of presolar silicon carbide from the Murchison carbonaceous meteorite. Only two polytypes (of a possible several hundred) were observed: cubic 3C and hexagonal 2H silicon carbide and their intergrowths. We conclude that this structural simplicity is a direct consequence of the low pressures in circumstellar outflows and the corresponding low silicon carbide condensation temperatures.

  9. Polytype distribution in circumstellar silicon carbide.

    PubMed

    Daulton, T L; Bernatowicz, T J; Lewis, R S; Messenger, S; Stadermann, F J; Amari, S

    2002-06-01

    The inferred crystallographic class of circumstellar silicon carbide based on astronomical infrared spectra is controversial. We have directly determined the polytype distribution of circumstellar SiC from transmission electron microscopy of presolar silicon carbide from the Murchison carbonaceous meteorite. Only two polytypes (of a possible several hundred) were observed: cubic 3C and hexagonal 2H silicon carbide and their intergrowths. We conclude that this structural simplicity is a direct consequence of the low pressures in circumstellar outflows and the corresponding low silicon carbide condensation temperatures. PMID:12052956

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissauer, J. J.; Quarles, B.

    2015-12-01

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  12. Circumstellar dust in symbiotic novae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jurkic, Tomislav; Kotnik-Karuza, Dubravka

    2015-08-01

    Physical properties of the circumstellar dust and associated physical mechanisms play an important role in understanding evolution of symbiotic binaries. We present a model of inner dust regions around the cool Mira component of the two symbiotic novae, RR Tel and HM Sge, based on the long-term near-IR photometry, infrared ISO spectra and mid-IR interferometry. Pulsation properties and long-term variabilities were found from the near-IR light curves. The dust properties were determined using the DUSTY code which solves the radiative transfer. No changes in pulsational parameters were found, but a long-term variations with periods of 20-25 years have been detected which cannot be attributed to orbital motion.Circumstellar silicate dust shell with inner dust shell temperatures between 900 K and 1300 K and of moderate optical depth can explain all the observations. RR Tel showed the presence of an optically thin CS dust envelope and an optically thick dust region outside the line of sight, which was further supported by the detailed modelling using the 2D LELUYA code. Obscuration events in RR Tel were explained by an increase in optical depth caused by the newly condensed dust leading to the formation of a compact dust shell. HM Sge showed permanent obscuration and a presence of a compact dust shell with a variable optical depth. Scattering of the near-IR colours can be understood by a change in sublimation temperature caused by the Mira variability. Presence of large dust grains (up to 4 µm) suggests an increased grain growth in conditions of increased mass loss. The mass loss rates of up to 17·10-6 MSun/yr were significantly higher than in intermediate-period single Miras and in agreement with longer-period O-rich AGB stars.Despite the nova outburst, HM Sge remained enshrouded in dust with no significant dust destruction. The existence of unperturbed dust shell suggests a small influence of the hot component and strong dust shielding from the UV flux. By the use

  13. Atmospheric escape, redox evolution, and planetary habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catling, D. C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2011-12-01

    Through the greenhouse effect, the presence and composition of an atmosphere is critical for defining a (conventional) circumstellar habitable zone in terms of planetary surface temperatures suitable for liquid water. Lack of knowledge of planetary atmospheres is likely to frustrate attempts to say with any certainty whether detected terrestrial-sized exoplanets may or may not be habitable. Perhaps an underappreciated role in such considerations is the evolutionary effect of atmospheric escape for determining atmospheric composition or whether an atmosphere exists in the first place. Whether atmospheres exist at all on planets is demonstrably connected to the effect of integrated atmospheric escape. When we observe our own Solar System and transiting exoplanets, the existence of an atmosphere is clearly delineated by a relative vulnerability to thermal escape and impact erosion. The prevalence of thermal escape as a key evolutionary determinant for the presence of planetary atmosphere is shown by a relationship between the relative solar (or stellar) heating and the escape velocity. Those bodies with too much stellar heating and too smaller escape velocity end up devoid of atmospheres. Impact erosion is evident in the relationship between impact velocity and escape velocity. Escape due to impacts is particularly important for understanding the large differences in the atmospheres of giant planet moons, such as Ganymede versus Titan. It is also significant for Mars-sized planets. The oxidation state of atmospheres is important for some theories of the origin of life (where an early reducing atmosphere is helpful for organic synthesis) and the evolution of advanced life (where free molecular oxygen is the best source of high energy metabolism). Surfaces on some relatively small planets and moons are observed to have evolved to an oxidized state, which theory and observation can explain through atmospheric escape. There are several examples in the Solar System where a

  14. Dynamics and Habitability in Binary Star Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke

    2014-07-01

    Determining planetary habitability is a complex matter, as the interplay between a planet's physical and atmospheric properties with stellar insolation has to be studied in a self consistent manner. Standardized atmospheric models for Earth-like planets exist and are commonly accepted as a reference for estimates of Habitable Zones. In order to define Habitable Zone boundaries, circular orbital configurations around main sequence stars are generally assumed. In gravitationally interacting multibody systems, such as double stars, however, planetary orbits are forcibly becoming non circular with time. Especially in binary star systems even relatively small changes in a planet's orbit can have a large impact on habitability. Hence, we argue that a minimum model for calculating Habitable Zones in binary star systems has to include dynamical interactions.

  15. Martian Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, F.

    2012-09-01

    Due to the reported Mars surface environmental conditions (Klein, 1978) (oxidative stress, high UV radiation levels, etc.) the possibility for life development in the surface of the red planet is very small. The identification of water-ice on the subsurface on Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard of the Mars Odyssey (Kieffer and Titus, 2001) and from the High Energy Neutron Detector (Litvak, et al., 2006) has important astrobiological connotations, because in addition to be a potential source for water, these locations are shielding habitats against the harsh conditions existing on the planet, like UV radiation (Gomez, et al., 2007; Gomez, et al., 2012). Martian habitability potential could change in particular located micro-niches. Salt deliquescence and hard environmental parameters modification could be relevant for life under protected niches. An example could be endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light wavelengths. Similar acidic salts deposits are located in Río Tinto extreme environment with shelter life forms which are difficult to localize by eye. Techniques for its localization and study during space missions are needed to develop. Extreme environments are good scenarios where to test and train those techniques and where hypothetical Astrobiological space missions could be simulated for increasing possibilities of micro niches identification. Here we will report some experiments of bacteria exposition to Martian surface conditions in Mars Simulation chamber. Bacteria were shelter and exposed included in simulated salty endolithic micro niches. High percentage of bacteria resistance and adaptation to harsh extreme those conditions was reported (Gómez, F. et al., 2010). These results were used to develop and implement a Habitability Index to study Martian habitability during the next MSL mission to Mars landed on August 2012 on the surface of the red planet.

