Science.gov

Sample records for circumstellar habitable zones

  1. Ultraviolet Radiation Constraints around the Circumstellar Habitable Zones

    E-print Network

    Andrea P. Buccino; Guillermo A. Lemarchand; Pablo J. D. Mauas

    2006-04-18

    Ultraviolet radiation is known to inhibit photosynthesis, induce DNA destruction and cause damage to a wide variety of proteins and lipids. In particular, UV radiation between 200-300 nm becomes energetically very damaging to most of the terrestrial biological systems. On the other hand, UV radiation is usually considered one of the most important energy source on the primitive Earth for the synthesis of many biochemical compounds and, therefore, essential for several biogenesis processes. In this work, we use these properties of the UV radiation to define the bounderies of an ultraviolet habitable zone. We also analyze the evolution of the UV habitable zone during the main sequence stage of the star. We apply these criteria to study the UV habitable zone for those extrasolar planetary systems that were observed by the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). We analyze the possibility that extrasolar planets and moons could be suitable for life, according to the UV constrains presented in this work and other accepted criteria of habitability (liquid water, orbital stability, etc.).

  2. Habitable Zones in the Universe

    E-print Network

    G. Gonzalez

    2005-03-21

    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.

  3. 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

  4. On the "Galactic Habitable Zone"

    E-print Network

    Nikos Prantzos

    2006-12-12

    The concept of Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ) was introduced a few years ago as an extension of the much older concept of Circumstellar Habitable Zone. However, the physical processes underlying the former concept are hard to identify and even harder to quantify. That difficulty does not allow us, at present, to draw any significant conclusions about the extent of the GHZ: it may well be that the entire Milky Way disk is suitable for complex life.

  5. The Galactic Habitable Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2002-08-21

    We propose the concept of a 'Galactic Habitable Zone' (GHZ). Similar to the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), the GHZ is that region in a spiral galaxy where life can exist. The width of the GHZ is controlled by two factors. The inner (closest to the center of the galaxy) limit is set by threats to complex life: nearby transient sources of ionizing radiation and comet impacts. Such threats tend to increase close to the galactic center. The outer limit is imposed by galactic chemical evolution, specifically the abundance of heavier elements. Observation of stars in the Milky Way galaxy suggests that the outer reaches of a spiral galaxy may be too poor in heavy elements to allow terrestrial complex life to exist.

  6. The Galactic Habitable Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2009-08-21

    We propose the concept of a "Galactic Habitable Zone" (GHZ). Similar to the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), the GHZ is that region in a spiral galaxy where life can exist. The width of the GHZ is controlled by two factors. The inner (closest to the center of the galaxy) limit is set by threats to complex life: nearby transient sources of ionizing radiation and comet impacts. Such threats tend to increase close to the galactic center. The outer limit is imposed by galactic chemical evolution, specifically the abundance of heavier elements. Observation of stars in the Milky Way galaxy suggests that the outer reaches of a spiral galaxy may be too poor in heavy elements to allow terrestrial complex life to exist.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The Habitable Zone and Extreme Planetary Orbits

    E-print Network

    Kane, Stephen R

    2012-01-01

    The Habitable Zone for a given star describes the range of circumstellar distances from the star within which a planet could have liquid water on its surface, which depends upon the stellar properties. Here we describe the development of the Habitable Zone concept, its application to our own Solar System, and its subsequent application to exoplanetary systems. We further apply this to planets in extreme eccentric orbits and show how they may still retain lifebearing properties depending upon the percentage of the total orbit which is spent within the Habitable Zone.

  10. 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

  11. Evolution of the Sun, and Habitable Zones

    E-print Network

    Walter, Frederick M.

    Evolution of the Sun, Stars, and Habitable Zones #12;Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram #12;Parts of the H-Main Sequence Timescales Timescale ~ E/L L >> Lms Habitable Zones Refer back to our discussion of the Greenhouse Effect. Tp ~ (L*/D2)0.25 The habitable zone is the region where the temperature is between 0

  12. The Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey TArgets (CELESTA): A Database of Habitable Zones around Nearby Stars

    E-print Network

    Chandler, Colin Orion; Kane, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    Locating planets in circumstellar Habitable Zones 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 Habitable Zones around 36,000 nearby stars. We calculated stellar parameters, including effective temperatures, masses, and radii, and we quantified the orbital distances and periods corresponding to the circumstellar Habitable Zones. 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 Habitable Zones 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 Habitable Zone models, stellar temperatures, or parallax data become available. We expect to u...

  13. Habitable Zones. The Problem: Find Earth 2.0

    E-print Network

    Walter, Frederick M.

    Habitable Zones. #12;The Problem: Find Earth 2.0 · Requirements: need and pressure #12;The Habitable Zone in the Solar System LocaFon depends on assumpFnuously Habitable Zone #12;The ConFnuously Habitable Zone The faint young Sun problem

  14. 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 7.79×10? 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

  15. 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.

  16. The Galactic Habitable Zone I. Galactic Chemical Evolution

    E-print Network

    Guillermo Gonzalez; Donald Brownlee; Peter Ward

    2001-03-12

    We propose the concept of a "Galactic Habitable Zone" (GHZ). Analogous to the Circumstellar Habitable Zone (CHZ), the GHZ is that region in the Milky Way where an Earth-like planet can retain liquid water on its surface and provide a long-term habitat for animal-like aerobic life. In this paper we examine the dependence of the GHZ on Galactic chemical evolution. The single most important factor is likely the dependence of terrestrial planet mass on the metallicity of its birth cloud. We estimate, very approximately, that a metallicity at least half that of the Sun is required to build a habitable terrestrial planet. The mass of a terrestrial planet has important consequences for interior heat loss, volatile inventory, and loss of atmosphere. A key issue is the production of planets that sustain plate tectonics, a critical recycling process that provides feedback to stabilize atmospheric temperatures on planets with oceans and atmospheres. Due to the more recent decline from the early intense star formation activity in the Milky Way, the concentration in the interstellar medium of the geophysically important radioisotopes, $^{40}$K, $^{235, 238}$U, $^{232}$Th, has been declining relative to Fe, an abundant element in the Earth. Also likely important are the relative abundances of Si and Mg to Fe, which affects the mass of the core relative to the mantle in a terrestrial planet. All these elements and isotopes vary with time and location in the Milky Way; thus, planetary systems forming in other locations and times in the Milky Way with the same metallicity as the Sun will not necessarily form habitable Earth-like planets.

  17. 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

  18. Habitable Zone Limits for Dry Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (CO2, 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/m2 (170% that of modern Earth), compared to 330 W/m2 (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.

  19. 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 press) MNRAS, arXiv:14126230v3.

  20. Habitable zones around main sequence stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.; Whitmire, Daniel P.; Reynolds, Ray T.

    1993-01-01

    A mechanism for stabilizing climate on the earth and other earthlike planets is described, and the physical processes that define the inner and outer boundaries of the habitable zone (HZ) around the sun and main sequence stars are discussed. Physical constraints on the HZ obtained from Venus and Mars are taken into account. A 1D climate model is used to estimate the width of the HZ and the continuously habitable zone around the sun, and the analysis is extended to other main sequence stars. Whether other stars have planets and where such planets might be located with respect to the HZ is addressed. The implications of the findings for NASA's SETI project are considered.

  1. UV habitable zones around M stars

    E-print Network

    Andrea P. Buccino; Guillermo A. Lemarchand; Pablo J. D. Mauas

    2007-08-14

    During the last decade, there was a paradigm-shift in order to consider terrestrial planets within liquid-water habitable zones (LW-HZ) around M stars, as suitable places for the emergence and evolution of life. Here we analyze the influence of UV boundary conditions to three planetary systems around dM (HIP 74995, HIP 109388 and HIP 113020). We apply our model of UV habitable zone (UV-HZ) (Buccino et al. 2006) to these cases and show that during the quiescent UV output there would not be enough UV radiation within the LW-HZ in order to trigger biogenic processes. We also analyze the cases of two other M flare stars and show that the flares of moderate intensity could provide the necessary energy to trigger those biogenic processes, while the strong flares not necessary rule-out the possibility of life-bearing planets.

  2. 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.

  3. A population-based Habitable Zone perspective

    E-print Network

    Zsom, Andras

    2015-01-01

    What can we tell about exoplanet habitability if currently only the stellar properties, planet radius, and the incoming stellar flux are known? A planet is in the Habitable Zone (HZ) if it harbors liquid water on its surface. The HZ is traditionally conceived as a sharp region around stars because it is calculated for one planet with specific properties. Such an approach is limiting because the planets' atmospheric and geophysical properties, which influence the presence of liquid water on the surface, are currently unknown but expected to be diverse. A statistical HZ description is outlined which does not favor one planet type. Instead the stellar and planet properties are treated as random variables and a continuous range of planet scenarios are considered. Various probability density functions are assigned to each 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...

  4. Dynamical influence of the secondary star on planets in the circumprimary habitable zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Bazso, Akos; Funk, Barbara; Lammer, Helmut; Eggl, Siegfried

    2015-08-01

    From studies of circumstellar planetary motion in tight binary star systems like gamma Cephei or HD41004AB we know that secular perturbations can appear which could also influence planets moving in the circumprimary habitable zone. This depends certainly on the system architecture. To locate the area where the secular resonance causes high eccentricity motion or orbital escapes we use a semi-analytical approach which can easily be applied to circumstellar planetary systems where the giant planet orbits the primary star at larger distances than the habitable zone.In this presentation we will use the system HD41004AB - where we study the area around HD41004A inside the orbit of the detected gas giant -- to explain our method and compare the results to former numerical simulations of this region. The comparison of both studies showed a good agreement so that an application to all known tight binary star systems (up to 100 au separation of the two stars) was carried out. In case the secular resonance is located in the habitable zone we analyse the effect on the planetary motion in detail and discuss possible consequences taking into account former habitability studies of the Earth when moving in an eccentric orbit.

  5. A Population-based Habitable Zone Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zsom, Andras

    2015-11-01

    What can we tell about exoplanet habitability if currently only the stellar properties, planet radius, and the incoming stellar flux are known? A planet is in the habitable zone (HZ) if it harbors liquid water on its surface. The HZ is traditionally conceived as a sharp region around stars because it is calculated for one planet with specific properties. Such an approach is limiting because the planet’s atmospheric and geophysical properties, which influence the presence of liquid water on the surface, are currently unknown but expected to be diverse. A statistical HZ description is outlined that does not favor one planet type. Instead, the stellar and planet properties are treated as random variables, and a continuous range of planet scenarios is considered. Various probability density functions are assigned to each 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 subpopulation bearing liquid water is analyzed. Given our current observational knowledge, the HZ takes the form of a weakly constrained but smooth probability function. The HZ has an inner edge, but a clear outer edge is not seen. Currently only optimistic upper limits can be derived for the potentially observable HZ occurrence rate. Finally, we illustrate through an example how future data on exoplanet atmospheres will help to narrow down the probability that an exoplanet harbors liquid water, and we identify the greatest observational challenge in the way of finding a habitable exoplanet.

  6. Detection of Exomoons Inside the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tusnski, Luis Ricardo M.; Valio, Adriana

    2014-04-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, those most adequate for life to begin and evolve have been sought. Due to observational bias, however, most of the discovered planets so far are gas giants, precluding their habitability. However, if these hot Jupiters are located in the habitable zones of their host stars, and if rocky moons orbit them, then these moons may be habitable. In this work, we present a model for planetary transit simulation considering the presence of moons around a planet. The moon orbit is considered to be circular and coplanar with the planetary orbit. The other physical and orbital parameters of the star, planet, and moon, can be adjusted in each simulation. It is possible to simulate as many successive transits as desired. Since the presence of spots on the surface of the star may produce a signal similar to that of the presence of a moon, our model also allows for the inclusion of starspots. The goal is to determine the criteria for detectability of moons using photometry with the CoRoT and Kepler telescopes taking into account the stellar activity.

  7. Radiative Habitable Zones in Martian Polar Environments

    E-print Network

    C. Cordoba-Jabonero; M. -P. Zorzano; F. Selsis; M. R. Patel; C. S. Cockell

    2005-07-13

    The biologically damaging solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation (quantified by the DNA-weighted dose) reaches the Martian surface in extremely high levels. Searching for potentially habitable UV-protected environments on Mars, we considered the polar ice caps that consist of a seasonally varying CO2 ice cover and a permanent H2O ice layer. It was found that, though the CO2 ice is insufficient by itself to screen the UV radiation, at 1 m depth within the perennial H2O ice the DNA-weighted dose is reduced to terrestrial levels. This depth depends strongly on the optical properties ofthe H2O ice layers (for instance snow-lile layes). The Earth-like DNA-weighted dose and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) requirements were used to define the upper and lower limits of the nortern and southern polar radiative habitable zone (RHZ) for which a temporal and spatial mapping was performed. Based on these studies we conclude that phtosynthetic life might be possible within the ice layers of the polar regions. The thickness varies along each Martian polar spring and summer between 1.5 m and 2.4 m for H2= ice-like layers, and a few centimeters for snow-like covers. These Martian Earth-like radiative habitable environments may be primary targets for future Martian astrobiological missions. Special attention should be paid to planetary protection, since the polar RHZ may also be subject to terrestrial contamination by probes.

  8. Radiative habitable zones in martian polar environments.

    PubMed

    Córdoba-Jabonero, Carmen; Zorzano, María-Paz; Selsis, Franck; Patel, Manish R; Cockell, Charles S

    2005-06-01

    The biologically damaging solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation (quantified by the DNA-weighted dose) reaches the martian surface in extremely high levels. Searching for potentially habitable UV-protected environments on Mars, we considered the polar ice caps that consist of a seasonally varying CO2 ice cover and a permanent H2O ice layer. It was found that, though the CO2 ice is insufficient by itself to screen the UV radiation, at approximately 1 m depth within the perennial H2O ice the DNA-weighted dose is reduced to terrestrial levels. This depth depends strongly on the optical properties of the H2O ice layers (for instance snow-like layers). The Earth-like DNA-weighted dose and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) requirements were used to define the upper and lower limits of the northern and southern polar Radiative Habitable Zone (RHZ) for which a temporal and spatial mapping was performed. Based on these studies we conclude that photosynthetic life might be possible within the ice layers of the polar regions. The thickness varies along each martian polar spring and summer between approximately 1.5 and 2.4 m for H2O ice-like layers, and a few centimeters for snow-like covers. These martian Earth-like radiative habitable environments may be primary targets for future martian astrobiological missions. Special attention should be paid to planetary protection, since the polar RHZ may also be subject to terrestrial contamination by probes. PMID:16044598

  9. Extrasolar Trojan Planets close to Habitable Zones

    E-print Network

    R. Dvorak; E. Pilat-Lohinger; R. Schwarz; F. Freistetter

    2004-08-04

    We investigate the stability regions of hypothetical terrestrial planets around the Lagrangian equilibrium points L4 and L5 in some specific extrasolar planetary systems. The problem of their stability can be treated in the framework of the restricted three body problem where the host star and a massive Jupiter-like planet are the primary bodies and the terrestrial planet is regarded as being massless. From these theoretical investigations one cannot determine the extension of the stable zones around the equilibrium points. Using numerical experiments we determined their largeness for three test systems chosen from the table of the know extrasolar planets, where a giant planet is moving close to the so-called habitable zone around the host star in low eccentric orbits. The results show the dependence of the size and structure of this region, which shrinks significantly with the eccentricity of the known gas giant.

  10. Galactic Habitable Zone and Astrobiological Complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vukotic, B.

    2012-12-01

    This is a short thesis description and for the sake of brevity most things are left out. For more details, those interested are further directed to the thesis related papers in this article reference list. Thesis itself is available at the University of Belgrade library "Svetozar Markovic" (Serbian version only). In this thesis we study the astrobiological history of the Galactic habitable zone through the means of numerical modeling. First group of simulations are unidimensional (time-axis) toy models examine the influence of global regulation mechanisms (gamma-ray bursts and supernovae) on temporal evolution of Galactic astrobiological complexity. It is shown that under the assumption of global regulation classical anti SETI arguments can be undermined. Second group of simulations are more complex bidimensional probabilistic cellular automata models of the Galactic thin disk. They confirm the findings of the toy models and give some insights into the spatial clustering of astrobiological complexity. As a new emerging multidisciplinary science the basic concepts of astrobiology are poorly understood and although all the simulations present here do not include some basic physics (such as Galactic kinematics and dynamics), the input parameters are somewhat arbitrary and could use a future refinement (such as the boundaries of the Galactic habitable zone). This is the cause for low weight and high uncertainty in the output results of the simulations. However, the probabilistic cellular automata has shown as a highly adaptable modeling platform that can simulate various class of astrobiological models with great ease.

  11. 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.

  12. Tides, planetary companions, and habitability: habitability in the habitable zone of low-mass stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Laerhoven, C.; Barnes, R.; Greenberg, R.