  16. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-01

    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. PMID:23641111

  17. Fullerenes and fulleranes in circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yong; Kwok, Sun; Sadjadi, SeyedAbdolreza

    2016-07-01

    Three decades of search have recently led to convincing discoveries of cosmic fullerenes. The presence of C60 and C+ 60 in both circumstellar and interstellar environments suggests that these molecules and their derivatives can be efficiently formed in circumstellar envelopes and survive in harsh conditions. Detailed analysis of the infrared bands from fullerenes and their connections with the local properties can provide valuable information on the physical conditions and chemical processes that occurred in the late stages of stellar evolution. The identification of C+ 60 as the carrier of four diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) suggests that fullerene- related compounds are abundant in interstellar space and are essential for resolving the DIB mystery. Experiments have revealed a high hydrogenation rate when C60 is exposed to atomic hydrogen, motivating the attempt to search for cosmic fulleranes. In this paper, we present a short review of current knowledge of cosmic fullerenes and fulleranes and briefly discuss the implications on circumstellar chemistry.

  18. Lifestyle Habits

    PubMed Central

    Kilani, Hashem; Al-Hazzaa, Hazzaa; Waly, Mostafa I.; Musaiger, Abdulrahman

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the lifestyle habits—physical activity (PA), eating habits (EH), and sleep duration (SD)—of Omani adolescents, and to examine gender differences in such variables. Methods: 802 Omani adolescents (442 females and 360 males), aged 15–18 years were randomly recruited. Anthropometric indices, PA level, and EH and SD were evaluated by the Arab Teenage Lifestyle questionnaire. A semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire for dietary assessment was also administered. Results: The results showed that although the study subjects had a sedentary lifestyle (lack of PA, average of 6.7 hours sleep, and consumption of high calorie foods), they maintained a normal body mass (less than 25 Kg/m2). Males were more than twice as active as females. With respect to EH, there were few gender differences, except in dairy and meat consumption where 62.5% and 55.5% of males consumed more than 3 servings, respectively, compared to 18.78 % and 35.2% of females, respectively. In addition, waist/height ratio, height, reasons for being active, energy drinks, potato consumption, eating sweets, vigorous PA and breakfast EHs were statistically significant independent predictors for BMI, P <0.05 for both males and females. Conclusion: This study revealed a high prevalence of sedentary behaviors and a low level of physical activity, especially among females. Unhealthy dietary habits were also widely found among both genders. There is an urgent need for more research as well as a national policy promoting active living and healthy eating and discouraging sedentary behaviour among Omani adolescents. PMID:24273660

  19. Comparative Habitability of Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

  20. Tides and the Evolution of Planetary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (≲0.35 M⊙). 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, ˜5 M⊕ 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.

  1. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis

    2016-04-01

    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.

  2. 41Ca in Circumstellar Graphite from Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amari, S.; Zinner, E.; Lewis, R. S.

    1995-09-01

    anomalies (Fig. 1), with patterns that are consistent with that predicted for the O-rich zones of a 25 (sub)Solar Mass supernova [4] (shown as broad lines in the figure). Thus, ^41Ca in these two grains is likely to have been produced by neutron capture in these zones. One grain (KE3c-242) has a ^44Ca excess due to the decay of ^44Ti (T(sub)1/2=52a), with an inferred ^44Ti/^48Ti ratio of (3.6+/-1.4) x 10^-2. The presence of ^41Ca together with Ca isotopic anomalies in circumstellar graphite grains is evidence for mixing between the C-rich and O-rich zones. Furthermore, evidence for ^44Ti in a few low density graphite grains [6] strongly suggests contributions from the innermost zone to the ejecta from which the grains formed. Observations of SN 1987A [e.g., 7] and hydrodynamic calculations [e.g., 8] indicate the existence of clumps of variable compositions in SN ejecta. The large variety of isotopic compositions in low density graphite grains is evidence for extensive and heterogeneous mixing of SN ejecta, confirming the astronomical observations and the theoretical calculations. References: [1] Amari S. et al. (1994) LPS XXV, 27-28. [2] Zinner E. et al. (1995) LPS XXVI, 1561-1562. [3] Travaglio C. et al. (1995) in preparation. [4] Meyer B. S. et al. (1995) Meteoritics, 30, 319-324. [5] Woosley S. E. and Weaver T. A. (1995) Astrophys. J. Suppl., in press. [6] Amari S. et al. (1995) LPS XXVI, 37-38. [7] Hass M. R. et al. (1990) Astrophys. J., 360, 257-266. [8] Herant M. and Benz W. (1992) Astrophys. J., 387, 294-308.

  3. Isothermal Circumstellar Dust Shell Model for Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, G.; Towers, I. N.; Jovanoski, Z.

    2009-01-01

    We introduce a model of radiative transfer in circumstellar dust shells. By assuming that the shell is both isothermal and its thickness is small compared to its radius, the model is simple enough for students to grasp and yet still provides a quantitative description of the relevant physical features. The isothermal model can be used in a…

  4. Survival of habitable planets in unstable planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrera, Daniel; Davies, Melvyn B.; Johansen, Anders

    2016-09-01

    Many observed giant planets lie on eccentric orbits. Such orbits could be the result of strong scatterings with other giant planets. The same dynamical instability that produces these scatterings may also cause habitable planets in interior orbits to become ejected, destroyed, or be transported out of the habitable zone. We say that a habitable planet has resilient habitability if it is able to avoid ejections and collisions and its orbit remains inside the habitable zone. Here we model the orbital evolution of rocky planets in planetary systems where giant planets become dynamically unstable. We measure the resilience of habitable planets as a function of the observed, present-day masses and orbits of the giant planets. We find that the survival rate of habitable planets depends strongly on the giant planet architecture. Equal-mass planetary systems are far more destructive than systems with giant planets of unequal masses. We also establish a link with observation; we find that giant planets with present-day eccentricities higher than 0.4 almost never have a habitable interior planet. For a giant planet with an present-day eccentricity of 0.2 and semimajor axis of 5 AU orbiting a Sun-like star, 50% of the orbits in the habitable zone are resilient to the instability. As semimajor axis increases and eccentricity decreases, a higher fraction of habitable planets survive and remain habitable. However, if the habitable planet has rocky siblings, there is a significant risk of rocky planet collisions that would sterilize the planet.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23510083

  6. Circumbinary habitability niches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    Binaries could provide the best niches for life in the Galaxy. Although counterintuitive, this assertion follows directly from stellar tidal interaction theory and the evolution of lower mass stars. There is strong evidence that chromospheric activity of rapidly rotating young stars may be high enough to cause mass loss from atmospheres of potentially habitable planets. The removal of atmospheric water is most critical. Tidal breaking in binaries could help reduce magnetic dynamo action and thereby chromospheric activity in favour of life. We call this the Binary Habitability Mechanism (BHM) that we suggest allows for water retention at levels comparable to or better than the Earth. We discuss novel advantages that life may exploit, in these cases, and suggest that life may even thrive on some circumbinary planets. We find that while many binaries do not benefit from BHM, high-quality niches do exist for various combinations of stars between 0.55 and 1.0 solar masses. For a given pair of stellar masses, BHM operates only for certain combinations of period and eccentricity. Binaries having a solar-type primary seem to be quite well-suited niches having wide and distant habitable zones with plentiful water and sufficient light for photosynthetic life. We speculate that, as a direct result of BHM, conditions may be suitable for life on several planets and possibly even moons of giant planets orbiting some binaries. Lower mass combinations, while more restrictive in parameter space, provide niches lasting many billions of years and are rich suppliers of photosynthetic photons. We provide a publicly available web-site (http://bit.ly/BHM-calculator or http://bit.ly/BHM-calculator-mirror), which calculates the BHM effects presented in this paper.

  7. Flares and habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abrevaya, Ximena C.; Cortón, Eduardo; Mauas, Pablo J. D.

    2012-07-01

    At present, dwarf M stars are being considered as potential hosts for habitable planets. However, an important fraction of these stars are flare stars, which among other kind of radiation, emit large amounts of UV radiation during flares, and it is unknown how this events can affect life, since biological systems are particularly vulnerable to UV. In this work we evaluate a well known dMe star, EV Lacertae (GJ 873) as a potential host for the emergence and evolution of life, focusing on the effects of the UV emission associated with flare activity. Since UV-C is particularly harmful for living organisms, we studied the effect of UV-C radiation on halophile archaea cultures. The halophile archaea or haloarchaea are extremophile microorganisms, which inhabit in hypersaline environments and which show several mechanisms to cope with UV radiation since they are naturally exposed to intense solar UV radiation on Earth. To select the irradiance to be tested, we considered a moderate flare on this star. We obtained the mean value for the UV-C irradiance integrating the IUE spectrum in the impulsive phase, and considering a hypothetical planet in the center of the liquid water habitability zone. To select the irradiation times we took the most frequent duration of flares on this star which is from 9 to 27 minutes. Our results show that even after considerable UV damage, the haloarchaeal cells survive at the tested doses, showing that this kind of life could survive in a relatively hostile UV environment.

  8. ABUNDANT CIRCUMSTELLAR SILICA DUST AND SiO GAS CREATED BY A GIANT HYPERVELOCITY COLLISION IN THE {approx}12 MYR HD172555 SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Lisse, C. M.; Chen, C. H.; Wyatt, M. C.; Morlok, A.; Song, I.; Bryden, G.; Sheehan, P. E-mail: cchen@stsci.edu E-mail: A.Morlok@open.ac.uk E-mail: Geoffrey.Bryden@jpl.nasa.gov

    2009-08-20

    The fine dust detected by infrared (IR) emission around the nearby {beta} Pic analog star HD172555 is very peculiar. The dust mineralogy is composed primarily of highly refractory, nonequilibrium materials, with approximately three quarters of the Si atoms in silica (SiO{sub 2}) species. Tektite and obsidian lab thermal emission spectra (nonequilibrium glassy silicas found in impact and magmatic systems) are required to fit the data. The best-fit model size distribution for the observed fine dust is dn/da = a {sup -3.95{+-}}{sup 0.10}. While IR photometry of the system has stayed stable since the 1983 IRAS mission, this steep a size distribution, with abundant micron-sized particles, argues for a fresh source of material within the last 0.1 Myr. The location of the dust with respect to the star is at 5.8 {+-} 0.6 AU (equivalent to 1.9 {+-} 0.2 AU from the Sun), within the terrestrial planet formation region but at the outer edge of any possible terrestrial habitability zone. The mass of fine dust is 4 x 10{sup 19}-2 x 10{sup 20} kg, equivalent to a 150-200 km radius asteroid. Significant emission features centered at 4 and 8 {mu}m due to fluorescing SiO gas are also found. Roughly 10{sup 22} kg of SiO gas, formed by vaporizing silicate rock, is also present in the system, and a separate population of very large, cool grains, massing 10{sup 21}-10{sup 22} kg and equivalent to the largest sized asteroid currently found in the solar system's main asteroid belt, dominates the solid circumstellar material by mass. The makeup of the observed dust and gas, and the noted lack of a dense circumstellar gas disk, strong stellar X-ray activity, and an extended disk of {beta} meteoroids argues that the source of the observed circumstellar materials is a giant hypervelocity (>10 km s{sup -1}) impact between large rocky planetesimals, similar to the ones which formed the Moon and which stripped the surface crustal material off of Mercury's surface.

  9. Technology Demonstration Milestone #1 for the EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer (EXCEDE) I. Laboratory/Experimental Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belikov, Ruslan; Bendek, E.; Davis, P.; Duncan, A.; Greene, T. P.; Guyon, O.; Hix, T.; Irwin, W.; Kendrick, R.; Lozi, J.; Lynch, D.; Mihara, R.; Pluzhnik, E.; Schneider, G.; Smith, E.; Thomas, S.; Witteborn, F. C.

    2014-01-01

    Coronagraph technology is advancing and promises to enable space telescopes capable of directly detecting and spatially resolving low surface brightness circumstellar debris disks as well as imaging giant planets as close as in the habitable zones of their host stars. One proposed mission capable of doing this is called EXCEDE (EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer), which in 2011 was selected by NASA's Explorer program for technology development (Category III). EXCEDE is a 0.7m space telescope concept designed to achieve raw contrasts of 1e6 at an inner working angle of 1.2 l/D and 1e7 at 2 l/D and beyond. In addition to doing fundamental science on debris disks, EXCEDE will also serve as a technological and scientific precursor for an exo-Earth imaging mission. EXCEDE uses a Starlight Suppression System (SSS) based on the PIAA coronagraph, enabling aggressive performance. In this presentation, we report on our continuing progress of developing the SSS for EXCEDE, and in particular the achievement of the first major milestone in our technology development program (1e6 median raw contrast between a 1.2 l/D inner working angle and 2 l/D, simultaneously with 1e7 median raw contrast between 2 l/D and 4 l/D, in monochromatic light and in a controlled and repeatable fashion - see companion paper by Schneider et al. for science drivers). In addition, we will describe the upgrades to our system, such as (a) the Low Order Wavefront Sensor (LOWFS) which enabled achieving deep contrasts at aggressive inner working angles; (b) efficient model-based wavefront control algorithms; (c) a reconfiguration of our DM to be upstream of the coronagraph and the addition of the “inverse PIAA” system that enables better outer working angles. Finally, we report on preliminary demonstrations in a vacuum chamber. Even though this technology development is primarily targeted towards EXCEDE, it is also germane to any exoplanet direct imaging space-based telescopes

  10. SO2 and SO in circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilloteau, S.; Lucas, R.; Omont, A.; Nguyen-Q-Rieu

    1986-09-01

    After its first detection in circumstellar envelopes (Lucas et al. 1986) SO2 has been systematically searched for with the IRAM 30-m telescope. It has been found in 3 new stars, with very strong lines in OH 231.8+4.2 (TA* ≈ 0.7 - 1.4K, Trot ≈ 25K, Δv ≈ 80 km s-1, TA*(SO2) > TA*(CO) ) and relatively strong ones in OH 26.5+0.6. SO has been detected for the first time in a circumstellar shell, in OH 231.8+4.2. H13CN has been observed in the same star, suggesting a very large abundance of 13C.