    2014-07-01

    Earth-scale planets in the classical habitable zone (HZ) are more likely to be habitable if they possess active geophysics. Without a constant internal energy source, planets cool as they age, eventually terminating tectonic activity. Planets orbiting low-mass stars can be very old, due to the longevity of such stars, so they may be rendered sterile to life in this way. However, the presence of an outer companion could generate enough tidal heat in the HZ planet to prevent such cooling. The range of mass and orbital parameters for the companion that give adequate long-term heating of the inner HZ planet, while avoiding very early total desiccation, is probably substantial. We locate the ideal location for the outer of a pair of planets, under the assumption that the inner planet has the same incident flux as Earth, orbiting example stars: a generic late M dwarf (Teff = 2670 K) and the M9V/L0 dwarf DEN1048. Thus discoveries of Earth-scale planets in the HZ zone of old small stars should be followed by searches for outer companion planets that might be essential for current habitability.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Habitable Zone Dependence on Stellar Parameter Uncertainties

    E-print Network

    Kane, Stephen R

    2014-01-01

    An important property of exoplanetary systems is the extent of the Habitable Zone (HZ), defined as that region where water can exist in a liquid state on the surface of a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure. Both ground and space-based observations have revealed a plethora of confirmed exoplanets and exoplanetary candidates, most notably from the Kepler mission using the transit detection technique. Many of these detected planets lie within the predicted HZ of their host star. However, as is the case with the derived properties of the planets themselves, the HZ boundaries depend on how well we understand the host star. Here we quantify the uncertainties of HZ boundaries on the parameter uncertainties of the host star. We examine the distribution of stellar parameter uncertainties from confirmed exoplanet hosts and Kepler candidate hosts and translate these into HZ boundary uncertainties. We apply this to several known systems with a 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 carbon (dioxide) that platform carbonates and the deep continental lithosphere do not take. Weathering and formation of carbonates in the oceanic crust dynamically buffers atmospheric CO2 at habitable levels. N2 is an indirect greenhouse gas in that the total pressure increases the effect of CO2. Photosynthetic life affects the nitrogen cycle as NH4+ replaces K+ in subducted black shale. N2 hence correlates with Ar-40 in volcanic gases. The net effect is that atmospheric pressure and hence the greenhouse effect decrease with time. Continents are in part the result of biological weathering. Their presence allows life to directly affect continental albedo as with “Daisy World” and to indirectly affect albedo as high global temperatures lead to reflective deserts.

  17. Prospects for Extrasolar "Earths" in Habitable Zones

    E-print Network

    B. W. Jones; D. R. Underwood; P. N. Sleep

    2005-03-08

    We have shown that Earth-mass planets could survive in variously restricted regions of the habitable zones (HZs) of most of a sample of nine of the 102 main-sequence exoplanetary systems confirmed by 19 November 2003. In a preliminary extrapolation of our results to the other systems, we estimate that roughly a half of these systems could have had an Earth-mass planet confined to the HZ for at least the most recent 1000 Ma. The HZ migrates outwards during the main-sequence lifetime, and so this proportion varies with stellar age. About two thirds of the systems could have such a planet confined to the HZ for at least 1000 Ma at sometime during the main-sequence lifetime. Clearly, these systems should be high on the target list for exploration for terrestrial planets. We have reached this conclusion by launching putative Earth-mass planets in various orbits and following their fate with mixed-variable symplectic and hybrid integrators. Whether the Earth-mass planets could form in the HZs of the exoplanetary systems is an urgent question that needs further study.

  18. Europa, tidally heated oceans, and habitable zones around giant planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, Ray T.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Kasting, James F.

    1987-01-01

    Tidal dissipation in the satellites of a giant planet may provide sufficient heating to maintain an environment favorable to life on the satellite surface or just below a thin ice layer. Europa could have a liquid ocean which may occasionally receive sunlight through cracks in the overlying ice shell. In such a case, sufficient solar energy could reach liquid water that organisms similar to those found under Antarctic ice could grow. In other solar systems, larger satellites with more significant heat flow could represent environments that are stable over an order of eons and in which life could perhaps evolve. A zone around a giant planet is defined in which such satellites could exist as a tidally-heated habitable zone. This zone can be compared to the habitable zone which results from heating due to the radiation of a central star. In this solar system, this radiatively-heated habitable zone contains the earth.

  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 launch of JWST.

  20. 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.

  1. Comparable Habitable Zones of Stars - Duration: 25 seconds.

    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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Stellar activity mimics a habitable-zone planet around Kapteyn's star

    E-print Network

    Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath

    2015-01-01

    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. 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 reveals 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 Habitable Zone, but an artifact of stellar activity.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Towards the Minimum Inner Edge Distance of the Habitable Zone

    E-print Network

    Zsom, Andras; de Wit, Julien

    2013-01-01

    We explore the minimum distance from a host star for an exoplanet to be potentially habitable, in order to maximize future chances of finding other habitable worlds. We find that the inner edge of the Habitable Zone (HZ) for hot desert worlds is at 0.5 AU around a solar-like star (well within the orbit of Venus). The relative humidity is the key controlling factor in determining the inner edge distance because water vapor has a strong impact on the greenhouse warming of the atmosphere, yet too little water vapor will deactivate precipitation and enable CO2 to accumulate. We estimate that a relative humidity as low as 1% can be sufficient to maintain a liquid water cycle and wash out CO2 from the atmosphere. If the surface pressure is too low (~0.1 bar), the water loss timescale of the planet is too short to support life. If the surface pressure is too high (~100 bars), we show using atmospheric circulation arguments, that the day-night side temperature difference on slow rotators and tidally locked planets is...

  9. The Habitable Zones of Pre-Main-Sequence Stars

    E-print Network

    Ramirez, Ramses M

    2014-01-01

    We calculate the pre-main-sequence HZ for stars of spectral classes F to M. The spatial distribution of liquid water and its change during the pre-main-sequence phase of protoplanetary systems is important in 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 to star separation for cool stars than is the case for the traditional main-sequence (MS) habitable zone (HZ). We use 1D radiative-convective climate and stellar evolutionary models to calculate pre-main-sequence HZ distances for F1 to 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 ru...

  10. FOOD HABITS OF JUVENILE SALMON IN THE OREGON COASTAL ZONE, JUNE 1979

    E-print Network

    FOOD HABITS OF JUVENILE SALMON IN THE OREGON COASTAL ZONE, JUNE 1979 WILLIAM T. PETERSON,l RICHARD along the Oregon coast in June 1979. Food habits of juvenile salmon differed among species. About 95, on a weight basis, over half the stomach contents consisted of fishes. Variability in food habits was high

  11. Quantifying the Intermittency of Mars Surface Habitability Habitable-zone planets such as Mars host natural origin-of-life experiments whose results are

    E-print Network

    1 Quantifying the Intermittency of Mars Surface Habitability Habitable-zone planets requires quantifying the intermittency of habitable surface conditions [1-3]. We will do this by analyzing supported microbial life [4], but habitability could not have been both long-lasting and global because

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

    SciTech Connect

    Zsom, Andras; Seager, Sara; De Wit, Julien; Stamenkovi?, 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Planet formation in the habitable zone of alpha Centauri B

    E-print Network

    Philippe Thebault; Francesco Marzari; Hans Scholl

    2008-11-05

    Recent studies have shown that alpha Centauri B might be, from an observational point of view, an ideal candidate for the detection of an Earth-like planet in or near its habitable zone (0.5-0.9AU). We study here if such habitable planets can form, by numerically investigating the planet-formation stage which is probably the most sensitive to binarity effects: the mutual accretion of km-sized planetesimals. Using a state-of-the-art algorithm for computing the impact velocities within a test planetesimal population, we find that planetesimal growth is only possible, although marginally, in the innermost part of the HZ around 0.5AU. Beyond this point, the combination of secular perturbations by the binary companion and gas drag drive the mutual velocities beyond the erosion limit. Impact velocities might later decrease during the gas removal phase, but this probably happens too late for preventing most km-sized objects to be removed by inward drift, thus preventing accretion from starting anew. A more promising hypothesis is that the binary formed in a crowded cluster, where it might have been wider in its initial stages, when planetary formation was ongoing. We explore this scenario and find that a starting separation roughly 15 AU wider, or an eccentricity 2.5 times lower than the present ones are required to have an accretion-friendly environment in the whole HZ.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Abiotic Oxygen-dominated Atmospheres on Terrestrial Habitable Zone Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-04-01

    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H2O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N2, Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O2 and O3 alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life.

  18. 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.

  19. Determination of Habitable Zones in Extrasolar Planetary Systems: Where are Gaia's Sisters?

    E-print Network

    1 Determination of Habitable Zones in Extrasolar Planetary Systems: Where are Gaia's Sisters scheme for assessing the suitability for life of extrasolar planets is pre- sented. The scheme focuses on the identification of the "habitable zone" in main-sequence star planetary systems accommodating Earth

  20. TOWARD THE MINIMUM INNER EDGE DISTANCE OF THE HABITABLE ZONE

    E-print Network

    Zsom, Andras

    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 ...

  1. Probability distribution of terrestrial planets in habitable zones around host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jianpo; Zhang, Fenghui; Chen, Xuefei; Han, Zhanwen

    2009-10-01

    With more and more exoplanets being detected, it is paid closer attention to whether there are lives outside solar system. We try to obtain habitable zones and the probability distribution of terrestrial planets in habitable zones around host stars. Using Eggleton’s code, we calculate the evolution of stars with masses less than 4.00 M ?. We also use the fitting formulae of stellar luminosity and radius, the boundary flux of habitable zones, the distribution of semimajor axis and mass of planets and the initial mass function of stars. We obtain the luminosity and radius of stars with masses from 0.08 to 4.00 M ?, and calculate the habitable zones of host stars, affected by stellar effective temperature. We achieve the probability distribution of terrestrial planets in habitable zones around host stars. We also calculate that the number of terrestrial planets in habitable zones of host stars is 45.5 billion, and the number of terrestrial planets in habitable zones around K type stars is the most, in the Milky Way.

  2. The Orbits of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zones of Known Exoplanetary Systems

    E-print Network

    Barrie W Jones; P Nick Sleep

    2002-11-01

    We show that terrestrial planets could survive in variously restricted regions of the habitable zones of 47 Ursae Majoris, Epsilon Eridani, and Rho Coronae Borealis, but nowhere in the habitable zones of Gliese 876 and Upsilon Andromedae. The first three systems between them are representative of a large proportion of the 90 or so extrasolar planetary systems discovered by mid-2002, and thus there are many known systems worth searching for terrestrial planets in habitable zones. We reach our conclusions by launching putative Earth-mass planets in various orbits and following their fate with a mixed-variable symplectic integrator.

  3. Kepler Mission: Detecting Earth-sized Planets in Habitable Zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Kepler Mission, which is presently in Phase A, is being proposed for launch in 5 years for a 4-year mission to determine the frequency of Earth-sized or larger planets in habitable zones in our galaxy. Kepler will be placed in an Earth-trailing orbit to provide stable physical environments for the sensitive scientific instruments. The satellite is equipped with a photometric system with the precision of 10E-5, which should be sufficient for detecting the transits of Earth-sized or larger planets in front of dwarf stars similar to the Sun. Approximately 100,000 or more sun-like stars brighter than the 14th apparently magnitude will be monitored continuously for 4 years in a preselected region of the sky, which is about 100 square degrees in size. In addition, Kepler will have a participating scientist program that will enable research in intrinsic variable stars, interacting binaries including cataclysmic stars and X-ray binaries, and a large number of solar analogs in our galaxy. Several ten thousand additional stars may be investigated in the guest observer program open to the whole world.

  4. Extrasolar "Earths" in habitable zones- targets of opportunity

    E-print Network

    B. W. Jones; D. R. Underwood; P. N. Sleep

    2003-10-10

    We have shown that Earth-mass planets could survive in variously restricted regions of the habitable zones (HZs) of most of a sample of nine of the 102 main-sequence exoplanetary systems confirmed by 25 September 2003. In a preliminary extrapolation of our results to the other systems, we estimate that roughly a half of these systems could have had an Earth-mass planet confined to the HZ for at least the most recent 1000 Ma. The HZ migrates outwards during the main-sequence lifetime, and so this proportion varies with stellar age; about two thirds of the systems could have such a planet confined to the HZ for at least 1000 Ma at sometime during the main-sequence lifetime. Clearly, these systems should be high on the target list for exploration for terrestrial planets. We have reached this conclusion by launching putative Earth-mass planets in various orbits and following their fate with mixed-variable symplectic and hybrid integrators. Whether the Earth-mass planets could form in the HZs of the exoplanetary systems is an urgent question that needs further study.

  5. Habitable Zones Around Main-Sequence Stars: New Estimates

    E-print Network

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

    2013-01-01

    Identifying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of other stars is one of the primary goals of ongoing radial velocity and transit exoplanet surveys and proposed future space missions. Most current estimates of the boundaries of the HZ are based on 1-D, cloud-free, climate model calculations by Kasting et al.(1993). The inner edge of the HZ in Kasting et al.(1993) 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 1-D 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 Syste...

  6. Microlensing Sensitivity to Earth-mass Planets in the Habitable Zone

    E-print Network

    Byeong-Gon Park; Young-Beom Jeon; Chung-Uk Lee; Cheongho Han

    2006-01-31

    Microlensing is one of the most powerful methods that can detect extrasolar planets and a future space-based survey with a high monitoring frequency is proposed to detect a large sample of Earth-mass planets. In this paper, we examine the sensitivity of the future microlensing survey to Earth-mass planets located in the habitable zone. For this, we estimate the fraction of Earth-mass planets that will be located in the habitable zone of their parent stars by carrying out detailed simulation of microlensing events based on standard models of the physical and dynamic distributions and the mass function of Galactic matter. From this investigation, we find that among the total detectable Earth-mass planets from the survey, those located in the habitable zone would comprise less than 1% even under a less-conservative definition of the habitable zone. We find the main reason for the low sensitivity is that the projected star-planet separation at which the microlensing planet detection efficiency becomes maximum (lensing zone) is in most cases substantially larger than the median value of the habitable zone. We find that the ratio of the median radius of the habitable zone to the mean radius of the lensing zone is roughly expressed as $d_{\\rm HZ}/r_{\\rm E}\\sim 0.2(m/0.5 M_\\odot)^{1/2}$.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 conservative estimates of the HZ (water-loss and maximum greenhouse limits) should be used for current RV surveys and Kepler mission to obtain a lower limit on {eta}{sub Circled-Plus }, so that future flagship missions like TPF-C and Darwin are not undersized. Our model does not include the radiative effects of clouds; thus, the actual HZ boundaries may extend further in both directions than the estimates just given.

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

    E-print Network

    P. Chylek; M. R. Perez

    2007-09-10

    We assess the possibility that planets Gliese 581 c and d are within the habitable zone. In analogy with our solar system, we use an empirical definition of the habitable zone. We include assumptions such as planetary climates, and atmospheric circulation on gravitationally locked synchronous rotation. Based on the different scenarios, we argue that both planets in Gliese 581 could develop conditions for a habitable zone. In an Earth-like environment planet d could be within a habitable zone, if an atmosphere producing greenhouse effect of 100K could have developed. If the planets are gravitationally locked-in, planet c could develop atmospheric circulation that would allow it to reach temperatures consistent with the existence of surface liquid water, which in turn could support life.

  10. NASA's Kepler Discovers Its Smallest 'Habitable Zone' Planets to Date - Duration: 2 minutes, 27 seconds.

    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...

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

    E-print Network

    Chylek, P

    2007-01-01

    We assess the possibility that planets Gliese 581 c and d are within the habitable zone. In analogy with our solar system, we use an empirical definition of the habitable zone. We include assumptions such as planetary climates, and atmospheric circulation on gravitationally locked synchronous rotation. Based on the different scenarios, we argue that both planets in Gliese 581 could develop conditions for a habitable zone. In an Earth-like environment planet d could be within a habitable zone, if an atmosphere producing greenhouse effect of 100K could have developed. If the planets are gravitationally locked-in, planet c could develop atmospheric circulation that would allow it to reach temperatures consistent with the existence of surface liquid water, which in turn could support life.

  12. 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.

  13. Habitable Evaporated Cores: Converting Mini-Neptunes into Super- Earths in the Habitable Zone of M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

    The low masses and luminosities of M dwarfs make them ideal targets for thedetection of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). However, studies suggest that planets formed only from material in the HZs of these stars are likely to be small and dry (e.g., Raymond et al. 2007). As a result, many of the planets that will be detected in the HZ by upcoming missions are probably the result of migration from beyond the snow line, and may have formed with large H/He envelopes (so-called mini-Neptunes). Here we show that photoevaporation and Roche lobe overflow of these planets can lead to the complete loss of their gaseous envelopes, transforming them into potentially habitable worlds, which we call “habitable evaporated cores”. We couple the planet structure models of Lopez et al. (2012) with a simple Roche lobe overflow scheme and the X-ray/extreme ultraviolet (XUV)-induced mass loss model of Erkaev et al. (2007). We also couple the orbital effects of anisotropic mass loss with tidal evolution and show that this coupling can lead to orbital changes that significantly enhance the mass loss rate.Habitable evaporated cores are most likely to form from small mini-Neptunes (?4 M?) with large (?50%) initial hydrogen fractions orbiting M4 stars and later. Given the steep decrease in stellar XUV flux with time (Ribas et al. 2005), mass loss is negligible after ~1 Gyr, at which point a habitable evaporated core is capable of degassing and maintaining a secondary atmosphere. This process may be the dominant formation mechanism for habitable planets around M dwarfs, and may be discovered by missions such as TESS and PLATO.

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

    E-print Network

    Zuluaga, Jorge I; Cuartas, Pablo A

    2015-01-01

    The remarkable discovery of many planets and candidates using the Kepler telescope even includes ten planets orbiting eight binaries. Three out of the eight, Kepler 16, Kepler 47, and KIC 9632895, have at least one planet in the circumbinary habitable zone (BHZ). In previous work (Mason et al. 2013), we investigated the potential habitability of Earth-like circumbinary planets. In particular, we highlighted the role of mutual stellar tidal interaction and the resulting impact on terrestrial planet habitability. The Kepler binaries with planets in the BHZ are studied in order to constrain the high energy radiation and plasma environment of potentially habitable circumbinary planets. The limits of the BHZ in these binaries as a function of time are estimated and the habitability lifetime is calculated. A self-consistent model of the evolution of stellar rotation including the effect of tidal interaction is key to establishing the plasma and radiation environment. A comprehensive model of the evolution of stella...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Can Life develop in the expanded habitable zones around Red Giant Stars?