  11. A circumstellar disk around Beta Pictoris

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, B. A.; Terrile, R. J.

    1984-01-01

    A circumstellar disk has been observed optically around the fourth-magnitude star Beta Pictoris. First detected in the infrared by the Infrared Astronomy Satellite last year, the disk is seen to extend to more than 400 astronomical units from the star, or more than twice the distance measured in the infrared by the Infrared Astronomy Satellite. The disk is presented to earth almost edge-on and is composed of solid particles in nearly coplanar orbits. The observed change in surface brightness with distance from the star implies that the mass density of the disk falls off with approximately the third power of the radius. Because the circumstellar material is in the form of a highly flattened disk rather than a spherical shell, it is presumed to be associated with planet formation. It seems likely that the system is relatively young and that planet formation either is occurring now around Beta Pictoris or has recently been completed.

  12. Clarifying Massive Protostellar Evolution and Circumstellar Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Indebetouw, Remy; Brogan, Crystal; Hoare, Melvin; Lumsden, Stuart; Robitaille, Thomas; Sewilo, Marta; Urquhart, James; Viti, Serena; Whitney, Barbara

    2008-03-01

    Massive stars dominate the evolution of galaxies and even as protostars, their feedback can affect their own formation and that of their host clusters. We propose a systematic study of massive protostars through the stages of their early evolution, to derive a clearer evolutionary sequence and a better link between the state of the central source and physical conditions in circumstellar material. This experiment will improve over existing work by careful source selection to systematically span evolutionary parameter space, resulting in a more uniform and comprehensive sample. Sophisticated radiative transfer, ionization, and chemical modeling will be used to extract the full riches of each IRS spectrum and find trends in how massive stars form and process their natal material: We will be able to determine the temperature, density, and chemical state (heating history) of circumstellar dust and ice in the accretion disk and envelope, and at later evolutionary stages the ionizing and soft (PAH-exciting) ultraviolet radiation emitted by the protostars and how that radiation is quenched and shadowed by circumstellar material. This investigation is the key to realizing the full potential of previous infrared imaging surveys like MSX and Spitzer's GLIMPSE and MIPSGAL to study massive star formation. These surveys have provided a basis for us to select a large relatively unbiased sample spanning evolutionary state. In return, revealing the spectroscopic signature of massive YSOs will greatly clarify the modeling and interpretation of the thousands of other protostars in these imaging survey data.

  13. High contrast imaging polarimetry of circumstellar environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canovas Cabrera, H.

    2011-09-01

    The work presented in this thesis is based on the analysis of the results produced by ExPo, the Extreme Polarimeter. ExPo is an imaging polarimeter that has been designed and built by the group of prof. Christoph Keller, at Utrecht University. The purpose of this instrument is to use polarimetry to detect and characterize the circumstellar environments around different types of stars. In this work I focus on the polarized features that are produced by scattering by dust grains. Depending on the properties of the particles producing the scattering (size, shape...) and the scattering angle (forward, backward scattering), the light becomes polarized in higher or lower degree. The main problem when studying circumstellar environments is the high contrast ratios that are faced. For example, a young star is typically four orders of magnitude (10000 times) brighter than its protoplanetary disk. On the other hand, the light emitted by the star is largely unpolarized, while the light that is scattered (by the protoplanetary disk in this example) is polarized. Therefore, polarimetry offers a very elegant way to remove most of the starlight, allowing the detection of only the polarized photons. Furthermore, and as explained before, by studying the polarization of the light that we measure we can learn more about the properties of the circumstellar environments (dust composition, geometry, etc.). ExPo has produced a wealth of data, combining observations of very different targets such as protoplanetary disks, post-AGB stars, comets and planets of our Solar System (Venus and Saturn).

  14. The Circumstellar Environment of Rigel Probed at High Spatial and Spectral Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufer, A.; Chesneau, O.; Stahl, O.; Colvinter, C.; Spang, A.; Dessart, L.; Prinja, R.; Chini, R.

    2012-12-01

    The presence of highly structured circumstellar environments in late B- and early A-type supergiants is well established through extensive spectroscopic, photometric, and polarimetric time series observations. The circumstellar structures are located within a few stellar radii in the transition zone from the stellar photosphere to the inner wind region of the expanding envelopes of the stars. The physical mechanisms that generate the observed circumstellar structures remain subject of debate. Coupling of stellar surface structures into the inner wind regions combined with rotational modulation is generally favoured with the surface structure being results of multi-mode non-radial pulsation patterns or complex magnetic fields structures. However, little observational evidence is available to narrow down the underlying mechanisms. Optical and near-IR interferometry at high spectral resolution has high potential to shed new light on the circumstellar environments of massive supergiants. We present first results from spectro-interferometric studies of the prototypical late-B supergiant Rigel (β Orionis, B8 Ia). Rigel has for the first time been monitored over several rotational cycles with the AMBER 3-beam combiner instrument at the VLTI in 2006-2007 and 2009-2010. The observations targeted the photosphere- and wind-sensitive Brγ line at a resolving power of R=12 000. The analysis of the measured interferometric visibilities provides constraints on the extension of the line-forming region in photosphere and wind; the observed variability of the differential phases across the line profile gives indications on the dynamics and the geometry of the circumstellar structures of Rigel. A possible link between high-velocity absorptions (HVA) and the observed S-shaped signals in the differential phases is discussed.

  15. 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.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Circumstellar material around young stars in Orion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Odell, C. R.