    E-print Network

    Bruno Lopez; Jean Schneider; William C. Danchi

    2005-03-23

    We present some new ideas about the possibility of life developing around sub-giant and red giant stars. Our study concerns the temporal evolution of the habitable zone. The distance between the star and the habitable zone, as well as its width, increases with time as a consequence of stellar evolution. The habitable zone moves outward after the star leaves the main sequence, sweeping a wider range of distances from the star until the star reaches the tip of the asymptotic giant branch. If life could form and evolve over time intervals from $5 \\times 10^8$ to $10^9$ years, then there could be habitable planets with life around red giant stars. For a 1 M$_{\\odot}$ star at the first stages of its post main-sequence evolution, the temporal transit of the habitable zone is estimated to be of several 10$^9$ years at 2 AU and around 10$^8$ years at 9 AU. Under these circumstances life could develop at distances in the range 2-9 AU in the environment of sub-giant or giant stars and in the far distant future in the environment of our own Solar System. After a star completes its first ascent along the Red Giant Branch and the He flash takes place, there is an additional stable period of quiescent He core burning during which there is another opportunity for life to develop. For a 1 M$_{\\odot}$ star there is an additional $10^9$ years with a stable habitable zone in the region from 7 to 22 AU. Space astronomy missions, such as proposed for the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and Darwin should also consider the environments of sub-giants and red giant stars as potentially interesting sites for understanding the development of life.

  18. Habitable Evaporated Cores: Transforming Mini-Neptunes into Super-Earths in the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    E-print Network

    Luger, Rodrigo; Lopez, Eric; Fortney, Jonathan; Jackson, Brian; Meadows, Victoria

    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 $\\sim 1 M_\\oplus$ 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Exomoon habitability constrained by illumination and tidal heating

    E-print Network

    Heller, René

    2012-01-01

    The detection of moons orbiting extrasolar planets ("exomoons") has now become feasible. Once 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 circum-planetary "habit...

  3. 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 497.7451 (2013): 607-610.

  4. Early-Type Stars: Most Favorable Targets for Astrometrically Detectable Planets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew; Ford, Eric B.; Fischer, Debra A.

    2003-07-01

    Early-type stars appear to be a difficult place to look for planets astrometrically. First, they are relatively heavy, and for fixed planetary mass the astrometric signal falls inversely as the stellar mass. Second, they are relatively rare (and so tend to be more distant), and for fixed orbital separation the astrometric signal falls inversely as the distance. Nevertheless, because early-type stars are relatively more luminous, their habitable zones are at larger semimajor axis. Since astrometric signal scales directly as orbital size, this gives early-type stars a strong advantage, which more than compensates for the other two factors. Using the Hipparcos Catalog, we show that F and A stars constitute the majority of viable targets for astrometric searches for planets with semimajor axes currently in the habitable zone. Thus, astrometric surveys are complementary to transit searches, which are primarily sensitive to habitable planets around late-type stars.

  5. Early-type Stars: Most Favorable Targets for Astrometrically Detectable Planets in the Habitable Zone

    E-print Network

    Andrew Gould; Debra A. Fischer

    2003-02-26

    Early-type stars appear to be a difficult place to look for planets astrometrically. First, they are relatively heavy, and for fixed planetary mass the astrometric signal falls inversely as the stellar mass. Second, they are relatively rare (and so tend to be more distant), and for fixed orbital separation the astrometric signal falls inversely as the distance. Nevertheless, because early-type stars are relatively more luminous, their habitable zones are at larger semi-major axis. Since astrometric signal scales directly as orbital size, this gives early-type stars a strong advantage, which more than compensates for the other two factors. Using the Hipparcos catalog, we show that early-type stars constitute the majority of viable targets for astrometric searches for planets in the habitable zone. We contrast this characteristic to transit searches, which are primarily sensitive to habitable planets around late-type stars.

  6. THERMAL ESCAPE FROM SUPER EARTH ATMOSPHERES IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF M STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Tian Feng

    2009-09-20

    A fundamental question for exoplanet habitability is the long-term stability of the planet's atmosphere. We numerically solve a one-dimensional multi-component hydrodynamic thermosphere/ionosphere model to examine the thermal and chemical responses of the primary CO{sub 2} atmospheres of heavy super Earths (6-10 Earth masses) in the habitable zones of typical low-mass M stars to the enhanced soft X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) fluxes associated with the prolonged high-activity levels of M stars. The results show that such atmospheres are stable against thermal escape, even for M stars XUV enhancements as large as 1000 compared to the present Earth. It is possible that the CO{sub 2}-dominant atmospheres of super Earths in the habitable zones of M stars could potentially contain modest amount of free oxygen as a result of more efficient atmosphere escape of carbon than oxygen instead of photosynthesis.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars

    E-print Network

    Leconte, Jérémy; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-01-01

    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 0.5-0.7Msun. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere.

  10. 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.

  11. Stellar Activity Masquerading as Planets in the Habitable Zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581

    E-print Network

    Robertson, Paul; Endl, Michael; Roy, Arpita

    2014-01-01

    The M dwarf 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 H-alpha line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130+/-2 days and a correlation for H-alpha modulation with radial velocity. Correcting for activity greatly diminishes the signal of GJ 581d (to 1.5 sigma), 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.

  12. The Potential for Archaeology Within and Beyond the Habitable Zones (HZ) of the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, John B.

    2004-06-01

    As archaeology is established on Earth and we are actively exploring the Solar System and beyond, there is the potential to develop a number of forms of exo-archaeology. The archaeology of the things intelligent species do in theory could be practised anywhere, provided one can detect the evidence. Sites are being created by us elsewhere within our star's habitable zone (HZ), namely on the Moon and Mars, and at least molecular traces of human-created probes are being left beyond the HZ (Venus, Jupiter etc.). The successful detection of extrasolar planets and the possible identification of HZs round other stars raise the possibility for the development of extrasolar archaeology, at least initially by remote sensing techniques. Within the Milky Way the main region to investigate is the galactic habitable zone (GHZ), though there could be archaeological traces of technological behaviours beyond it.

  13. 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.

  14. Stellar activity masquerading as planets in the habitable zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

    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 H? line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for H? 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.

  15. EXCEDEEXOPLANETARY CIRCUMSTELLAR ENVIRONMENTS and DISK EXPLORER Studying the formation, evolution, and architectures of exoplanetary systems,

    E-print Network

    Guyon, Olivier

    circumstellar environments in habitable zones. · 0.7 meter off-axis visible-light telescope · Active Starlight-Order Wavefront Sensor · Two-band Imaging Polarimeter · Three-year mission (2000-km LEO Sun-synchronous orbit) ­ Appx. 350 targets hosting Protoplanetary, Transitional, & Debris Disks, and high-priority EGPs · Newly

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. 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 upper limit to the absolute frequency of descreening encounters as 1-10 Gyr(-1) for solar-type stars and 10(2) to 10(9) times smaller for stars between 0.5 and 0.1 M[middle dot in circle]. Habitable-zone planets orbiting late-K to M stars are virtually never exposed to the severe consequences that have been proposed for astrospheric descreening events, but descreening events at a moderate rate may occur for stars with the Sun's mass or larger. PMID:19778278

  3. 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.

  4. Planets in habitable zones: A study of the binary Gamma Cephei

    E-print Network

    R. Dvorak; E. Pilat-Lohinger; B. Funk; F. Freistetter

    2002-11-29

    The recently discovered planetary system in the binary GamCep was studied concerning its dynamical evolution. We confirm that the orbital parameters found by the observers are in a stable configuration. The primary aim of this study was to find stable planetary orbits in a habitable region in this system, which consists of a double star (a=21.36 AU) and a relatively close (a=2.15 AU) massive (1.7 Mjup sin i) planet. We did straightforward numerical integrations of the equations of motion in different dynamical models and determined the stability regions for a fictitious massless planet in the interval of the semimajor axis 0.5 AU planets). Additionally we computed the orbits of earthlike planets (up to 90 earthmasses) in the small stable island and found out, that there exists a small window of stable orbits on the inner edge of the habitable zone in GamCep even for massive planets.

  5. Impact flux of asteroids and water transport to the habitable zone in binary star systems

    E-print Network

    Bancelin, D; Eggl, S; Dvorak, R

    2015-01-01

    By now, observations of exoplanets have found more than 50 binary star systems hosting 71 planets. We expect these numbers to increase as more than 70% of the main sequence stars in the solar neighborhood are members of binary or multiple systems. The planetary motion in such systems depends strongly on both the parameters of the stellar system (stellar separation and eccentricity) and the architecture of the planetary system (number of planets and their orbital behaviour). In case a terrestrial planet moves in the so-called habitable zone (HZ) of its host star, the habitability of this planet depends on many parameters. A crucial factor is certainly the amount of water. We investigate in this work the transport of water from beyond the snow-line to the HZ in a binary star system and compare it to a single star system.

  6. THERMAL EVOLUTION AND LIFETIME OF INTRINSIC MAGNETIC FIELDS OF SUPER-EARTHS IN HABITABLE ZONES

    SciTech Connect

    Tachinami, C.; Ida, S.; Senshu, H.

    2011-01-10

    We have numerically studied the thermal evolution of different-mass terrestrial planets in habitable zones, focusing on the duration of dynamo activity to generate their intrinsic magnetic fields, which may be one of the key factors in habitability of the planets. In particular, we are concerned with super-Earths, observations of which are rapidly developing. We calculated the evolution of temperature distributions in the planetary interior using Vinet equations of state, the Arrhenius-type formula for mantle viscosity, and the astrophysical mixing-length theory for convective heat transfer modified for mantle convection. After calibrating the model with terrestrial planets in the solar system, we apply it for 0.1-10 M{sub +} rocky planets with a surface temperature of 300 K (in habitable zones) and Earth-like compositions. With the criterion of heat flux at the core-mantle boundary (CMB), the lifetime of the magnetic fields is evaluated from the calculated thermal evolution. We found that the lifetime slowly increases with planetary mass (M{sub p} ), independent of the initial temperature gap at the CMB ({Delta}T{sub CMB}), but beyond the critical value M{sub c,p} ({approx}O(1) M{sub +}) it abruptly declines from the mantle viscosity enhancement due to the pressure effect. We derived M{sub c,p} as a function of {Delta}T{sub CMB} and a rheological parameter (activation volume, V*). Thus, the magnetic field lifetime of super-Earths with M{sub p} >M{sub p,c} sensitively depends on {Delta}T{sub CMB}, which reflects planetary accretion, and V*, which has uncertainty at very high pressure. More advanced high-pressure experiments and first-principle simulation, as well as planetary accretion simulation, are needed to discuss the habitability of super-Earths.

  7. A Method for Coupling Dynamical and Collisional Evolution of Dust in Circumstellar Disks: The Effect of a Dead Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charnoz, Sébastien; Taillifet, Esther

    2012-07-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Planets Formed in Habitable Zones of M Dwarf Stars Probably are Deficient in Volatiles

    E-print Network

    Jack J. Lissauer

    2007-03-22

    Dynamical considerations, presented herein via analytic scalings and numerical experiments, imply that Earth-mass planets accreting in regions that become habitable zones of M dwarf stars form within several million years. Temperatures in these regions during planetary accretion are higher than those encountered by the material that formed the Earth. Collision velocities during and after the prime accretionary epoch are larger than for Earth. These factors suggest that planets orbiting low mass main sequence stars are likely to be either too distant (and thus too cold) for carbon/water based life on their surfaces or have abundances of the required volatiles that are substantially less than on Earth.

  12. The Properties of Exomoons Around the Habitable Zone Planet, Kepler 22b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuse, Christopher R.; Bokorney, Jake

    2015-01-01

    As part of a larger study to understand the formation, evolution, and stability of satellites around exoplanets, we have examined the Kepler 22 system. A single planet of mass 2 × 1026 kg, Kepler 22b orbits within the habitable zone (Kopparapu et al. 2013) at 0.85 AU. While Kepler 22b may be habitable, there also exists the possibility that any satellites of the planet may also be life sustaining.A series of N-body simulations were performed to examine the most probable configuration of moons orbiting Kepler 22b. Initially, a moonlet disk of 100 bodies (mdisk = 4.29 × 1022 kg) was randomly placed around Kepler 22b. The moonlet disk spanned 10 - 80% of Kepler 22b's Hill sphere (Kasting et al. 1993). Simulations were run for 500 kyrs, with the star, planet, and moonlets allowed to gravitationally evolve.The Kepler 22b system was able to retain three to four moons in 96% of the simulations. . The remaining simulations produced systems of two moons on highly eccentric orbits. It is unlikely that the two-moon configuration would remain stable for a significant amount of time. We present the properties of the stable satellites. We have run an additional set of simulations examining the rotational effects satellites will have on Kepler 22b, given the high likelihood that the planet possesses a system of moons. We were specifically investigating if the presence of moons reduces the precession of Kepler 22b, increasing the planet's habitability.

  13. Exploring the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone in the Early Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    3-D models can help explore the possible roles of rotation, atmosphere and ocean dynamical transports, cloud feedbacks and sea ice-albedo feedbacks in determining the habitability of a range of planetary environments. Using recent modifications to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) IPCC AR5 General Circulation Model (GCM) we have explored the Inner Edge of the habitable zone (HZ) of our Solar System. We find that while Venus is currently outside the HZ, it may have been close to or within it early in Solar System history when the solar luminosity was lower and an ocean may have been present. The GISS GCM maintains habitable equilibrium surface temperatures for a solar constant 40% stronger than present day Earth (comparable to the Faint Young Sun at Venus' orbit) even if Venus rotated as rapidly as Earth early in its history. Stratospheric water vapor concentration is an order of magnitude smaller than the classical water loss limit for this simulation. We have also explored the parameter space in models with slower rotation rates. Our results are based on an atmosphere coupled to two different Earth ocean models, one a 100m mixed layer ocean with no ocean heat transport, and a second with a fully coupled dynamic ocean. Negative cloud feedbacks due to increasing high, thick clouds in the tropics as the planet warms appear to be the stabilizing mechanism, along with maintenance of subsaturated water vapor by the general circulation.

  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, ?I. We assume ?I 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 ?I, 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 ?I 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. Space telescope design to directly image the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri

    E-print Network

    Bendek, Eduardo; Lozi, Julien; Thomas, Sandrine; Males, Jared; Weston, Sasha; McElwain, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The scientific interest in directly image and identifying Earth-like planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) around nearby stars is driving the design of specialized direct imaging mission 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 arcseconds respectively. This enables direct imaging of the system with a 0.3m class telescope. Contrast ratios in the order of 1e-10 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 architectur...

  16. 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.

  17. A 1.6 Earth Radius Planet in the Habitable Zone of a G2 Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Jon Michael; Twicken, Joseph; Batalha, Natalie; Caldwell, Douglas; Cochran, William; Endl, Michael; Latham, David; Esquerdo, Gibert; Seader, Shawn; Bieryla, Allyson; Petigura, Erik; Ciardi, David; Marcy, Geoffrey; Isaacson, Howard; Rowe, Jason; Torres, Guillermo; Huber, Daniel; Bryson, Stephen; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ramirez, Ivan; Wolfgang, Angie; Li, Jie; Campbell, Jennifer; Henze, Christopher; Borucki, William

    2015-08-01

    We report on the discovery and validation a transiting planet identified by a search through the four years of data collected by NASA’s Kepler Mission. This possibly rocky 1.63-Re planet orbits its G2 host star every 384.843 days, one of the longest orbital periods for a terrestrial exoplanet to date. The likelihood that this planet has a rocky composition lies between 43% and 58%. 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 AU, this small planet is within the habitable zone of its star, experiencing only 10% more flux than Earth receives from the Sun today. The star is slightly larger and older than the Sun, with a present radius of 1.11 Rsun and an estimated age of ~6 Gyr. Thus, this planet has always been in the habitable zone and will remain there for another ˜3 Gyr.

  18. Habitable Climates

    E-print Network

    David S. Spiegel; Kristen Menou; Caleb A. Scharf

    2008-02-27

    According to the standard liquid-water definition, the Earth is only partially habitable. We reconsider planetary habitability in the framework of energy-balance models, the simplest seasonal models in physical climatology, to assess the spatial and temporal habitability of Earth-like planets. We quantify the degree of climatic habitability of our models with several metrics of fractional habitability. Previous evaluations of habitable zones may have omitted important climatic conditions by focusing on close Solar System analogies. For example, we find that model pseudo-Earths with different rotation rates or different land-ocean fractions have fractional habitabilities that differ significantly from that of the Earth itself. Furthermore, the stability of a planet's climate against albedo-feedback snowball events strongly impacts its habitability. Therefore, issues of climate dynamics may be central in assessing the habitability of discovered terrestrial exoplanets, especially if astronomical forcing conditions are different from the moderate Solar System cases.

  19. The Properties of Exomoons Around the Habitable Zone Planets, Kepler 22b and HD160691b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bokorney, Jake; Fuse, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    As part of a larger study to understand the formation, evolution, and stability of exoplanet satellites, we have examined the Kepler 22 and HD160691 systems. Habitable zone planets (Kopparapu et al. 2013) are found in each system, with Kepler 22b at 0.85 AU and HD160691b at 1.5 AU. While these planets may be habitable, systems of satellites also hold the potential of supporting life. A series of N-body simulations were performed to examine the most stable configuration of moons orbiting each planet. A moonlet disk was designed to span 10 - 80% of the planet's Hill sphere (Ksting et al. 1993). The 100 bodies (mdisk/mplanet = 2 × 10-4) within the disk were randomly placed around each planet. Simulations were run for 500 kyrs, with the star, planets, and moonlets allowed to gravitationally evolve. The Kepler 22b system was able to retain three to four moons in 96% of the simulations, while the HD160691b systems had a stable pair of moons in 73% of the simulations. The remaining simulations produced systems with moons on highly eccentric orbits.