    1994-01-01

    The star cluster associated with the Orion nebula is one of the richest known. Lying at the nearside of the Orion Molecular cloud and at a distance of about 500 pc from us, it contains many premain-sequence stars with ages of about 300,000 yr. The nebula itself is a blister type, representing a wall of material ionized by the hottest star in the Trapezium group (member C). Although this is not the closest star formation region, it is probably the easiest place to detect circumstellar, possibly proto-planetary, material around these solar mass stars. This is because the same process of photoionization that creates the nebula also photoionizes these circumstellar clouds, thus rendering them easily visible. Moreover, their dust component is made visible by extinction of light from the background nebula. Young stars with circumstellar material were found in Orion on the second set of HST images and were called proplyds, indicating their special nature as circumstellar clouds caused to be luminous by being in or near a gaseous nebula. The brightest objects in the field had previously been seen in the optical and radio, and although their true nature had been hypothesized it was the HST images that made it clear what they are. The forms vary from cometlike when near the Trapezium to elliptical when further away, with the largest being 1000 AU and the bright portions of the smallest, which are found closest to the Trapezium, being about 100 AU in diameter. We now have a second set of HST observations made immediately after the refurbishment mission that provides even greater detail and reveals even more of these objects. About half of all the low-luminosity stars are proplyds. The poster paper describes quantitative tests about their fundamental structure and addresses the question of whether the circumstellar material is a disk or shell. One object (HST 16) is seen only in silhouette against the nebula and is easily resolved into an elliptical form of optical depth

  18. Technology Demonstration Milestone #1 for the EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer (EXCEDE) II. Science Drivers and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Glenn; Belikov, R.; Guyon, O.; Lozi, J.; Eduardo, B.; Davis, P.; Greene, T. P.; Lynch, D.; Eugene, P.; Sandrine, T.; Witteborn, F.; Duncan, A.; Kendrick, R.; Hix, T.; Mihara, R.; Smith, E.; Irwin, W.; Debes, J. H.; Carson, J.; Hines, D. C.; Grady, C. A.; Perrin, M. D.; Silverstone, M. D.; Wisniewski, J. P.; Hinz, P.; Moro-Martin, A.; Henning, T.; Tamura, M.; Jang-Condell, H.; Weinberger, A. J.; Woodgate, B. E.; Goto, M.; Serabyn, G.; Rodigas, T.; Kuchner, M. J.; Stark, C. C.; EXCEDE Project Technology Development Team; HST GO 12228 Team

    2014-01-01

    The EXoplanetary Circumstellar (CS) Environments and Disk Explorer (EXCEDE) is an EX class Explorer mission proposed to study the formation, evolution, architectures, and diversity of exoplanetary systems by characterizing suspected planet-hosting CS environments into and beyond host-star habitable zones using a small (0.7 m diameter) off-axis telescope. EXCEDE was selected by NASA (as a Class III Explorer program) for technology demonstration and maturation to advance key elements of its proposed starlight suppression system (SSS) combining the use of a Phase Induced Amplitude Apodized coronagraph, MEMS Deformable Mirror, closed-loop Low-Order Wavefront Sensing and Control, and mid-spatial frequency wavefront error correction and control using the science camera for electric field conjugation and speckle suppression for image contrast enhancement. To meet the science goals of the EXCEDE mission, the SSS must simultaneously, repeatably, and stably, deliver disk-to-starlight raw image contrast per resel of 1E-6 from 1.2 to 2 lambda/D, and 1E-7 from 2 to ~ 20 lambda/D in optical light, which has now been laboratory demonstrated for monochromatic light in an in-air environment (see paper I. by Belikov et al.) This level of performance when extended to 10% - 20% broadband light (technology demonstration milestone #2 to be pursued over the next year) will enable the EXCEDE mission. Here we discuss the applicability of these performance metrics to studying the current "here be dragons" regions of light-scattering CS debris disks, including those now well-observed as revealed at larger stellocentric angular distances with the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph's coronagraph with multiple-roll PSF-template subtracted coronagraphy as imaged in HST GO program 12228 in the context of the EXCEDE science mission goals. This investigation is funded in part by NASA grant NNX12AH39G, and STScI grant GO-12228.

  19. Changing your sleep habits

    MedlinePlus

    Insomnia - sleep habits; Sleep disorder - sleep habits; Problems falling asleep; Sleep hygiene ... People who have insomnia are often worried about getting enough sleep. The more they try to sleep, the more frustrated and upset they ...

  20. Psychology of Habit.

    PubMed

    Wood, Wendy; Rünger, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    As the proverbial creatures of habit, people tend to repeat the same behaviors in recurring contexts. This review characterizes habits in terms of their cognitive, motivational, and neurobiological properties. In so doing, we identify three ways that habits interface with deliberate goal pursuit: First, habits form as people pursue goals by repeating the same responses in a given context. Second, as outlined in computational models, habits and deliberate goal pursuit guide actions synergistically, although habits are the efficient, default mode of response. Third, people tend to infer from the frequency of habit performance that the behavior must have been intended. We conclude by applying insights from habit research to understand stress and addiction as well as the design of effective interventions to change health and consumer behaviors. PMID:26361052

  1. Planetary evolution and habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohn, T.

    2008-09-01

    few billion years on Venus. This dynamo would have been driven by thermal buoyancy and require that the core was sufficiently superheated with respect to the mantle after core formation. The dynamo would have ceased to operate as the core cooled depending on the vigor of mantle convection. A question is then whether or not plate tectonics existed on Mars and Venus and if yes why plate tectonics ceased to operate. Or, more generally, why do planets have plate tectonics and others do not? Convection model calculations suggest relations to the yield strength of the mantle and the effect of water on the latter. Other models suggest that the existence of an asthenosphere (a low viscosity zone underneath the lithosphere) may be decisive. The presence of water will lower the solidus of mantle rock and help to form an asthenosphere. Thus, there appear to be links between plate tectonics and (near) surface water, plate tectonics and magnetic fields, magnetic fields and habitability, and habitability and water. Is plate tectonics even a potential biosignature?

  2. Tides and the evolution of planetary habitability.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:18598142

  3. Infrared heterodyne spectroscopy of circumstellar molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Betz, A. L.; Mclaren, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    Ammonia has been detected in the circumstellar envelopes of IRC+10216, VY CMa, VX Sgr, and IRC+10420. A number of absorption lines of (N-14)H3 in the nu sub 2 vibration-rotation band around 28 THz (950 per cm) have been observed at a velocity resolution of 0.2 km/s. Typical linewidths are 1 to 4 km/s, and the details of the line profiles provide additional insights on the process of mass loss in these stars.