  20. STABILITY ANALYSIS OF SINGLE-PLANET SYSTEMS AND THEIR HABITABLE ZONES

    SciTech Connect

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Barnes, Rory

    2010-06-20

    We study the dynamical stability of planetary systems consisting of one hypothetical terrestrial-mass planet (1 or 10 M{sub +}) and one massive planet (10 M{sub +}-10 M{sub jup}). We consider masses and orbits that cover the range of observed planetary system architectures (including non-zero initial eccentricities), determine the stability limit through N-body simulations, and compare it to the analytic Hill stability boundary. We show that for given masses and orbits of a two-planet system, a single parameter, which can be calculated analytically, describes the Lagrange stability boundary (no ejections or exchanges) but diverges significantly from the Hill stability boundary. However, we do find that the actual boundary is fractal, and therefore we also identify a second parameter which demarcates the transition from stable to unstable evolution. We show the portions of the habitable zones (HZs) of {rho} CrB, HD 164922, GJ 674, and HD 7924 that can support a terrestrial planet. These analyses clarify the stability boundaries in exoplanetary systems and demonstrate that, for most exoplanetary systems, numerical simulations of the stability of potentially habitable planets are only necessary over a narrow region of the parameter space. Finally, we also identify and provide a catalog of known systems that can host terrestrial planets in their HZs.

  1. 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.

  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. 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. Kasting, J.F., Whitmire, D.P., & Reynolds, R.T. 1993, Icar, 101, 108 Key JR, Schweiger AJ (1998) Geosci 24:443-451. Kopparapu, R.J., et al. 2013 ApJ 765, 131 Leitner, J. J., Schwarz, R., Firneis, M. G., Hitzenberger, R., and Neubauer, D., Astrobiology Science Conference 2010, 26-29 April 2010, League City, USA, 2010 Leitner, J.J., Schulze-Makuch, D., Firneis, M.G., Hitzenberger, R., Neubauer, D., 2012 Paleontology Journal 46 (9), 1091 Neubauer, D., Vrtala, A., Leitner, J.J., Firneis, M.G., Hitzenberger, R., 2011 Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 41, 545-552 Selsis, F., Kasting, J.F., Levrard, B., et al. 2007b, A&A, 476, 137

  5. An Earth-sized Planet in the Habitable Zone of a Cool Star

    E-print Network

    Quintana, Elisa V; 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

    2014-01-01

    The quest for Earth-like planets represents a major focus of current exoplanet research. While 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 surface. 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 Rsun star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation places Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and H2O at its surface, then some of this H2O is likely to be in liquid form.

  6. The galactic habitable zone and the age distribution of complex life in the Milky Way.

    PubMed

    Lineweaver, Charles H; Fenner, Yeshe; Gibson, Brad K

    2004-01-01

    We modeled the evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy to trace the distribution in space and time of four prerequisites for complex life: the presence of a host star, enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets, sufficient time for biological evolution, and an environment free of life-extinguishing supernovae. We identified the Galactic habitable zone (GHZ) as an annular region between 7 and 9 kiloparsecs from the Galactic center that widens with time and is composed of stars that formed between 8 and 4 billion years ago. This GHZ yields an age distribution for the complex life that may inhabit our Galaxy. We found that 75% of the stars in the GHZ are older than the Sun. PMID:14704421

  7. The Galactic Habitable Zone and the Age Distribution of Complex Life in the Milky Way

    E-print Network

    Charles H. Lineweaver; Yeshe Fenner; Brad K. Gibson

    2004-01-05

    We modeled the evolution of the Milky Way to trace the distribution in space and time of four prerequisites for complex life: the presence of a host star, enough heavy elements to form terrestrial planets, sufficient time for biological evolution and an environment free of life-extinguishing supernovae. We identified the Galactic habitable zone (GHZ) as an annular region between 7 and 9 kiloparsecs from the Galactic center that widens with time and is composed of stars that formed between 8 and 4 billion years ago. This GHZ yields an age distribution for the complex life that may inhabit our Galaxy. We found that 75% of the stars in the GHZ are older than the Sun.

  8. 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, ? Cephei, HD 41004 and HD 196885. In the case of ? 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.

  9. 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 +}.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. G. Schneider (UofA) AFTA "Quick Study" on Circumstellar Disks Page 1 of 30 Delivered to the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program 13 November 2014

    E-print Network

    Schneider, Glenn

    Exoplanet Exploration Program ­ 13 November 2014 A Quick Study of Science Return from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions Detection and Characterization of Circumstellar Material with an AFTA or EXO-C/S CGI, conceived to study the diversity of exoplanets now known to exist into stellar habitable zones

  14. The Mt John University Observatory search for Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of ? 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 ? 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).

  15. Toward detection of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of our closest neighbor: Proxima Centauri

    E-print Network

    Michael Endl; Martin Kuerster

    2008-07-09

    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. Discoveries of Earth-like planets by means of ground-based RV programs will help to determine the parameter Eta_Earth, the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars. 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. 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. The RV data of Proxima Cen have a total rms scatter of 3.1 m/s and a period search does not reveal any significant signals. 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. Based on our simulations, we exclude the presence of any planet in a circular orbit with m sin i > 1 M_Neptune at separations of a < 1 AU.

  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 simulations. The predictions of these studies can be tested in the near future by missions such as JWST, and will also guide their search for habitable planets.

  17. Exo-oceanography, climate, and habitability of tidal-locking exoplanets in the habitable zone of M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yongyun

    2015-08-01

    The distinctive nature of tidal-locking exoplanets is the very uneven heating by stellar radiation between the dayside and nightside. Thus, the permanent nightside can be extremely cold. It had been worried about that atmosphere and water could be condensed on the nightside of habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs. Previous studies have demonstrated that atmospheric circulations are able to transport sufficient heat to warm the nightside and prevent atmosphere collapse there. However, it remains a question of how ocean heat transports and sea-ice feedbacks play important roles in determining climates and habitability of such kind of exoplanets and whether water could be completely frozen on the nightside. Here, we apply a coupled atmospheric and oceanic general circulation model and a three-dimensional ice-sheet model to this problem. It is found that oceanic zonal heat transport plays important roles in determining climate states of habitable aqua-exoplanets orbiting M-type stars. For sufficiently high greenhouse gas levels, the nightside can be completely ice free due to ocean heat transport. Futhermore, we show that for an ocean planet surface winds drive sea ice toward the dayside and the ocean carries heat toward the nightside, both of which keep the nightside sea ice thin. Our results show that the thickness of nightside sea ice is only about 10 m or less. Thus, nightside water trapping on a water-world should not be significant. We also test whether a large ice sheet could grow on a nightside super-continent using an ice sheet model driven by the climate model output. We find that for weak precipitation generated by the climate model the ice-sheet thickness is strongly dependent on the geothermal heat flux, and could reach 1-2 km if the geothermal heat is similar to Earth's or lower. These suggest that complete nightside water trapping would not happen if exoplanets have fairly deep and extensive oceans.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Astrobiological Effects of Stellar Radiation in Circumstellar Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuntz, Manfred; Gurdemir, Levent; Guinan, Edward F.; Kurucz, Robert L.

    2006-10-01

    The centerpiece of all life on Earth is carbon-based biochemistry. Previous scientific research has suggested that biochemistry based on carbon may also play a decisive role in extraterrestrial life forms, i.e., alien life outside of Earth, if existent. In the following, we explore if carbon-based macromolecules (such as DNA) in the environments of stars other than the Sun are able to survive the effects of energetic stellar radiation, such as UV-C in the wavelength band between 200 and 290 nm. We focus on main-sequence stars akin to the Sun, but of hotter (F-type stars) and cooler (K- and M-type stars) surface temperature. Emphasis is placed on investigating the radiative environment in stellar habitable zones (HZs). Stellar habitable zones have an important relevance in astrobiology because they constitute circumstellar regions in which a planet of suitable size can have surface temperatures for water to exist in liquid form.

  2. 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 ?{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 ?{sub phot} ? 300 ppm to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the HZ of late M dwarfs. For super-Earths, a ?{sub rv} ? 2.0 m s{sup –1} precision radial velocity survey has comparable efficiency to a transit survey with ?{sub phot} ? 2300 ppm.

  3. 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.

  4. Asteroid flux towards circumprimary habitable zones in binary star systems: I. Statistical Overview

    E-print Network

    Bancelin, D; Eggl, S; Maindl, T I; Schäfer, C; Speith, R; Dvorak, R

    2015-01-01

    So far, multiple stellar systems harbor more than 130 extra solar planets. Dynamical simulations show that the outcome of planetary formation process can lead to various planetary architecture (i.e. location, size, mass and water content) when the star system is single or double. In the late phase of planetary formation, when embryo-sized objects dominate the inner region of the system, asteroids are also present and can provide additional material for objects inside the habitable zone (hereafter HZ). In this study, we make a comparison of several binary star systems and their efficiency to move icy asteroids from beyond the snow-line into orbits crossing the HZ. We modeled a belt of 10000 asteroids (remnants from the late phase of planetary formation process) beyond the snow-line. The planetesimals are placed randomly around the primary star and move under the gravitational influence of the two stars and a gas giant. As the planetesimals do not interact with each other, we divided the belt into 100 subrings ...

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

    E-print Network

    Way, M J; Kelley, M; Aleinov, I; Clune, T

    2015-01-01

    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 investigate how the effects of varying rotation rate and increasing the incident stellar flux on a planet set bounds on a planet's habitable zone with its parent star. From ensemble climate simulations we identify which factors are the primary controllers of uncertainty in setting these bounds. This is shown in particular for fully coupled ocean (FCO) runs -- some of the first that have been utilized in this context. Results with a Slab Ocean (SO) of 100m mixed layer depth are compared with a similar study by Yang et al. 2014, which demonstrates consistency across models. However, there are clear differences for rotations rates of 1-16x present Earth sidereal day lengths between the 100m SO and FCO models, which points to the necessity of using FCOs whenever possib...

  6. Which type of planets do we expect to observe in the Habitable Zone?

    E-print Network

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Santos, Nuno C

    2015-01-01

    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 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.

  7. 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 ? Cen AB and HD 196886.

  8. 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.

  9. Habitable Zones around Main-sequence Stars: Dependence on Planetary Mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Ramirez, Ramses M.; SchottelKotte, James; Kasting, James F.; 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 ? and 5 M ?. 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 (~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 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.

  10. Scrambling and modal noise mitigation in the Habitable Zone Planet Finder fiber feed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Arpita; Halverson, Samuel; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Ramsey, Lawrence W.

    2014-07-01

    We present the baseline fiber feed design for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF), a precision radial velocity (RV) spectrograph designed to detect Earth analogs around M-dwarfs. HPF is a stabilized, fiber-fed, R˜50,000 spectrograph operating in the near-infrared (NIR) from 0.82 to 1.3 µm, and will be deployed on the Hobby- Eberly Telescope (HET) in Texas. While the essential function of the optical fibers is to deliver high throughput, this mode of light transport also provides the opportunity to introduce radial and azimuthal scrambling, which boosts instrument stability and thereby RV precision. Based on the unique requirements of HPF on the HET, we present initial tests showing very high scrambling gains via a compact scrambler in conjunction with octagonal fibers. Conversely, the propagation of light through the fibers injects modal noise, which can limit achievable RV precision. Laboratory tests of a custom-built mechanical agitator show significant gains over a static fiber feed. Overall, the fiber feed is designed to provide high relative throughput, excellent scrambling, and reliable modal noise suppression. We will also attempt to minimize focal ratio degradation (FRD) to the extent possible with the chosen configuration. HPF inculcates several other new technologies developed by the Penn State Optical-Infrared instrumentation group, including a rigorous calibration system, which are discussed separately in these proceedings.

  11. ‘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.

  12. 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.

  13. Formaldehyde in the far outer galaxy: constraining the outer boundary of the galactic habitable zone.

    PubMed

    Blair, Samantha K; Magnani, Loris; Brand, Jan; Wouterloot, Jan G A

    2008-02-01

    We present results from an initial survey of the 2(12)-1(11) transition of formaldehyde (H2CO) at 140.8 GHz in giant molecular clouds in the far outer Galaxy (RG >or= 16 kpc). Formaldehyde is a key prebiotic molecule that likely plays an important role in the development of amino acids. Determining the outermost extent of the H2CO distribution can constrain the outer limit of the Galactic Habitable Zone, the region where conditions for the formation of life are thought to be most favorable. We surveyed 69 molecular clouds in the outer Galaxy, ranging from 12 to 23.5 kpc in galactocentric radius. Formaldehyde emission at 140.8 GHz was detected in 65% of the clouds. The H2CO spectral line was detected in 26 of the clouds with RG > 16 kpc (detection rate of 59%), including 6 clouds with RG > 20 kpc (detection rate of 55%). Formaldehyde is readily found in the far outer Galaxy-even beyond the edge of the old stellar disk. Determining the relatively widespread distribution of H2CO in the far outer Galaxy is a first step in establishing how favorable an environment this vast region of the Galaxy may be toward the formation of life. PMID:18266563

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

    E-print Network

    Torres, Guillermo; 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

    2015-01-01

    We present an investigation of twelve 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. 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 eleven 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 po...

  15. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Funk, Barbara; Eggl, Siegfried

    2015-01-01

    Locating planets in HabitableZones (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, gamma Cephei, HD 41004 and HD 196885. In the case of gamma 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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 H? line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for H? 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A super-Earth-sized planet orbiting in or near the habitable zone around Sun-like star

    E-print Network

    Barclay, Thomas; Howell, Steve B; Rowe, Jason F; Huber, Daniel; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Kolbl, Rea; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Quintana, Elisa V; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D; Bryson, Stephen T; Borucki, William J; Caldwell, Douglas A; Ciardi, David; Clarke, Bruce D; Christiansen, Jessie L; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Fischer, Debra A; Li, Jie; Haas, Michael R; Hunter, Roger; Lissauer, Jack J; Mullally, Fergal; Sabale, Anima; Seader, Shawn E; Smith, Jeffrey C; Tenenbaum, Peter; Uddin, AKM Kamal; Thompson, Susan E

    2013-01-01

    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 three-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 >99.1%. The inner planet, Kepler-69b, has a radius of 2.24+/-0.4 Rearth and orbits the host star every 13.7 days. The outer planet, Kepler-69c, is a super-Earth-size object with a radius of 1.7+/-0.3 Rearth 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 habitable zone of a Sun-like star and represents an important step on the path to finding the first true Earth ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Asteroid flux towards circumprimary habitable zones in binary star systems. I. Statistical overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bancelin, D.; Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Eggl, S.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Dvorak, R.

    2015-09-01

    Context. So far, more than 130 extrasolar planets have been found in multiple stellar systems. Dynamical simulations show that the outcome of the planetary formation process can lead to different planetary architecture (i.e. location, size, mass, and water content) when the star system is single or double. Aims: In the late phase of planetary formation, when embryo-sized 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 and how efficient they are at moving icy asteroids from beyond the snow line into orbits crossing the HZ. Methods: We modelled a belt of 10 000 asteroids (remnants from the late phase of the planetary formation process) beyond the snow line. The planetesimals are placed randomly around the primary star and move under the gravitational influence of the two stars and a gas giant. As the planetesimals do not interact with each other, we divided the belt into 100 subrings which were integrated separately. In this statistical study, several double star configurations with a G-type star as primary are investigated. Results: Our results show that small bodies also participate in bearing a non-negligible amount of water to the HZ. The proximity of a companion moving on an eccentric orbit increases the flux of asteroids to the HZ, which could result in a more efficient water transport on a short timescale, causing a heavy bombardment. In contrast to asteroids moving under the gravitational perturbations of one G-type star and a gas giant, we show that the presence of a companion star not only favours a faster depletion of our disk of planetesimals, but can also bring 4-5 times more water into the whole HZ.

  6. Cosmic ray impact on extrasolar earth-like planets in close-in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Griessmeier, J-M; Stadelmann, A; Motschmann, U; Belisheva, N K; Lammer, H; Biernat, H K

    2005-10-01

    Because of their different origins, cosmic rays can be subdivided into galactic cosmic rays and solar/stellar cosmic rays. The flux of cosmic rays to planetary surfaces is mainly determined by two planetary parameters: the atmospheric density and the strength of the internal magnetic moment. If a planet exhibits an extended magnetosphere, its surface will be protected from high-energy cosmic ray particles. We show that close-in extrasolar planets in the habitable zone of M stars are synchronously rotating with their host star because of the tidal interaction. For gravitationally locked planets the rotation period is equal to the orbital period, which is much longer than the rotation period expected for planets not subject to tidal locking. This results in a relatively small magnetic moment. We found that an Earth-like extrasolar planet, tidally locked in an orbit of 0.2 AU around an M star of 0.5 solar masses, has a rotation rate of 2% of that of the Earth. This results in a magnetic moment of less than 15% of the Earth's current magnetic moment. Therefore, close-in extrasolar planets seem not to be protected by extended Earth-like magnetospheres, and cosmic rays can reach almost the whole surface area of the upper atmosphere. Primary cosmic ray particles that interact with the atmosphere generate secondary energetic particles, a so-called cosmic ray shower. Some of the secondary particles can reach the surface of terrestrial planets when the surface pressure of the atmosphere is on the order of 1 bar or less. We propose that, depending on atmospheric pressure, biological systems on the surface of Earth-like extrasolar planets at close-in orbital distances can be strongly influenced by secondary cosmic rays. PMID:16225432

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. THERMAL ESCAPE FROM SUPER EARTH ATMOSPHERES IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF M STARS

    E-print Network

    Tian, Feng

    A fundamental question for exoplanet habitability is the long-term stability of the planet's atmosphere. We numerically solve a one-dimensional multi-component hydrodynamic thermosphere/ionosphere model to examine the ...

  10. Exoplanet Characterization by Proxy for Kepler-61b: How a Nearby Star Bumped a Planet Out of the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, D.; Fressin, F.; Torres, G.; Irwin, J.; Desert, J.; Ciardi, D.; Crepp, J. R.; Henze, C.; Bryson, S.; Howell, S. B.; Horch, E.; Everett, M. E.; Shporer, A.

    2013-01-01

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.5 R_Earth 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 our identification of a spectroscopically similar star located 4.9 pc from Earth. This proxy star to Kepler-61 has a published direct interferometric radius and effective temperature measurement, which we apply in tandem with the Kepler photometry to characterize the planet Kepler-61b. The technique of identifying a nearby proxy star with directly measured properties 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 profound implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b. This work was performed in part under contract with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) funded by NASA through the Sagan Fellowship Program

  11. Volatile-Rich Earth-Mass Planets in the Habitable Zone

    E-print Network

    Marc J. Kuchner

    2003-08-28

    A small planet is not necessarily a terrestrial planet. Planets that form beyond the snow line with too little mass to seed rapid gas accretion (planets should migrate inward by interacting with a circumstellar disk or with other planets. Such objects can retain their volatiles for billions of years or longer at ~1 AU as their atmospheres undergo slow hydrodynamic escape. These objects could appear in future surveys for extrasolar Earth analogs.

  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. Astrometric Detection of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zones of Nearby Stars with SIM PlanetQuest

    E-print Network

    Joseph Catanzarite; Michael Shao; Angelle Tanner; Stephen Unwin; Jeffrey Yu

    2006-05-04

    SIM PlanetQuest (Space Interferometry Mission) is a space-borne Michelson interferometer for precision stellar astrometry, with a nine meter baseline, currently slated for launch in 2015. One of the principal science goals is the astrometric detection and orbit characterization of terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of nearby stars. Differential astrometry of the target star against a set of reference stars lying within a degree will allow measurement of the target star's reflex motion with astrometric accuracy of 1 micro-arcsecond in a single measurement. We assess SIM's capability for detection (as opposed to characterization by orbit determination) of terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of nearby solar-type stars. We compare SIM's performance on target lists optimized for the SIM and Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronograph (TPF-C) missions. Performance is quantified by three metrics: minimum detectable planet mass, number and mass distribution of detected planets, and completeness of detections in each mass range. Finally, we discuss the issue of confidence in detections and non-detections, and show how information from SIM's planet survey can enable TPF to increase its yield of terrestrial planets.

  15. Extreme Water Loss and Abiotic O$_2$ Buildup On Planets Throughout the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    E-print Network

    Luger, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than $\\sim$ 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, 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 bars of abiotically produced O$_2$, resulting in potential false positives fo...

  16. 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.

  17. Formation, Habitability, and Detection of Extrasolar Moons

    E-print Network

    Heller, René; 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

    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 c...

  18. The Stability of the Orbits of Earth-mass Planets in and near the Habitable Zones of Known Exoplanetary Systems

    E-print Network

    Barrie W Jones; David R Underwood; P Nick Sleep

    2003-05-27

    We have shown that Earth-mass planets could survive in variously restricted regions of the habitable zones (HZs) of most of a sample of nine of the 93 main-sequence exoplanetary systems confirmed by May 2003. In a preliminary extrapolation of our results to the other systems, we estimate that roughly a third of the 93 systems might be able to have Earth-mass planets in stable, confined orbits somewhere in their HZs. Clearly, these systems should be high on the target list for exploration for terrestrial planets. We have reached this conclusion by launching putative Earth-mass planets in various orbits and following their fate with a mixed-variable symplectic integrator.

  19. 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.

  20. Habitability Co vlastne hadme?

    E-print Network

    Veres, Peter

    Koko je takých planét, na ktorých by sme MY mohli zi? Pojmy: ­ Planéta v obyvatenej zóne (goldilock, habitable, green zone) ­ Obývatená planéta #12;Stephen H. Dole ­ Habitable Planets for Man (Elsevier rotácie) #12;Stephen H. Dole ­ Habitable Planets for Man (Elsevier) Ak planéta obieha okolo dvojnásobného

  1. 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.

  2. 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 greenhouse" state, with habitable surface temperatures, is the mortal wound. [1] Goldblatt, C., Robinson, T.D., Zahnle, K.J. & Crisp, D., Low simulated radiation limit for runaway greenhouse climates, Nat. Geosci, 6, 661-667, doi:10.1038/NGEO1892

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Characterizing the Habitable Zones of Exoplanetary Systems with a Large Ultraviolet/Visible/Near-IR Space Observatory

    E-print Network

    France, Kevin; Linsky, Jeffrey; Roberge, Aki; Ayres, Thomas; Barman, Travis; Brown, Alexander; Davenport, James; Desert, Jean-Michel; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Fleming, Brian; Fontenla, Juan; Fossati, Luca; Froning, Cynthia; Hallinan, Gregg; Hawley, Suzanne; Hu, Renyu; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Kasting, James; Kowlaski, Adam; Loyd, Parke; Mauas, Pablo; Miguel, Yamila; Osten, Rachel; Redfield, Seth; Rugheimer, Sarah; Schneider, Christian; Segura, Antigona; Stocke, John; Tian, Feng; Tumlinson, Jason; Vieytes, Mariela; Walkowicz, Lucianne; Wood, Brian; Youngblood, Allison

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the surface and atmospheric conditions of Earth-size, rocky planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of low-mass stars is currently one of the greatest astronomical endeavors. Knowledge of the planetary effective surface temperature alone is insufficient to accurately interpret biosignature gases when they are observed in the coming decades. The UV stellar spectrum drives and regulates the upper atmospheric heating and chemistry on Earth-like planets, is critical to the definition and interpretation of biosignature gases, and may even produce false-positives in our search for biologic activity. This white paper briefly describes the scientific motivation for panchromatic observations of exoplanetary systems as a whole (star and planet), argues that a future NASA UV/Vis/near-IR space observatory is well-suited to carry out this work, and describes technology development goals that can be achieved in the next decade to support the development of a UV/Vis/near-IR flagship mission in the 2020s.

  6. Remote Life Detection Criteria, Habitable Zone Boundaries, and the Frequency of Earthlike Planets around M and Late-K Stars

    E-print Network

    Kasting, James F; Ramirez, Ramses R; Harman, Chester

    2013-01-01

    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. Historically, 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 spa...

  7. Searching for Terrestrial Planets Orbiting in the Habitable Zone of Ultra-Cool Stars and Brown Dwarfs

    E-print Network

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; Lissauer, Jack; Laughlin, Gregory; Huber, Daniel; Payne, Matthew; Triaud, Amaury; Gillon, Michael; de Wit, Julien; Zsom, Andras; Stamenkovic, Vlada; Selsis, Franck; Leconte, Jérémy; Queloz, Didier

    2013-01-01

    We propose to use Kepler in 2-wheel mode to conduct a detailed search for Earth-sized planets orbiting ultra-cool stars and brown dwarfs (spectral types from M7 to L3). This population of objects presents several advantages for exoplanet surveys. First, ultra-cool stars and brown dwarfs are small and thus result in favorable planet-to-star area ratios. Second, because of their low effective temperature, the inner edge of their habitable zone is extremely close (2 to 3 days only). Third, our targets are bright at infrared wavelengths, which will enable detailed follow-up studies. Our program therefore represents a unique opportunity to find a transiting Earth-size exoplanet for which atmospheric features (including biosignatures) could be detected with near-to-come facilities such as JWST. Such exoplanet has not been discovered yet. Kepler in 2-wheel mode provides the required stability and photometric precision to make this survey successful. Our initial target sample includes 60 ultra-cool stars and brown dw...

  8. The Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF): Achieving high precision radial velocities and mitigating stellar activity noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadevan, Suvrath; Ramsey, Lawrence W.; Terrien, Ryan; Robertson, Paul; Marchwinski, Robert C.; Hearty, Fred; Levi, Eric; Kári Stefánsson, Gudmundur; Bender, Chad F.; Halverson, Samuel; Roy, Arpita; Nelson, Matt; Schwab, Christian

    2015-01-01

    HPF is a stabilized, fiber-fed, near infrared (NIR) spectrograph currently being built at Penn State for the 10m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). HPF will be capable of discovering low mass planets in the Habitable Zones of mid-late M dwarfs via radial velocity (RV). We discuss the development of critical sub-systems like our high-stability temperature control system, vacuum cryostat, and implementation of new wavelength calibration techniques. The design of the HET enables queue-scheduled operation, but its variable pupil requires attention to both near- and far-field fiber scrambling, which we accomplish with double scramblers and octagonal fibers.HPF will provide partial bandwith coverage of the information-rich z, Y and J NIR bands at a spectral resolving power of R˜50,000. While stellar activity induced RV noise is lower in the NIR than at visible wavelengths, we have carefully included NIR activity indicators in our spectral bandpass to help discriminate stellar activity from real planet signals, as has been recently demonstrated for Gliese 581 and Gliese 667C systems.

  9. 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.

  10. The Snow Line in Viscous Disks around Low-mass Stars: Implications for Water Delivery to Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulders, Gijs D.; Ciesla, Fred J.; Min, Michiel; Pascucci, Ilaria

    2015-07-01

    The water-ice or snow line is one of the key properties of protoplanetary disks that determines the water content of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. Its location is determined by the properties of the star, the mass accretion rate through the disk, and the size distribution of dust suspended in the disk. We calculate the snow-line location from recent observations of mass accretion rates and as a function of stellar mass. By taking the observed dispersion in mass accretion rates as a measure of the dispersion in initial disk mass, we find that stars of a given mass will exhibit a range of snow-line locations. At a given age and stellar mass, the observed dispersion in mass accretion rates of 0.4 dex naturally leads to a dispersion in snow-line locations of ˜0.2 dex. For ISM-like dust sizes, the 1? snow-line location among solar-mass stars of the same age ranges from ˜2 to ˜5 AU. For more realistic dust opacities that include larger grains, the snow line is located up to two times closer to the star. We use these locations and the outcome of N-body simulations to predict the amount of water delivered to terrestrial planets that formed in situ in the habitable zone. We find that the dispersion in snow-line locations leads to a large range in water content. For ISM-like dust sizes, a significant fraction of habitable-zone terrestrial planets around Sun-like stars remain dry, and no water is delivered to the habitable zones of low-mass M stars (\\lt 0.5 {M}? ) as in previous works. The closer-in snow line in disks with larger grains enables water delivery to the habitable zone for a significant fraction of M stars and all FGK stars. Considering their larger numbers and higher planet occurrence, M stars may host most of the water-rich terrestrial planets in the galaxy if these planets are able to hold on to their water in their subsequent evolution.

  11. 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.

  12. The evolution of habitable zones during stellar lifetimes and its implications on the search for extraterrestrial life

    E-print Network

    David R. Underwood; Barrie W. Jones; P. Nick Sleep

    2003-12-22

    A stellar evolution computer model has been used to determine changes in the luminosity L and effective temperature T(e) of single stars during their time on the main sequence. The range of stellar masses investigated was from 0.5 to 1.5 times that of the Sun, each with a mass fraction of metals (metallicity, Z) from 0.008 to 0.05. The extent of each star's habitable zone (HZ) has been determined from its values of L and T(e). These stars form a reference framework for other main sequence stars. All of the 104 main sequence stars known to have one or more giant planets have been matched to their nearest stellar counterpart in the framework, in terms of mass and metallicity, hence closely approximating their HZ limits. The limits of HZ, for each of these stars, have been compared to its giant planet(s)'s range of strong gravitational influence. This allows a quick assessment as to whether Earth-mass planets could exist in stable orbits within the HZ of such systems, both presently and at any time during the star's main sequence lifetime. A determination can also be made as to the possible existence of life-bearing satellites of giant planets, which orbit within HZs. Results show that about half of the 104 known extrasolar planetary systems could possibly have been housing an Earth-mass planet in HZs during at least the past billion years, and about three-quarters of the 104 could do so for at least a billion years at some time during their main sequence lives. Whether such Earth-mass planets could have formed is an urgent question now being investigated by others, with encouraging results.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    In this study we deal with the effect of varying the length of the diurnal cycle on its bi-stability properties. By using a general circulation model, PlaSim, we consider several values for the diurnal cycle, from tidally locked, to that of 1 Earth day. For each value of the diurnal cycle, we slowly modulate the solar constant between 1510 and 1000 Wm-2 and perform a hysteresis experiment. It is found that the width of the bi-stable region, i.e. the range of climate states - determined here by changes in S* - which support two climatic attractors, reduces when the diurnal cycle is increased in length and disappears - signifying the merging of both attractors - for climates with a diurnal cycle greater than 180 days. Crucial to the loss of bi-stability is the longitudinally asymmetric distribution of solar radiation, incident on the planet's surface, leading to the development of equatorial sea-ice. For diurnal cycles where bi-stability is found, the longitudinally asymmetric heating is sufficiently compensated for by the strength of the zonal winds and the rate of solar distribution, which redistribute heat and maintain the meridional temperature gradient across all longitudes. Conversely, for mono-stable regimes, the energy transport associated with zonal winds becomes insufficient to compensate for the increase in the length of the diurnal cycle, resulting in large zonal temperature gradients along the equatorial band. Furthermore, the results found here confirm and reenforce the robustness of those found in Boschi et al (2013), showing that, for climates which support bistability, it may be possible to parameterise variables such as the material entropy production and the meridional heat transport in terms of the surface and emission temperatures, within reasonably well defined upper and lower bounds, even when considering a wide range of planetary rotation speeds and changes to the infrared opacity. This paves the way for the possibility of practically deducing fundamental properties of planets in the habitable zone from relatively simple observables.

  15. 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.

  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. Host's stars and habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, F.; Charbonnel, C.; Amard, L.

    2015-12-01

    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 talk 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Jenkins, Jon M; 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

    2015-01-01

    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$^{+0.23}_{-0.20}$ R$_\\oplus$ planet orbits its G2 host star every 384.843$^{+0.007}_{0.012}$ days, the longest orbital period for a small (R$_p$ planet has a rocky composition lies between 49% and 62%. The star has an effective temperature of 5757$\\pm$85 K and a log g of 4.32$\\pm$0.09. At a mean orbital separation of 1.046$^{+0.019}_{-0.015}$ 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$^{+0.15}_{-0.09}$ R$_\\odot$ and an estimated age of 3 Gyr. Th...

  19. Stability of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone of Gl 777 A, HD 72659, Gl 614, 47 Uma and HD 4208

    E-print Network

    N. Asghari; C. Broeg; L. Carone; R. Casas-Miranda; J. C. Castro Palacio; I. Csillik; R. Dvorak; F. Freistetter; G. Hadjivantsides; H. Hussmann; A. Khramova; M. Khristoforova; I. Khromova; I. Kitiashivilli; S. Kozlowski; T. Laakso; T. Laczkowski; D. Lytvinenko; O. Miloni; R. Morishima; A. Moro-Martin; V. Paksyutov; A. Pal; V. Patidar; B. Pecnik; O. Peles; J. Pyo; T. Quinn; A. Rodriguez; C. Romano; E. Saikia; J. Stadel; M. Thiel; N. Todorovic; D. Veras; E. Vieira Neto; J. Vilagi; W. von Bloh; R. Zechner; E. Zhuchkova

    2004-03-05

    We have undertaken a thorough dynamical investigation of five extrasolar planetary systems using extensive numerical experiments. The systems Gl 777 A, HD 72659, Gl 614, 47 Uma and HD 4208 were examined concerning the question of whether they could host terrestrial like planets in their habitable zones (=HZ). First we investigated the mean motion resonances between fictitious terrestrial planets and the existing gas giants in these five extrasolar systems. Then a fine grid of initial conditions for a potential terrestrial planet within the HZ was chosen for each system, from which the stability of orbits was then assessed by direct integrations over a time interval of 1 million years. The computations were carried out using a Lie-series integration method with an adaptive step size control. This integration method achieves machine precision accuracy in a highly efficient and robust way, requiring no special adjustments when the orbits have large eccentricities. The stability of orbits was examined with a determination of the Renyi entropy, estimated from recurrence plots, and with a more straight forward method based on the maximum eccentricity achieved by the planet over the 1 million year integration. Additionally, the eccentricity is an indication of the habitability of a terrestrial planet in the HZ; any value of e>0.2 produces a significant temperature difference on a planet's surface between apoapse and periapse. The results for possible stable orbits for terrestrial planets in habitable zones for the five systems are summarized as follows: for Gl 777 A nearly the entire HZ is stable, for 47 Uma, HD 72659 and HD 4208 terrestrial planets can survive for a sufficiently long time, while for Gl 614 our results exclude terrestrial planets moving in stable orbits within the HZ.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. Habitability of Extrasolar Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heller, R.

    2014-04-01

    Most of the roughly one hundred Kepler planets and candidates in the stellar habitable zones are much larger than Earth. Though some of them may have their bulk mass in the form of rock, many of these super-Earths are reminiscent of Uranus, Neptune, or even Saturn, and they cannot have liquid surface water. Yet, their moons may be habitable. With the first detection of an extrasolar moon on the horizon, parameterization of the effects that constrain their habitability has become a new subdiscipline of planetary research. I here summarize our recent work on the effects of planetary illumination, planet-moon eclipses, tidal heating, gas giants' magnetic environments, and orbital stability on the potential of moons to maintain liquid surface water. I also present our new targeted Search for Exomoons Escorting Kepler Exoplanets (SEEKE), which favors detection of moons orbiting planets in the stellar habitable zones of M and K stars.