  4. Planetary Habitability of the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendez, Abel

    2009-09-01

    Habitability is a qualitative concept generally defined as the suitability of an environment to support life. Although there are many works related to planetary habitability, there is no practical quantitative definition of habitability. The search for habitable environments in the Solar System and beyond requires a method to quantify and compare their significance. Therefore, this study presents a quantitative approach to assess the habitability of Earth and other planetary bodies. A Quantitative Habitability Model (QH Model) was develop and used to model the terrestrial habitability as a standard for comparison. The QH Model provides a simple ecophysiology-based framework that can be used to predict the potential distribution, abundance and productivity of life in planetary bodies from local to global scales. The simplest QH Model calculates habitability from the environment temperature and relative humidity in gas phases (i.e. atmospheres), and from temperature and salinity in liquid phases (i.e. oceans). The model was used to explain the latitudinal gradients of primary producers on Earth and was validated with ground and satellites observations of net primary productivity (NPP). The potential global habitability for prokaryotes of the upper-troposphere of Venus, the subsurface of Mars, Europa, Titan, and Enceladus was compared. Results show that Enceladus has the zone with the highest mean habitability in the Solar System although to deep for direct exploration. Results also show that the current global terrestrial environment of land areas is not optimized for primary producers, but it was during some paleoclimates. The QH Model has applications in ecosystem modeling, global climate studies including paleoclimates and global warming, planetary protection, and astrobiology. It can also be used to quantify the potential for life of any terrestrial-size extrasolar planet as compared to Earth. This study was partially supported by UPR Arecibo and NASA

  5. A 'dry' condensation origin for circumstellar carbonates.

    PubMed

    Toppani, Alice; Robert, François; Libourel, Guy; de Donato, Philippe; Barres, Odile; d'Hendecourt, Louis; Ghanbaja, Jaafar

    2005-10-20

    The signature of carbonate minerals has long been suspected in the mid-infrared spectra of various astrophysical environments such as protostars. Abiogenic carbonates are considered as indicators of aqueous mineral alteration in the presence of CO2-rich liquid water. The recent claimed detection of calcite associated with amorphous silicates in two planetary nebulae and protostars devoid of planetary bodies questions the relevance of this indicator; but in the absence of an alternative mode of formation under circumstellar conditions, this detection remains controversial. The main dust component observed in circumstellar envelopes is amorphous silicates, which are thought to have formed by non-equilibrium condensation. Here we report experiments demonstrating that carbonates can be formed with amorphous silicates during the non-equilibrium condensation of a silicate gas in a H2O-CO2-rich vapour. We propose that the observed astrophysical carbonates have condensed in H2O(g)-CO2(g)-rich, high-temperature and high-density regions such as evolved stellar winds, or those induced by grain sputtering upon shocks in protostellar outflows. PMID:16237436

  6. Models for circumstellar nebulae around red and blue supergiants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chita, S. M.

    2011-10-01

    In this thesis, we model the circumstellar medium of stars with initial masses of 8, 12, 18 and 20 solar masses, over their entire life from the main sequence until their supernova explosion. During the post-main-sequence stages, stars can evolve through several blue and red supergiant stages depending on their initial mass, composition and rotation rate. The models considered in the second Chapter have long-lasting RSG stages starting after the MS. In this phase, they develop shells of RSG wind material at the location where the free streaming RSG wind is stalled by the thermal pressure of the hot MS bubble, close to the central star. The RSG shells develop violent Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. Once these start to grow non-linear, the RSG shell becomes highly structured as clumps form, and shell material mixes with material in the hot bubble. Later, the stars evolve to the BSG stage, during which the RSG shells are completely destroyed. These models return to the RSG stage, and build new RSG shells, which are more massive than those formed earlier. RSG shells are essential for our understanding of bipolar emission nebulae around BSGs. In the third Chapter are shown the results of the wind-wind interaction model of single star with 12 solar masses. On a time scale of a few 10000 yr, a BSG hour-glas shaped nebula expands into the sphere defined by the RSG shell. The faster polar parts of the hour glass hit the inner edge of the RSG shell first. The collision creates a pair of hot and dense polar caps. As time passes, the collision zone moves to lower latitudes of the RSG shell and becomes more confined in latitude. At the same time, the interaction of the BSG wind with the equatorial disk defines a second, ring shaped collision zone in the equatorial plane. These structures are reminiscent of the observed nebulae around the blue supergiant Sher 25. In the Chapter 3 we present calculations that predict the properties of the circumstellar medium for rapidly rotating

  7. Choosing Stars to Search for Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-04-01

    M-dwarf stars are excellent targets for planet searches because the signal of an orbiting planet is relatively larger (and therefore easier to detect!) around small, dim M dwarfs, compared to Sun-like stars. But are there better or worse stars to target within this category when searching for habitable, Earth-like planets?Confusing the SignalRadial velocity campaigns search for planets by looking for signatures in a stars spectra that indicate the star is wobbling due to the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet. Unfortunately, stellar activity can mimic the signal of an orbiting planet in a stars spectrum something that is particularly problematic for M dwarfs, which can remain magnetically active for billions of years. To successfully detect planets that orbit in their stars habitable zones, we have to account for this problem.In a recent study led by Elisabeth Newton (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), the authors use literature measurements to examine the rotation periods for main-sequence, M-type stars. They focus on three factors that are important for detecting and characterizing habitable planets around M dwarfs:Whether the habitable-zone orbital periods coincide with the stellar rotationFalse planet detections caused by stellar activity often appear as a planet with an orbital period thats a multiple of the stellar rotation period. If a stars rotation period coincides with the range of orbital periods corresponding to its habitable zone, its therefore possible to obtain false detections of habitable planets.How long stellar activity and rapid rotation last in the starAll stars become less magnetically active and rotate more slowly as they age, but the rate of this decay depends on their mass: lower-mass stars stay magnetically active for longer and take longer to spin down.Whether detailed atmospheric characterization will be possibleIts ideal to be able to follow up on potentially habitable exoplanets, and search for biosignatures such as

  8. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20307182

  9. The complex circumstellar environment of HD 142527

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verhoeff, A. P.; Min, M.; Pantin, E.; Waters, L. B. F. M.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Honda, M.; Fujiwara, H.; Bouwman, J.; van Boekel, R.; Dougherty, S. M.; de Koter, A.; Dominik, C.; Mulders, G. D.

    2011-04-01

    Context. The recent findings of gas giant planets around young A-type stars suggest that disks surrounding Herbig Ae/Be stars will develop planetary systems. An interesting case is HD 142527, for which previous observations revealed a complex circumstellar environment and an unusually high ratio of infrared to stellar luminosity. Its properties differ considerably from other Herbig Ae/Be stars. This suggests that the disk surrounding HD 142527 is in an uncommon evolutionary stage. Aims: We aim for a better understanding of the geometry and evolutionary status of the circumstellar material around the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 142527. Methods: We map the composition and spatial distribution of the dust around HD 142527. We analyze SEST and ATCA millimeter data, VISIR N and Q-band imaging and spectroscopy. We gather additional relevant data from the literature. We use the radiative transfer code MCMax to construct a model of the geometry and density structure of the circumstellar matter, which fits all of the observables satisfactorily. Results: We find that the disk of HD 142527 has three geometrically distinct components separated by a disk gap running from 30 to 130 AU. There is a geometrically flat inner disk running from 0.3 AU up to 30 AU; an optically thin halo-like component of dust in the inner disk regions; and a massive self-shadowed outer disk running from 130 AU up to 200 AU. We derived a total dust mass in small grains of 1.0 × 10-3 M⊙ and a vertical height of the inner wall of the outer disk of h = 60 AU. Owing to the gray extinction of the "halo" we obtained new stellar parameters, including a stellar luminosity of 20 ± 2 L⊙ and age of 106.7 ± 0.4 yr. Conclusions: We find that the disk surrounding HD 142527 is highly evolved despite the relatively young age of the star. The peculiar disk geometry can explain the extreme IR reprocessing efficiency of the disk. Furthermore, the geometry, the large disk mass, and the highly processed dust composition

  10. The Beta Pictoris Circumstellar Disk (5202; 2ND Visit)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trauger, John

    1994-01-01

    We propose new methods to examine the circumstellar disk around Beta Pictoris in order to determine its radial profile, and hence (in combination with IRAS data) to fix its albedo and temperature profile. These observations will extend previous extensive ground based coronagraphic observations, and models by members of the science team. The data will enable us to understand better the central clearing in the disk and whether it is caused by sublimation or possible planet formation. They will also constrain the geometric propertie of the disk including its inclination angle, vertical thickness and radial profile. Such observations limit models for the dynamics of the disk, includin its velocity dispersion and hence mass distribution, and radial mass transport mechanisms. If density waves or clear zones are observed, they will give indirect evidence for the presence of massive bodies (planets) in the disk. Th observations involve a combination of roll deconvolution, polarizers and PSF modelling in order to allow the central stellar image and associated scattered light to be subtracted. Ultraviolet observations will constrain the particle size distribution and the composition of the disk. The observations require the new capabilities in WFPC2 provided by the absence of bleeding across columns, as well as its UV capabilities.

  11. Habitability: A Review.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26741054

  12. Space Station Habitability Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  13. Space Station habitability research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clearwater, Y. A.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose and scope of the Habitability Research Group within the Space Human Factors Office at the NASA/Ames Research Cente 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.

  14. Chemistry and evolution of gaseous circumstellar disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prinn, Ronald G.

    1993-01-01

    An investigation of the chemical and physical processes which determine the composition and evolution of gas-rich circumstellar disks is reported. Strong mixing in a thermoclinic environment like an accretion disk leads to thermochemical disequilibration due to 'kinetic inhibition' induced by chemical time constants becoming longer than outward mixing time constants. In this case, species thermodynamically stable at high temperatures but not at low temperatures dominate at all temperatures in the disk. Nonaxisymmetric accretion of material at hypersonic speeds is a major forcing mechanism for mixing in the disk and can produce eddy speeds of 1 percent of the sound speed. The implications kinetic inhibition in the carbon, nitrogen, and anhydrous/hydrous silicate families has for the compositions of the terrestrial planets, giant planets, ice-rich satellites, Pluto, comets, meteorites, and asteroids are discussed.

  15. HL Tauri and its circumstellar disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, M.

    1983-01-01

    New far infrared observations of HL Tau which support the identification of an edge-on disk surrounding the star are presented. A bolometric luminosity for the star of 7.2 solar luminosities and a ratio of infrared to optical luminosity of 630 are indicated. A circumstellar A(V) of about 7.0 mag is produced, consistent with the silicate optical depth to the star. Data on HL Tau's effective temperature and radius and its position on the HR diagram suggest that the star has recently completed its accretion phase and is only 100,000 yr old. The column masses of ice and silicates are combined with the disk dimensions to build a simple model of the disk for comparison with the primitive solar nebula. Estimates of the far-infrared emitting mass provide independent probes of the mass in larger grains around HL Tau.

  16. Discovering metal-poor circumstellar OH masers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldman, Steve; Green, James; van Loon, Jacco; Wood, Peter; Imai, Hiroshi; Groenewegen, Martin; Nanni, Ambra

    2014-10-01

    OH masers are excellent signposts for a variety of phenomenon including winds of highly-evolved stars (1612 MHz). Using the superior angular resolution and sensitivity of the ATCA, high spectral resolution of the CABB backend, and close proximity to the LMC (with half solar metallicity), this observation will allow us to extend an important relation involving the evolution of red giants and supergiants in a lower metallicity (van Loon, 2012). With even fewer detections with clear double-peaked profiles, indicating an expansion velocity of the circumstellar envelope, successful observation is vital for the advancement of our stellar mass-loss models. By refining the metallicity dependence of the mass-loss of highly-evolved red giants and supergiants in their superwind phase, we can better understand the evolution of these stars and their feedback within galaxies.

  17. Habitability: from stars to cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javaux, Emmanuelle J.; Dehant, Véronique

    2010-07-01

    To determine where to search for life in our solar system or in other extrasolar systems, the concept of habitability has been developed, based on the only sample we have of a biological planet—the Earth. Habitability can be defined as the set of the necessary conditions for an active life to exist, even if it does not exist. In astronomy, a habitable zone (HZ) is the zone defined around a sun/star, where the temperature conditions allow liquid water to exist on its surface. This habitability concept can be considered from different scientific perspectives and on different spatial and time scales. Characterizing habitability at these various scales requires interdisciplinary research. In this article, we have chosen to develop the geophysical, geological, and biological aspects and to insist on the need to integrate them, with a particular focus on our neighboring planets, Mars and Venus. Important geodynamic processes may affect the habitability conditions of a planet. The dynamic processes, e.g., internal dynamo, magnetic field, atmosphere, plate tectonics, mantle convection, volcanism, thermo-tectonic evolution, meteorite impacts, and erosion, modify the planetary surface, the possibility to have liquid water, the thermal state, the energy budget, and the availability of nutrients. They thus play a role in the persistence of life on a planet. Earth had a liquid water ocean and some continental crust in the Hadean between 4.4 and 4.0 Ga (Ga: billions years ago), and may have been habitable very early on. The origin of life is not understood yet; but the oldest putative traces of life are early Archean (~3.5 Ga). Studies of early Earth habitats documented in the rock record hosting fossil life traces provide information about possible habitats suitable for life beyond Earth. The extreme values of environmental conditions in which life thrives today can also be used to characterize the “envelope” of the existence of life and the range of potential

  18. Dynamical habitability of planetary systems.

    PubMed

    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). PMID:20307181

  19. TIDAL LIMITS TO PLANETARY HABITABILITY

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-07-20

    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{sub 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.

  20. Observations of the circumstellar gas shells around Betelgeuse and Antares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernat, A. P.; Lambert, D. L.