  4. Coronal mass ejection (CME) activity of low mass M stars as an important factor for the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets. I. CME impact on expected magnetospheres of Earth-like exoplanets in close-in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Khodachenko, Maxim L; Ribas, Ignasi; Lammer, Helmut; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Leitner, Martin; Selsis, Franck; Eiroa, Carlos; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried K; Farrugia, Charles J; Rucker, Helmut O

    2007-02-01

    Low mass M- and K-type stars are much more numerous in the solar neighborhood than solar-like G-type stars. Therefore, some of them may appear as interesting candidates for the target star lists of terrestrial exoplanet (i.e., planets with mass, radius, and internal parameters identical to Earth) search programs like Darwin (ESA) or the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph/Inferometer (NASA). The higher level of stellar activity of low mass M stars, as compared to solar-like G stars, as well as the closer orbital distances of their habitable zones (HZs), means that terrestrial-type exoplanets within HZs of these stars are more influenced by stellar activity than one would expect for a planet in an HZ of a solar-like star. Here we examine the influences of stellar coronal mass ejection (CME) activity on planetary environments and the role CMEs may play in the definition of habitability criterion for the terrestrial type exoplanets near M stars. We pay attention to the fact that exoplanets within HZs that are in close proximity to low mass M stars may become tidally locked, which, in turn, can result in relatively weak intrinsic planetary magnetic moments. Taking into account existing observational data and models that involve the Sun and related hypothetical parameters of extrasolar CMEs (density, velocity, size, and occurrence rate), we show that Earth-like exoplanets within close-in HZs should experience a continuous CME exposure over long periods of time. This fact, together with small magnetic moments of tidally locked exoplanets, may result in little or no magnetospheric protection of planetary atmospheres from a dense flow of CME plasma. Magnetospheric standoff distances of weakly magnetized Earth-like exoplanets at orbital distances

  5. Habitability and dynamical perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Lammer, H.; Johnstone, C.; Erkaev, N. V.

    2015-10-01

    The search for an Exo-Earth is certainly a big challenge which needs maybe detections of planetary systems resembling our Solar system in order to find life like on Earth. Numerical investigations of Jupiter-Saturn like configurations indicate strong dynamical perturbations for the planetary motion in the habitable zone for certain systems. Therefore, we show the dynamical influence on the habitability of a planet.

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

    PubMed

    Joshi, Manoj M; Haberle, Robert M

    2012-01-01

    M stars comprise 80% of main sequence stars, so their planetary systems provide the best chance for finding habitable planets, that is, those with surface liquid water. We have modeled the broadband albedo or reflectivity of water ice and snow for simulated planetary surfaces orbiting two observed red dwarf stars (or M stars), using spectrally resolved data of Earth's cryosphere. The gradual reduction of the albedos of snow and ice at wavelengths greater than 1 ?m, combined with M stars emitting a significant fraction of their radiation at these same longer wavelengths, means that the albedos of ice and snow on planets orbiting M stars are much lower than their values on Earth. Our results imply that the ice/snow albedo climate feedback is significantly weaker for planets orbiting M stars than for planets orbiting G-type stars such as the Sun. In addition, planets with significant ice and snow cover will have significantly higher surface temperatures for a given stellar flux if the spectral variation of cryospheric albedo is considered, which in turn implies that the outer edge of the habitable zone around M stars may be 10-30% farther away from the parent star than previously thought. PMID:22181553

  7. Kepler-62: A Five-Planet System with Planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth Radii in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Embryos grown in the dead zone: Assembling the first protoplanetary cores in low mass self-gravitating circumstellar disks of gas and solids

    E-print Network

    W. Lyra; A. Johansen; H. Klahr; N. Piskunov

    2008-10-14

    In the borders of the dead zones of protoplanetary disks, the inflow of gas produces a local density maximum that triggers the Rossby wave instability. The vortices that form are efficient in trapping solids. We aim to assess the possibility of gravitational collapse of the solids within the Rossby vortices. We perform global simulations of the dynamics of gas and solids in a low mass non-magnetized self-gravitating thin protoplanetary disk with the Pencil code. We use multiple particle species of radius 1, 10, 30, and 100 cm. The dead zone is modeled as a region of low viscosity. The Rossby vortices excited in the edges of the dead zone are very efficient particle traps. Within 5 orbits after their appearance, the solids achieve critical density and undergo gravitational collapse into Mars sized objects. The velocity dispersions are of the order of 10 m/s for newly formed embryos, later lowering to less than 1 m/s by drag force cooling. After 200 orbits, 38 gravitationally bound embryos were formed inside the vortices, half of them being more massive than Mars. The embryos are composed primarily of same-sized particles. We conclude that the presence of a dead zone naturally gives rise to a population of protoplanetary cores in the mass range of 0.1-0.6 Earth masses, on very short timescales.

  10. 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.

  11. A study of the stability regions in the planetary system HD 74156 - Can it host earthlike planets in habitable zones?

    E-print Network

    R. Dvorak; E. Pilat-Lohinger; B. Funk; F. Freistetter

    2003-07-08

    Using numerical methods we thoroughly investigate the dynamical stability in the region between the two planets found in HD 74156. The two planets with minimum masses 1.56 M_JUP (HD 74156b) and 7.5 M_JUP (HD 74156c), semimajor axes 0.276 AU and 3.47 AU move on quite eccentric orbits (e=0.649 and 0.395). There is a region between 0.7 and 1.4 AU which may host additional planets which we checked via numerical integrations using different dynamical models. Besides the orbital evolution of several thousands of massless regarded planets in a three-dimensional restricted 4-body problem (host star, two planets + massless bodies) we also have undertaken test computation for the orbital evolution for fictive planets with masses of 0.1, 0.3 and 1 M_JUP in the region between HD74156b and HD74156c. For direct numerical integrations up to 10^7 years we used the Lie-integrator, a method with adaptive stepsize; additionally we used the Fast Lyapunov Indicators as tool for detecting chaotic motion in this region. We emphasize the important role of the inner resonances (with the outer planet) and the outer resonances (with the inner planet) with test bodies located inside the resonances. In these two "resonance" regions almost no orbits survive. The region between the 1:5 outer resonance (0.8 AU) and the 5:1 inner resonance (1.3 AU), just in the right position for habitability, is also very unstable probably due to three-body-resonances acting there. Our results do not strictly "forbid" planets to move there, but the existence of a planet on a stable orbit between 0.8 and 1.3 AU is unlikely.

  12. Comparative Habitability of Transiting Exoplanets

    E-print Network

    Barnes, Rory; Evans, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanet habitability is traditionally assessed by comparing a planet's semi-major 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 transiti...

  13. Constraints on Circumbinary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, P. A.; Zuluaga, J. I.; Zhilkin, A. G.; Bisikalo, D. V.; Cuartas-Restrepo, P. A.

    2015-07-01

    We summarize the Binary Habitability Mechanism (BHM), a number of characteristics, especially stellar tides, that promote life on planets orbiting binary stars. A model binary consisting of two solar mass stars in a circular orbit is presented, with a semi-major axis of 0.0125 au, corresponding to an orbital period of 11.4 days. The circumbinary habitable zone (HZ) is derived as a function of stellar age. To ease comparison with Sun-Earth interactions, we examine a hypothetical planet receiving the same insolation as the Earth at a = 1.47 au. This places the planet in the HZ just beyond the runaway-greenhouse limit and it is too close to be in the continuously habitable zone, as is Earth. We investigate star-star and binary-planet interactions and their impact on habitability. Rotational deceleration of the stars, due to their mutual tidal torquing, hastens the reduction of extreme UV (XUV) and stellar wind fluxes incident on the planet. We simulate stellar wind collisions and find that standing spiral shock fronts are produced, causing significant atmospheric erosion for close-in planets. However, within the circumbinary HZ the stellar wind is considerably less aggressive towards the planet's atmosphere. Habitability conditions on the Earth analog are discussed and found to be comparable to Earth or better.

  14. 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.

  15. The snow line in viscous disks around low-mass stars: implications for water delivery to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone

    E-print Network

    Mulders, Gijs D; Min, Michiel; Pascucci, Ilaria

    2015-01-01

    The water ice or snow line is one of the key properties of protoplanetary disks that determines the water content of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. Its location is determined by the properties of the star, the mass accretion rate through the disk, and the size distribution of dust suspended in the disk. We calculate the snow line location from recent observations of mass accretion rates and as a function of stellar mass. By taking the observed dispersion in mass accretion rates as a measure of the dispersion in initial disk mass, we find that stars of a given mass will exhibit a range of snow line locations. At a given age and stellar mass, the observed dispersion in mass accretion rates of 0.4 dex naturally leads to a dispersion in snow line locations of 0.2 dex. For ISM-like dust sizes, the one-sigma snow line location among solar mass stars of the same age ranges from 2 to 5 au. For more realistic dust opacities that include larger grains, the snow line is located up to two times closer to the ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Loss of nebula-captured hydrogen envelopes from 'sub'- to 'super-Earths' in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammer, Helmut; Erkaev, Nikolai V.; Odert, Petra; Kulikov, Yuri N.; Kislyakova, Kristina G.; Stoekl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst A.; Guedel, Manuel; Leitzinger, Martin

    2014-05-01

    We investigate the escape of captured hydrogen envelopes from protoplanets having masses in a range between `sub-Earth'-like bodies of 0.1 Earth-mass and `super-Earths' with a mass of 5 Earth-masses in the habitable zone at 1 AU of a Sun like G star, assuming that their rocky cores had formed before the nebula gas dissipated. For studying the escape of these accumulated hydrogen-dominated protoatmospheres, we apply a hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model and calculate the loss rates due to the heating by the high soft-X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) flux of the young Sun/star. The results of our study indicate that under most nebula conditions `sub-Earth' and Earth-mass planets can lose their captured hydrogen envelopes by thermal escape during the first 100 Myr after the disk dissipated. Depending on nebula properties and protoplanetary luminosities, it is possible that even protoplanets with Earth-mass cores may keep their hydrogen envelopes during their whole lifetime. In contrast to lower mass protoplanets, more massive `super-Earths' that can accumulate a huge amount of nebula gas, lose only tiny fractions of their primordial hydrogen envelopes. Our results agree with the fact that Venus, Earth, and Mars are not surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes, as well as with the recent discoveries of low density `super-Earths' that most likely could not get rid of their dense protoatmospheres.

  19. Coronal mass ejection (CME) activity of low mass M stars as an important factor for the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets. II. CME-induced ion pick up of Earth-like exoplanets in close-in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Lammer, Helmut; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Kulikov, Yuri N; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Terada, N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Biernat, Helfried K; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Ribas, Ignasi; Penz, Thomas; Selsis, Franck

    2007-02-01

    Atmospheric erosion of CO2-rich Earth-size exoplanets due to coronal mass ejection (CME)-induced ion pick up within close-in habitable zones of active M-type dwarf stars is investigated. Since M stars are active at the X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) wave-lengths over long periods of time, we have applied a thermal balance model at various XUV flux input values for simulating the thermospheric heating by photodissociation and ionization processes due to exothermic chemical reactions and cooling by the CO2 infrared radiation in the 15 microm band. Our study shows that intense XUV radiation of active M stars results in atmospheric expansion and extended exospheres. Using thermospheric neutral and ion densities calculated for various XUV fluxes, we applied a numerical test particle model for simulation of atmospheric ion pick up loss from an extended exosphere arising from its interaction with expected minimum and maximum CME plasma flows. Our results indicate that the Earth-like exoplanets that have no, or weak, magnetic moments may lose tens to hundreds of bars of atmospheric pressure, or even their whole atmospheres due to the CME-induced O ion pick up at orbital distances

  20. CHARACTERIZING HABITABLE EXOMOONS

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L.

    2010-04-01

    We discuss the possibility of screening the atmosphere of exomoons for habitability. We concentrate on Earth-like satellites of extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) that orbit in the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars. The detectability of exomoons for EGPs in the HZ has recently been shown to be feasible with the Kepler Mission or equivalent photometry using transit duration observations. Transmission spectroscopy of exomoons is a unique potential tool to screen them for habitability in the near future, especially around low mass stars. Using the Earth itself as a proxy we show the potential and limits of spectroscopy to detect biomarkers on an Earth-like exomoon and discuss effects of tidal locking for such potential habitats.

  1. 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 interdisciplinary exploration and discovery.

  2. Tides and Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, R.

    2014-04-01

    The relatively low luminosities of M dwarfs, white dwarfs, and brown dwarfs result in habitable zones that are close enough in for strong tidal processes between the planet and its host to occur. As is well known, tidal despinning can result in slow or synchronous rotation for close-in planets, but recent investigations have revealed that tides impact habitability in other ways. Tides can drive planetary obliquity to 0, eliminating seasons and creating strong cold traps at the poles. Tides can force a migration of the semi-major axis, possibly removing planets from the habitable zone. Tidal despinning and orbital evolution produces internal heating that can alter both the interior and the atmosphere. For modest eccentricities, tidal heating can be comparable to the modern Earth's (non-tidal) energy sources, changing the thermal profile in the planet and possibly quenching dynamo generation. For larger eccentricities tidal heating can be orders of magnitude larger, suggesting some super-Earths are actually "super-Ios." In extreme cases tidal heating could trigger a runaway greenhouse for hundreds of millions of years, threatening permanent sterilization. Tides damp eccentricity, which lowers the heating rate, but companion planets can perturb orbits and maintain non-zero eccentricities. In some cases, tidal heating sustained by companions could power geochemical cycles that permit habitability for trillions of years.

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Astrophysical Conditions for Planetary Habitability

    E-print Network

    Guedel, M; Erkaev, N; Kasting, J; Khodachenko, M; Lammer, H; Pilat-Lohinger, E; Rauer, H; Ribas, I; Wood, B E

    2014-01-01

    With the discovery of hundreds of exoplanets and a potentially huge number of Earth-like planets waiting to be discovered, the conditions for their habitability have become a focal point in exoplanetary research. The classical picture of habitable zones primarily relies on the stellar flux allowing liquid water to exist on the surface of an Earth-like planet with a suitable atmosphere. However, numerous further stellar and planetary properties constrain habitability. Apart from "geophysical" processes depending on the internal structure and composition of a planet, a complex array of astrophysical factors additionally determine habitability. Among these, variable stellar UV, EUV, and X-ray radiation, stellar and interplanetary magnetic fields, ionized winds, and energetic particles control the constitution of upper planetary atmospheres and their physical and chemical evolution. Short- and long-term stellar variability necessitates full time-dependent studies to understand planetary habitability at any point ...

  9. Exoplanet Habitability: Effects of Planetesimal Carbon Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Torrence; Mousis, Olivier; Lunine, Jonathan; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2014-05-01

    We explore the effects of reported differences in C/O values for exoplanet host stars on the composition of planetesimals formed beyond the snow line in these systems. Since the value of C/O in a planet forming nebula has a strong effect on amount of oxygen available for water ice in an oxidizing nebula, exoplanet systems for host stars with C/O greater than the solar value may have planetesimals with very little or no water ice. We have estimated the composition of volatile and refractory material in extrasolar planetesimals using a set of stars with a wide range of measured C/O abundances (Johnson et al. ApJ. 757(2), 192, 2012). The volatile ice content of planetesimals in these systems varies significantly with C/O, controlled primarily by the availability of O for H2O ice condensation. Systems with C/O less than the solar value (C/O = 0.55) should have very water ice rich planetesimals, while water ice mass fraction decreases rapidly with increasing C/O until only ices of CO and CO2 are left in significant proportions. If a significant fraction of C is in the form of refractory CHON particles, C and O are removed from the gas phase and the condensates for super-solar C/O values will be water-poor mixtures of silicates and metal, carbon, and carbon-bearing volatile ices, depending on temperature. For very carbon-rich systems, oxidizing conditions cannot be sustained beyond about C/O=1, due to the oxygen sequestered in solid silicates, oxides and CHON, for refractory C fractions within the Pollack et al. range of 0.4 - 0.7 (ApJ. 421, 615, 1994). These results have implications for assessing the habitability of exoplanets since they constrain the amount of water available beyond the snow line for dynamical delivery to inner planets, depending on the host star's C/O in the circumstellar nebula. Thus one the key chemical ingredients for habitability may be in short supply in carbon-rich, oxygen-poor systems even if planets exist in the 'habitable zone'. TVJ acknowledges government support at JPL/Caltech, under a contract with NASA. NM acknowledges support from Yale University. JIL was supported by the JWST Project through NASA. O.M. acknowledges support from CNES.

  10. Origin and loss of nebula-captured hydrogen envelopes from `sub'- to `super-Earths' in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammer, H.; Stökl, A.; Erkaev, N. V.; Dorfi, E. A.; Odert, P.; Güdel, M.; Kulikov, Yu. N.; Kislyakova, K. G.; Leitzinger, M.