    1975-01-01

    Results are presented on the direct observations of the circumstellar shell around alpha-Ori, along with new observations of the Ca II infrared triplet lines which provide lower limits for the Ca(+) shell radii for alpha-Ori and alpha-Sco (Antares). The 8542-A line in alpha-Ori does not show a circumstellar absorption core, and the shell radius limit is estimated to be at least 31 times stellar radius. A 108-mA circumstellar core is observed in the 8542-A line in Antares for which a shell radius equal to 4.0 times stellar radius is suggested. The discovery of circumstellar emission through resonance line scattering will provide valuable additional information on the physical conditions in the shell.

  1. An MCMC Circumstellar Disks Modeling Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Schuyler; Perrin, Marshall D.; Mazoyer, Johan; Choquet, Elodie; Soummer, Remi; Ren, Bin; Pueyo, Laurent; Debes, John H.; Duchene, Gaspard; Pinte, Christophe; Menard, Francois

    2016-01-01

    We present an enhanced software framework for the Monte Carlo Markov Chain modeling of circumstellar disk observations, including spectral energy distributions and multi wavelength images from a variety of instruments (e.g. GPI, NICI, HST, WFIRST). The goal is to self-consistently and simultaneously fit a wide variety of observables in order to place constraints on the physical properties of a given disk, while also rigorously assessing the uncertainties in the derived properties. This modular code is designed to work with a collection of existing modeling tools, ranging from simple scripts to define the geometry for optically thin debris disks, to full radiative transfer modeling of complex grain structures in protoplanetary disks (using the MCFOST radiative transfer modeling code). The MCMC chain relies on direct chi squared comparison of model images/spectra to observations. We will include a discussion of how best to weight different observations in the modeling of a single disk and how to incorporate forward modeling from PCA PSF subtraction techniques. The code is open source, python, and available from github. Results for several disks at various evolutionary stages will be discussed.

  2. Circumstellar Debris Disks: Diagnosing the Unseen Perturber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvold, Erika R.; Naoz, Smadar; Vican, Laura; Farr, Will M.

    2016-07-01

    The first indication of the presence of a circumstellar debris disk is usually the detection of excess infrared emission from the population of small dust grains orbiting the star. This dust is short-lived, requiring continual replenishment, and indicating that the disk must be excited by an unseen perturber. Previous theoretical studies have demonstrated that an eccentric planet orbiting interior to the disk will stir the larger bodies in the belt and produce dust via interparticle collisions. However, motivated by recent observations, we explore another possible mechanism for heating a debris disk: a stellar-mass perturber orbiting exterior to and inclined to the disk and exciting the disk particles’ eccentricities and inclinations via the Kozai–Lidov mechanism. We explore the consequences of an exterior perturber on the evolution of a debris disk using secular analysis and collisional N-body simulations. We demonstrate that a Kozai–Lidov excited disk can generate a dust disk via collisions and we compare the results of the Kozai–Lidov excited disk with a simulated disk perturbed by an interior eccentric planet. Finally, we propose two observational tests of a dust disk that can distinguish whether the dust was produced by an exterior brown dwarf or stellar companion or an interior eccentric planet.

  3. A database of circumstellar OH masers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engels, D.; Bunzel, F.

    2015-10-01

    We present a new database of circumstellar OH masers at 1612, 1665, and 1667 MHz in the Milky Way galaxy. The database (version 2.4) contains 13 655 observations and 2341 different stars detected in at least one transition. Detections at 1612 MHz are considered to be complete until the end of 2014 as long as they were published in refereed papers. Detections of the main lines (1665 and 1667 MHz) and non-detections in all transitions are included only if published after 1983. The database contains flux densities and velocities of the two strongest maser peaks, the expansion velocity of the shell, and the radial velocity of the star. Links are provided for about 100 stars (<5% of all stars with OH masers) to interferometric observations and monitoring programs of the maser emission published since their beginnings in the 1970s. Access to the database is possible over the Web (http://www.hs.uni-hamburg.de/maserdb), allowing cone searches for individual sources and lists of sources. A general search is possible in selected regions of the sky and by defining ranges of flux densities and/or velocities. Alternative ways to access the data are via the German Virtual Observatory and the CDS. The data are 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/582/A68

  4. The infrared characteristics of circumstellar silicate grains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schutte, W.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.

    1985-01-01

    A theoretical study of the infrared emission from circumstellar shells around late-type giants is made, with the aim of deriving the infrared characteristics of the silicate grains condensing in these shells. A large grid of models has been compared with observations of optically visible Miras, IRC sources and OH/IR stars. From fitting the observed relation between the color temperature and the strength of the 10-micron feature, it is concluded that the ratio of the 3.5 to 10-micron absorption efficiencies of the dust is about 0.25, a factor of 2 less than a previous determination. Detailed modeling of the 2 to 13-micron spectrum of OH 26.5 + 0.6, IRC + 10011 and R Cas yielded a similar ratio. These detailed models also show that the shape of the 10-micron feature, particularly around 8 and 13 microns, varies from source to source. The derived 10-micron feature is narrower for larger dust column densities. These observed differences in the intrinsic shape of the 10-micron feature are not due to differences in size of the condensing particles. Probably they are related to structural or compositional differences in the condensing silicates.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  6. Habitability: CAMELOT 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Habitability study shuttle orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Habitability design concepts for the Shuttle Orbiter Program are provided for MSC. A variety of creative solutions for the stated tasks are presented. Sketches, mock-ups, mechanicals and models are included for establishing a foundation for future development.

  8. Habitability design for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Franklin, G. C.

    1978-01-01

    Habitability is understood to mean those spacecraft design elements that involve a degree of comfort, quality or necessities to support man in space. These elements are environment, architecture, mobility, clothing, housekeeping, food and drink, personal hygiene, off-duty activities, each of which plays a substantial part in the success of a mission. Habitability design for past space flights is discussed relative to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab spacecraft, with special emphasis on an examination of the Shuttle Orbiter cabin design from a habitability standpoint. Future projects must consider the duration and mission objectives to meet their habitability requirements. Larger ward rooms, improved sleeping quarters and more complete hygiene facilities must be provided for future prolonged space flights

  9. Habitability study shuttle orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Studies of the habitability of the space shuttle orbiter are briefly summarized. Selected illustrations and descriptions are presented for: crew compartment, hygiene facilities, food system and galley, and storage systems.

  10. Healthy Sleep Habits

    MedlinePlus

    ... Benefits Side Effects Variations Tips Healthy Sleep Habits Sleep Disorders by Category Insomnias Insomnia Child Insomnia Short Sleeper Hypersomnias Narcolepsy Insufficient Sleep Syndrome Long Sleeper Sleep Breathing Disorders Sleep Apnea Snoring Central Sleep Apnea Overview & Facts ...