    2014-04-01

    We investigate the origin and loss of captured hydrogen envelopes from protoplanets having masses in a range between `sub-Earth'-like bodies of 0.1 M? and `super-Earths' with 5 M? in the habitable zone at 1 au of a Sun-like G star, assuming that their rocky cores had formed before the nebula gas dissipated. We model the gravitational attraction and accumulation of nebula gas around a planet's core as a function of protoplanetary luminosity during accretion and calculate the resulting surface temperature by solving the hydrostatic structure equations for the protoplanetary nebula. Depending on nebular properties, such as the dust grain depletion factor, planetesimal accretion rates, and resulting luminosities, for planetary bodies of 0.1-1 M? we obtain hydrogen envelopes with masses between ˜2.5 × 1019 and 1.5 × 1026 g. For `super-Earths' with masses between 2 and 5 M? more massive hydrogen envelopes within the mass range of ˜7.5 × 1023-1.5 × 1028 g can be captured from the nebula. For studying the escape of these accumulated hydrogen-dominated protoatmospheres, we apply a hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model and calculate the loss rates due to the heating by the high soft-X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) flux of the young Sun/star. The results of our study indicate that under most nebula conditions `sub-Earth' and Earth-mass planets can lose their captured hydrogen envelopes by thermal escape during the first ˜100 Myr after the disc dissipated. However, if a nebula has a low dust depletion factor or low accretion rates resulting in low protoplanetary luminosities, it is possible that even protoplanets with Earth-mass cores may keep their hydrogen envelopes during their whole lifetime. In contrast to lower mass protoplanets, more massive `super-Earths', which can accumulate a huge amount of nebula gas, lose only tiny fractions of their primordial hydrogen envelopes. Our results agree with the fact that Venus, Earth, and Mars are not surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes, as well as with the recent discoveries of low density `super-Earths' that most likely could not get rid of their dense protoatmospheres.

  11. C/O: Effects on Habitability of Stellar Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Torrence V.; Sevin Peckmezci, Gül; Mousis, Olivier; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2015-11-01

    We assess how differences in the composition of exoplanet host stars might affect the availability of water in their systems, particularly the role of carbon and oxygen abundances. Water, one of the key chemical ingredients for habitability, may be in short supply in carbon-rich, oxygen-poor systems even if planets exist in the ‘habitable zone’. For the solar system, C/O = 0.55 is particularly important in determining the refractory (silicate and metal) to volatile ice ratio expected in material condensed beyond the snow line (Gaidos E. J. Icarus 145, 637, 2000; Wong M. H. et al. in Oxygen in the Solar System, G.J. MacPherson, Ed., 2008). Our analysis of published compositions for a set of exoplanet host stars (Johnson T. V. et al. ApJ. 757(2), 192, 2012) showed that the amount of condensed water ice in those systems might range from as much as 50% by mass for sub-solar C/O = 0.35 to less than a few percent for super-solar C/O = 0.7. A recent analysis using similar techniques (Pekmezci G. S., Dottorato di Ricerca in Astronomia, Università Degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, 2014) of a much larger stellar composition data set for 974 FGK stars (Petigura E. and Marcy G. Journal of Astrophysics 735, 2011), allows us to assess the possible range of water ice abundance in the circumstellar accretion disks of these ‘solar-type’ stars (of which 72 were known to have one or more planets as of 2011). Stellar C/O in a subset (457 stars) of this stellar database with reported C, O, Ni, and Fe abundances ranges from 0.3 to 1.4. The resulting computed water ice fractions and refractory (silicate + metal) fractions range from ~0 to 0.6 and 0.3 to 0.9 respectively. These results have implications for assessing the habitability of exoplanets since they constrain the amount of water available beyond the snow line for dynamical delivery to inner planets, depending on the host stars’ C/O in the circumstellar nebula. TVJ acknowledges government support at JPL/Caltech, under a contract with NASA. JIL was supported by the JWST Project through NASA. O.M. acknowledges support from CNES.

  12. Interstellar and circumstellar fullerenes

    E-print Network

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

    2014-01-01

    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, understand...

  13. UV Habitability of Possible Exomoons in Observed F-star Planetary Systems

    E-print Network

    Sato, Satoko

    2015-01-01

    In the present study we explore the astrobiological significance of F-type stars of spectral type between F5 V and F9.5 V, which possess Jupiter-type planets within or close to their climatological habitable zones. These planets, or at least a subset of them, may also possess rocky exomoons, which potentially offer habitable environments. Our work considers eight selected systems. The Jupiter-type planets in these systems are in notably different orbits with eccentricities ranging from 0.08 to 0.72. Particularly, we consider the stellar UV environments provided by the photospheric stellar radiation in regard to the circumstellar habitability of the system. According to previous studies, DNA is taken as a proxy for carbon-based macromolecules following the paradigm that extraterrestrial biology might be based on hydrocarbons. Thus, the DNA action spectrum is utilized to represent the impact of the stellar UV radiation. Atmospheric attenuation is taken into account based on parameterized attenuation functions. ...

  14. Habitable exoplanets statistics in the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anagnos, Th.

    2013-09-01

    We present an exoplanet statistical analysis into the Milky Way. We use the Becanson galactic synthetic model to simulate the Milky Way and the galactic and stellar habitable zones to calculate habitable planets. To assess habitability on the Galactic scale, we model supernova rates and planet formation. Our study, models the SNII and SNIa sterilizations by selecting them from within this preexisting stellar population. Furthermore, we consider habitability on tidally locked and non-tidally locked planets separately, and study habitability as a function of height above and below the Galactic mid-plane. The number of total habitable planets makes Milky Way practically empty of habitable planets. Our results, from these simulations, agree very well with Kepler's discoveries. Finally, we apply our results to the PLATO future space mission.

  15. Teaching Your Child Healthy Hair Care Habits

    MedlinePLUS

    ... zone Video library Find a dermatologist Teaching your child healthy hair care habits Many common hair care ... Damaged hair looks and feels unhealthy. Teaching your child how to shampoo Healthy hair care begins with ...

  16. 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.

  17. Tides and the Evolution of Planetary Habitability

    E-print Network

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

    2008-07-04

    Tides raised on a planet by its host star's gravity can reduce a 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_Sun). Such migration may have important implications for the evolution of the atmosphere, internal heating and the Gaia hypothesis. Similarly, a planet detected interior to the habitable zone could have been habitable in the past. We consider the past habitability of the recently-discovered, ~5 M_Earth 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 we include constraints derived from the additional companions, we see that most parameter choices that predict 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.

  18. 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

  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. Your Child's Habits

    MedlinePLUS

    ... Deal With Bullies Pregnant? What to Expect Your Child's Habits KidsHealth > Parents > Emotions & Behavior > Behavior > Your Child's ... Mom or Dad. Back Continue Coping With Your Child's Habit The good news is that most habits ...

  1. 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

  2. Abstract: With the increasing number of terrestrial exoplanets found in or near the habitable zone of their star, the number of stud-ies aiming at understanding their surface and atmospheric properties has flourished. However, the vast majority of these s

    E-print Network

    Richmond, Michael W.

    Abstract: With the increasing number of terrestrial exoplanets found in or near the habitable zone, 21 2014 · 4:00PM CAR 1275 Carlson Center Are exoplanets really tidally synchronized? Jeremy Leconte. The internal structure of (exo)planets and brown dwarfs, and their evolution in strong interaction

  3. 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

    E-print Network

    Grenfell, John Lee; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, Beate; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2015-01-01

    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 (N2), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone. 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 t...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Joshi, M

    2012-01-01

    M-stars comprise 80% of main-sequence stars, and so their planetary systems provide the best chance for finding habitable planets, i.e.: those with surface liquid water. We have modelled the broadband albedo or reflectivity of water ice and snow for simulated planetary surfaces orbiting two observed red dwarf stars (or M-stars) using spectrally resolved data of the Earth's cryosphere. The gradual reduction of the albedos of snow and ice at wavelengths greater than 1 ?m, combined with M-stars emitting a significant fraction of their radiation at these same longer wavelengths, mean that the albedos of ice and snow on planets orbiting M-stars are much lower than their values on Earth. Our results imply that the ice/snow albedo climate feedback is significantly weaker for planets orbiting M-stars than for planets orbiting G-type stars such as the Sun. In addition, planets with significant ice and snow cover will have significantly higher surface temperatures for a given stellar flux if the spectral variation of c...

  7. Effects of Exoplanet Planetesimal Carbon Chemistry on Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Torrence V.; Mousis, O.; Lunine, J. I.; Madhusudhan, N.

    2013-10-01

    We explore the effects of reported differences in C/O values for exoplanet host stars on the composition of planetesimals formed beyond the snow line in these systems. Since the value of C/O in a planet forming nebula has a strong effect on amount of oxygen available for water ice in an oxidizing nebula, exoplanet systems for host stars with C/O greater than the solar value may have planetesimals with very little or no water ice. We have estimated the composition of volatile and refractory material in extrasolar planetesimals using a set of stars with a wide range of measured C/O abundances (Johnson et al. ApJ. 757(2), 192, 2012). The volatile ice content of planetesimals in these systems varies significantly with C/O, controlled primarily by the availability of O for H2 O ice condensation. Systems with C/O less than the solar value (C/O = 0.55) should have very water ice rich planetesimals, while water ice mass fraction decreases rapidly with increasing C/O until only ices of CO and CO2 are left in significant proportions. If a significant fraction of C is in the form of refractory CHON particles, C and O are removed from the gas phase and the condensates for super-solar C/O values will be water-poor mixtures of silicates and metal, carbon, and carbon-bearing volatile ices, depending on temperature. For very carbon-rich systems, oxidizing conditions cannot be sustained beyond about C/O=1, due to the oxygen sequestered in solid silicates, oxides and CHON, for refractory C fractions within the Pollack et al. range of 0.4 - 0.7 (ApJ. 421, 615, 1994). These results have implications for assessing the habitability of exoplanets since they constrain the amount of water available beyond the snow line for dynamical delivery to inner planets, depending on the host star’s C/O in the circumstellar nebula. Thus one the key chemical ingredients for habitability may be in short supply in carbon-rich, oxygen-poor systems even if planets exist in the ‘habitable zone’. TVJ acknowledges government support at JPL/Caltech, under a contract with NASA. NM acknowledges support from Yale University. JIL was supported by the JWST Project through NASA. O.M. acknowledges support from CNES.

  8. Effects of Exoplanet Planetesimal Carbon Chemistry on Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, T. V.; Mousis, O.; Lunine, J. I.; Madhusudhan, N.

    2013-12-01

    We explore the effects of reported differences in C/O values for exoplanet host stars on the composition of planetesimals formed beyond the snow line in these systems. Since the value of C/O in a planet forming nebula has a strong effect on amount of oxygen available for water ice in an oxidizing nebula, exoplanet systems for host stars with C/O greater than the solar value may have planetesimals with very little or no water ice. We have estimated the composition of volatile and refractory material in extrasolar planetesimals using a set of stars with a wide range of measured C/O abundances (Johnson et al. ApJ. 757(2), 192, 2012). The volatile ice content of planetesimals in these systems varies significantly with C/O, controlled primarily by the availability of O for H2O ice condensation. Systems with C/O less than the solar value (C/O = 0.55) should have very water ice rich planetesimals, while water ice mass fraction decreases rapidly with increasing C/O until only ices of CO and CO2 are left in significant proportions. If a significant fraction of C is in the form of refractory CHON particles, C and O are removed from the gas phase and the condensates for super-solar C/O values will be water-poor mixtures of silicates and metal, carbon, and carbon-bearing volatile ices, depending on temperature. For very carbon-rich systems, oxidizing conditions cannot be sustained beyond about C/O=1, due to the oxygen sequestered in solid silicates, oxides and CHON, for refractory C fractions within the Pollack et al. range of 0.4 - 0.7 (ApJ. 421, 615, 1994). These results have implications for assessing the habitability of exoplanets since they constrain the amount of water available beyond the snow line for dynamical delivery to inner planets, depending on the host star's C/O in the circumstellar nebula. Thus one the key chemical ingredients for habitability may be in short supply in carbon-rich, oxygen-poor systems even if planets exist in the ';habitable zone'. TVJ acknowledges government support at JPL/Caltech, under a contract with NASA. NM acknowledges support from Yale University. JIL was supported by the JWST Project through NASA. O.M. acknowledges support from CNES.Planetesimal compositions for several stellar systems with a fraction, Csolid, of C in solid CHON particles

  9. 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

  10. 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 case, whereas the biomarker nitrous oxide (N(2)O) could survive in the planetary atmosphere under all conditions of stellar activity considered here, which clearly has important implications for missions that aim to detect spectroscopic biomarkers. PMID:23215581

  11. 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 nitrous oxide (N2O) could survive in the planetary atmosphere under all conditions of stellar activity considered here, which clearly has important implications for missions that aim to detect spectroscopic biomarkers. Key Words: M dwarf—Atmosphere—Earth-like—Biomarkers—Stellar cosmic rays. Astrobiology 12, 1109–1122. PMID:23215581

  12. Tides, Planetary Companions, and Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Laerhoven, Christa L.; Barnes, Rory; Greenberg, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Earth-scale planets in the classical habitable zone (HZ) are more likely to be habitable if they possess active geophysics to drive processes that regulate their atmosphere. Without a constant internal energy source, planets cool as they age, eventually terminating tectonic activity. Planets orbiting low-mass stars can be very old, due to the longevity of such stars, so they may be rendered sterile to life in this way. However, the presence of an outer companion could generate enough tidal heat in the HZ planet to prevent such cooling. The range of mass and orbital parameters for the companion that give adequate long-term heating of the inner HZ planet, while avoiding very early total desiccation, is substantial. We locate the ideal location for the outer of a pair of planets, under the assumption that the inner planet has the same incident flux as Earth, orbiting example stars: a generic late M dwarf and the M9V/L0 dwarf DEN1048. We also analyze the extent to which systems with ideal parameters for heating will evolve over time. Thus discoveries of Earth-scale planets in the HZ zone of old small stars should be followed by searches for outer companion planets that might be essential for current habitability.

  13. Defining and measuring habit 

    E-print Network

    Quinn, Jeffrey M.

    2001-01-01

    thought and may be habitual. If the mechanisms for initiating and performing habits and non-habits differ, social psychological models of behavior prediction and change will need to be modified to reflect the differences between these modes of performance...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. From meteorites to evolution and habitability of planets Dehant Veronique a,n

    E-print Network

    Claeys, Philippe

    From meteorites to evolution and habitability of planets Dehant Ve´ronique a,n , Breuer Doris b Habitability Meteorites a b s t r a c t The evolution of planets is driven by the composition, structure. The stability of liquid water at the surface of a planet defines a habitable zone (HZ) around a star

  17. 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.

  18. Circumstellar interaction of the type Ia supernova 2002ic

    E-print Network

    N. N. Chugai; R. A. Chevalier; P. Lundqvist

    2004-08-26

    We propose a model to account for the bolometric light curve, quasi-continuum and the Ca II emission features of the peculiar type Ia supernova (SN) 2002ic, which exploded in a dense circumstellar envelope. The model suggests that the SN Ia had the maximum possible kinetic energy and that the ejecta expand in an approximately spherically symmetric (possibly clumpy) circumstellar environment. The Ca II and quasi-continuum are emitted by shocked SN ejecta that underwent deformation and fragmentation in the intershock layer. Modeling of the Ca II triplet implies that the contribution of the O I 8446 A line is about 25% of the 8500 A feature on day 234, which permits us to recover the flux in the Ca II 8579 A triplet from the flux of 8500 A blend reported by Deng et al. (2004). We use the Ca II doublet and triplet fluxes on day 234 to derive the electron temperature (~4400 K) in the Ca II line-emitting zone and the ratio of the total area of dense fragments to the area of the shell, S/S_0 ~ 100. We argue that Ca II bands and quasi-continuum originate from different zones of the shocked ejecta that reflect the abundance stratification of the supernova.

  19. Habitability of Planets in Binaries

    E-print Network

    Nader Haghighipour

    2007-10-03

    A survey of currently known extrasolar planets indicates that close to 20% of their hosting stars are members of binary systems. While the majority of these binaries are wide (i.e., with separations between 250 and 6500 AU), the detection of Jovian-type planets in the three binaries of Gamma Cephei (separation of 18.5 AU), GL 86 (separation of 21 AU), and HD 41004 (separation of 23 AU) have brought to the forefront questions on the formation of giant planets and the possibility of the existence of smaller bodies in moderately close binary star systems. This paper discusses the late stage of the formation of habitable planets in binary systems that host Jovian-type bodies, and reviews the effects of the binary companion on the formation of Earth-like planets in the system's habitable zone. The results of a large survey of the parameter-space of binary-planetary systems in search of regions where habitable planets can form and have long-term stable orbits are also presented.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 extraterrestrial habitats. The requirement of nutrients by life for biosynthesis of cellular constituents and for growth, reproduction, transport, and motility may suggest that a dynamic and rocky planet with hydrothermal activity and formation of relief, liquid water alteration, erosion, and runoff is required to replenish nutrients and to sustain life (as we know it). The concept of habitability is very Earth-centric, as we have only one biological planet to study. However, life elsewhere would most probably be based on organic chemistry and leave traces of its past or recent presence and metabolism by modifying microscopically or macroscopically the physico-chemical characteristics of its environment. The extent to which these modifications occur will determine our ability to detect them in astrobiological exploration. Looking at major steps in the evolution of life may help determining the probability of detecting life (as we know it) beyond Earth and the technology needed to detect its traces, be they morphological, chemical, isotopic, or spectral.

  2. Habitable planets around the star Gl 581?

    E-print Network

    Franck Selsis; J. F. Kasting; B. Levrard; J. Paillet; I. Ribas; X. Delfosse

    2007-11-21

    Radial velocity surveys are now able to detect terrestrial planets at habitable distance from M-type stars. Recently, two planets with minimum masses below 10 Earth masses were reported in a triple system around the M-type star Gliese 581. Using results from atmospheric models and constraints from the evolution of Venus and Mars, we assess the habitability of planets Gl 581c and Gl 581d and we discuss the uncertainties affecting the habitable zone (HZ) boundaries determination. We provide simplified formulae to estimate the HZ limits that may be used to evaluate the astrobiological potential of terrestrial exoplanets that will hopefully be discovered in the near future. Planets Gl 581c and 'd' are near, but outside, what can be considered as the conservative HZ. Planet 'c' receives 30% more energy from its star than Venus from the Sun, with an increased radiative forcing caused by the spectral energy distribution of Gl 581. Its habitability cannot however be positively ruled out by theoretical models due to uncertainties affecting cloud properties. Irradiation conditions of planet 'd' are comparable with those of early Mars. Thanks to the warming effect of CO2-ice clouds planet 'd' might be a better candidate for the first exoplanet known to be potentially habitable. A mixture of various greenhouse gases could also maintain habitable conditions on this planet.

  3. Circumstellar Material Around Evolved Massive Stars

    E-print Network

    Smith, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    I review multiwavelength observations of material seen around different types of evolved massive stars (i.e. red supergiants, yellow hypergiants, luminous blue variables, B[e] supergiants, and Wolf-Rayet stars), concentrating on diagnostics of mass, composition, and kinetic energy in both local and distant examples. Circumstellar material has significant implications for the evolutionary state of the star, the role of episodic mass loss in stellar evolution, and the roles of binarity and rotation in shaping the ejecta. This mass loss determines the type of supernova that results via the stripping of the star's outer layers, but the circumstellar gas can also profoundly influence the immediate pre-supernova environment. Dense circumstellar material can actually change the type of supernova that is seen when it is illuminated by the supernova or heated by the blast wave. As such, unresolved circumstellar material illuminated by distant supernovae can provide a way to study mass loss in massive stars in distant ...

  4. Circumstellar Material Around Evolved Massive Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    I review multiwavelength observations of material seen around different types of evolved massive stars (i.e. red supergiants, yellow hypergiants, luminous blue variables, B[e] supergiants, and Wolf-Rayet stars), concentrating on diagnostics of mass, composition, and kinetic energy in both local and distant examples. Circumstellar material has significant implications for the evolutionary state of the star, the role of episodic mass loss in stellar evolution, and the roles of binarity and rotation in shaping the ejecta. This mass loss determines the type of supernova that results via the stripping of the star's outer layers, but the circumstellar gas can also profoundly influence the immediate pre-supernova environment. Dense circumstellar material can actually change the type of supernova that is seen when it is illuminated by the supernova or heated by the blast wave. As such, unresolved circumstellar material illuminated by distant supernovae can provide a way to study mass loss in massive stars in distant environments.

  5. 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.

  6. Tidal Limits to Planetary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

    The habitable zones (HZs) of main-sequence stars have traditionally been defined as the range of orbits that intercept the appropriate amount of stellar flux to permit surface water on a planet. Terrestrial exoplanets discovered to orbit M stars in these zones, which are close-in due to decreased stellar luminosity, may also undergo significant tidal heating. Tidal heating may span a wide range for terrestrial exoplanets and may significantly affect conditions near the surface. For example, if heating rates on an exoplanet are near or greater than that on Io (where tides drive volcanism that resurfaces the planet at least every 1 Myr) and produce similar surface conditions, then the development of life seems unlikely. On the other hand, if the tidal heating rate is less than the minimum to initiate plate tectonics, then CO2 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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 of the CLOUDY code, we have showed that a high-density gas region can effectively stop most of the UV flux from the white dwarf and provide the observed dust shielding.

  9. Explaining Actions With Habits 

    E-print Network

    Pollard, Bill

    2006-01-01

    From time to time we explain what people do by referring to their habits. We explain somebody’s putting the kettle on in the morning as done through “force of habit”. We explain somebody’s missing a turning by saying ...

  10. Polarimetric microlensing of circumstellar discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajadian, Sedighe; Rahvar, Sohrab

    2015-12-01

    We study the benefits of polarimetry observations of microlensing events to detect and characterize circumstellar discs around the microlensed stars located at the Galactic bulge. These discs which are unresolvable from their host stars make a net polarization effect due to their projected elliptical shapes. Gravitational microlensing can magnify these signals and make them be resolved. The main aim of this work is to determine what extra information about these discs can be extracted from polarimetry observations of microlensing events in addition to those given by photometry ones. Hot discs which are closer to their host stars are more likely to be detected by microlensing, owing to more contributions in the total flux. By considering this kind of discs, we show that although the polarimetric efficiency for detecting discs is similar to the photometric observation, but polarimetry observations can help to constraint the disc geometrical parameters e.g. the disc inner radius and the lens trajectory with respect to the disc semimajor axis. On the other hand, the time-scale of polarimetric curves of these microlensing events generally increases while their photometric time-scale does not change. By performing a Monte Carlo simulation, we show that almost four optically thin discs around the Galactic bulge sources are detected (or even characterized) through photometry (or polarimetry) observations of high-magnification microlensing events during 10-yr monitoring of 150 million objects.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Huigen; Zhang Hui; Zhou Jilin

    2013-04-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We explore the impact of obliquity variations on planetary habitability in hypothetical systems with high mutual inclination. We show that large-amplitude, high-frequency obliquity oscillations on Earth-like exoplanets can suppress the ice-albedo feedback, increasing the outer edge of the habitable zone. We restricted our exploration to hypothetical systems consisting of a solar-mass star, an Earth-mass planet at 1 AU, and 1 or 2 larger planets. We verified that these systems are stable for 108 years with N-body simulations and calculated the obliquity variations induced by the orbital evolution of the Earth-mass planet and a torque from the host star. We ran a simplified energy balance model on the terrestrial planet to assess surface temperature and ice coverage on the planet's surface, and we calculated differences in the outer edge of the habitable zone for planets with rapid obliquity variations. For each hypothetical system, we calculated the outer edge of habitability for two conditions: (1) the full evolution of the planetary spin and orbit and (2) the eccentricity and obliquity fixed at their average values. We recovered previous results that higher values of fixed obliquity and eccentricity expand the habitable zone, but we also found that obliquity oscillations further expand habitable orbits in all cases. Terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone may be more likely to support life in systems that induce rapid obliquity oscillations as opposed to fixed-spin planets. Such planets may be the easiest to directly characterize with space-borne telescopes. Key Words: Exoplanets—Habitable zone—Energy balance models. Astrobiology 14, 277–291. PMID:24611714

  13. 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.

  14. Circumstellar interaction of the type Ia supernova 2002ic

    E-print Network

    Chugai, N N; Lundqvist, P

    2004-01-01

    We propose a model to account for the bolometric light curve, quasi-continuum and the Ca II emission features of the peculiar type Ia supernova (SN) 2002ic, which exploded in a dense circumstellar envelope. The model suggests that the SN Ia had the maximum possible kinetic energy and that the ejecta expand in an approximately spherically symmetric (possibly clumpy) circumstellar environment. The Ca II and quasi-continuum are emitted by shocked SN ejecta that underwent deformation and fragmentation in the intershock layer. Modeling of the Ca II triplet implies that the contribution of the O I 8446 A line is about 25% of the 8500 A feature on day 234, which permits us to recover the flux in the Ca II 8579 A triplet from the flux of 8500 A blend reported by Deng et al. (2004). We use the Ca II doublet and triplet fluxes on day 234 to derive the electron temperature (~4400 K) in the Ca II line-emitting zone and the ratio of the total area of dense fragments to the area of the shell, S/S_0 ~ 100. We argue that Ca ...

  15. Climate and Habitability of Kepler 452b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yongyun; Wang, Yuwei; Liu, Yonggang

    2015-12-01

    The discovery of Kepler 452b marks a milestone of searching for habitable exoplanets. While simple estimation indicates that Kepler 452b is located in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star, the climate state and habitability of Kepler 452b require detailed studies. Using a three-dimensional fully coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model and assuming an aqua-planet, we perform simulations to demonstrate climate states of Kepler 452b for different greenhouse effects and ice-albedo feedbacks. Our simulations show that sea ice can only invade from poles to about 45 degree in latitude for extremely low levels of CO2 (5 ppmv), and that surface temperature near the equator remains as high as 300 K. For high level of CO2 (0.2 bars), the exoplanet becomes ice free, and tropical surface temperature reaches about 335 K. The results suggest that Kepler 452b is very close to the inner edge of the habitable zone, and that its climate state can readily reach the runaway greenhouse limit as greenhouse concentration is higher.

  16. The Habitability of the Milky Way Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowanlock, M.

    2014-04-01

    The Galactic Habitable Zone is defined as the region(s) of the Galaxy that may support complex life. Studies of the habitability of the Milky Way are becoming increasingly important with the growing number of extrasolar planet detections, and the multitude of conditions that life is found to thrive on the Earth. Through the evolution of the Galaxy, the distribution of stars and the planets that they host vary throughout space and time. Combining the information of the frequency of extrasolar planets, and the prospects for life in a range of environments within our evolving galaxy, we are able to make initial estimates of the habitability of the Milky Way. Some of the prerequisites for complex life include having enough metallicity, or building blocks for planet formation, enough time for biological evolution and low exposure to transient radiation events, such as supernovae. Our previous work suggests that the inner disk of the Milky Way may contain the greatest number density of habitable planets at the present day at a galactocentric distance of R>2.5 kpc, despite the higher supernovae rate in the region in comparison to the Sun's location at 8 kpc. I will discuss our previous work, and present an overview of dangers to habitable planets beyond supernovae in different galactic environments.

  17. Magnetic constraints on the habitability of exomoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuluaga, J. I.; Heller, R.

    2014-03-01

    Detection and characterization of exomoons is probably the next major step in extrasolar research. Exomoons around giant planets in the stellar habitable zone could provide common places for life in the Galaxy. But the environment of exomoons will be very different from that of terrestrial planets and therefore an in-depth characterization of these different conditions is key for assessing their habitability. To this purpose, we simulate the evolution of giant planets' magnetospheres and compare their extents with orbits in which natural satellites can be habitable from an illumination and tidal heating perspective (Heller & Zuluaga 2013). We discuss how magnetic and plasma environments can strongly constrain surface habitability on exomoons. Outside the planet's magnetosphere, a moon's atmosphere may be exposed to the erosion by the stellar wind and by the planetary corotational magnetoplasma. Inside the planetary magnetosphere, high-energy particles trapped in the planet's radiation belt may also harm a moon's atmosphere or life on the surface. We provide numerical estimations of these effects and their impact at constraining exomoon habitability.

  18. Damaging Oral Habits

    PubMed Central

    Kamdar, Rajesh J; Al-Shahrani, Ibrahim

    2015-01-01

    Oral habits, if persist beyond certain developmental age, can pose great harm to the developing teeth, occlusion, and surrounding oral tissues. In the formative years, almost all children engage in some non-nutritive sucking habits. Clinicians, by proper differential diagnosis and thorough understanding of natural growth and developmental processes, should take a decision for intervening. This article describes case series reports of thumb sucking, finger sucking, and tongue thrusting habits, which have been successfully treated by both removable and fixed orthodontic appliances. The cases shown are ranging from the age group of 9-19 years presenting combination of both mixed and permanent dentition development. All cases show satisfactory correction of habits and stable results. PMID:25954079

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Kepler Mission: A Search for Habitable Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, David; Fonda, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was selected by NASA as one of the next two Discovery Missions. The mission design is based on the search for Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars, but does not preclude the discovery of larger or smaller planets in other orbits of non-solar-like stars. An overview of the mission, the scientific goals and the anticipated results will be presented.

  4. Sensitivity of Transit Searches to Habitable Planets

    E-print Network

    Andrew Gould; Joshua Pepper; D. L. DePoy

    2002-11-25

    Photon-limited transit surveys in V band are in principle about 20 times more sensitive to planets of fixed size in the habitable zone around M stars than G stars. In I band the ratio is about 400. The advantages that the habitable zone lies closer and that the stars are smaller (together with the numerical superiority of M stars) more than compensate for the reduced signal due to the lower luminosity of the later-type stars. That is, M stars can yield reliable transit detections at much fainter apparent magnitudes than G stars. However, to achieve this greater sensitivity, the later-type stars must be monitored to these correspondingly fainter magnitudes, which can engender several practical problems. We show that with modest modifications, the Kepler mission could extend its effective sensitivity from its current M_V=6 to M_V=9. This would not capture the whole M dwarf peak, but would roughly triple its sensitivity to Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. However, to take advantage of the huge bump in the sensitivity function at M_V=12 would require major changes.

  5. Discovery and Study of Nearby Habitable Planets with Mesolensing

    E-print Network

    Rosanne Di Stefano; Christopher Night

    2008-01-09

    We demonstrate that gravitational lensing can be used to discover and study planets in the habitable zones of nearby dwarf stars. If appropriate software is developed, a new generation of monitoring programs will automatically conduct a census of nearby planets in the habitable zones of dwarf stars. In addition, individual nearby dwarf stars can produce lensing events at predictable times; careful monitoring of these events can discover any planets located in the zone of habitability. Because lensing can discover planets (1) in face-on orbits, and (2) in orbit around the dimmest stars, lensing techniques will provide complementary information to that gleaned through Doppler and/or transit investigations. The ultimate result will be a comprehensive understanding of the variety of systems with conditions similar to those that gave rise to life on Earth.

  6. 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…

  7. On circumstellar molecules in the Pleiades.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hobbs, L. M.

    1972-01-01

    Consideration of both old and new observations of the interstellar 4232-A line of CH(+) for the brightest members of the Pleiades. These observations suggest that the molecules are circumstellar in some sense, perhaps resembling in this respect the micron-sized grains inferred to be present in this region.

  8. MAGNETIC SHIELDING OF EXOMOONS BEYOND THE CIRCUMPLANETARY HABITABLE EDGE

    SciTech Connect

    Heller, René; Zuluaga, Jorge I. E-mail: jzuluaga@fisica.udea.edu.co

    2013-10-20

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

  9. Possible Habitability of Ocean Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    In the last decade, the number of detected exoplanets has increased to over thousand confirmed planets and more as yet unconfirmed planet candidates. The scientific community mainly concentrates on terrestrial planets (up to 10 Earth masses) in the habitable zone, which describes the distance from the host star where liquid water can exist at the surface (Kasting et al., 1993). Another target group of interest are ocean worlds, where a terrestrial-like body (i.e. with an iron core and a silicate mantle) is covered by a thick water-ice layer - similar to the icy moons of our solar system but with several Earth masses (e.g. Grasset et al., 2009). When an exoplanet is detected and confirmed as a planet, typically the radius and the mass of it are known, leading to the mean density of the planet that gives hints to possible interior structures. A planet with a large relative iron core and a thick ocean on top of the silicate mantle for example would have the same average planet density as a planet with a more Earth-like appearance (where the main contributor to the mass is the silicate mantle). In this study we investigate how the radius and mass of a planet depend on the amount of water, silicates and iron present (after Wagner et al., 2011) the occurence of high-pressure-ice in the water-ice layer (note: we only consider surface temperatures at which liquid water exists at the surface) if the ocean layer influences the initiation of plate tectonics We assume that ocean worlds with a liquid ocean layer (and without the occurence of high-pressure ice anywhere in the water layer) and plate tectonics (especially the occurence of subduction zones, hydrothermal vents and continental formation) may be called habitable (Class III/IV habitats after Lammer et al., 2009). References: Kasting, J.F., Whitmire, D.P., and Reynolds, R.T. (1993). Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars. Icarus 101, 108-128. Grasset, O., Schneider, J., and Sotin, C. (2009). A study of the accuracy of mass-radius relationships for silicate-rich and ice-rich planets up to 100 Earth masses. The Astrophysical Journal 693, 722-733. Wagner, F.W., Sohl, F., Hussmann, H., Grott, M., and Rauer, H. (2011). Interior structure models of solid exoplanets using material laws in the infinite pressure limit. Icarus 214, 366-376. Lammer, H., Bredehöft, J.H., Coustenis, A., Khodachenko, M.L., Kaltenegger, L., Grasset, O., Prieur, D., Raulin, F., Ehrenfreund, P., Yamauchi, M., Wahlund, J.-E., Grießmeier, J.-M., Stangl, G., Cockell, C.S., Kulikov, Yu.N., Grenfell, J.L., and Rauer, H. (2009). What makes a planet habitable? Astron Astrophys Rev 17, 181-249.

  10. Trajectories of Martian Habitability

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Beginning from two plausible starting points—an uninhabited or inhabited Mars—this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments. Key Words: Mars—Habitability—Liquid water—Planetary science. Astrobiology 14, 182–203. PMID:24506485

  11. The quest for cradles of life: using the fundamental metallicity relation to hunt for the most habitable type of galaxy

    E-print Network

    Dayal, Pratika; Rice, Ken; Mazumdar, Anupam

    2015-01-01

    The field of astrobiology has made huge strides in understanding the habitable zones around stars (Stellar Habitable Zones) where life can begin, sustain its existence and evolve into complex forms. A few studies have extended this idea by modelling galactic-scale habitable zones (Galactic Habitable Zones) for our Milky Way and specific elliptical galaxies. However, estimating the habitability for galaxies spanning a wide range of physical properties has so far remained an outstanding issue. Here, we present a "cosmobiological" framework that allows us to sift through the entire galaxy population in the local Universe and answer the question "Which type of galaxy is most likely to host complex life in the cosmos"? Interestingly, the three key astrophysical criteria governing habitability (total mass in stars, total metal mass and ongoing star formation rate) are found to be intricately linked through the "fundamental metallicity relation" as shown by SDSS (Sloan Digital Sky Survey) observations of more than a...

  12. Stability of habitable exomoons of circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satyal, Suman; Haghighipour, Nader; Quarles, Billy

    2015-12-01

    Among the currently known Kepler circumbinary planets, three, namely Kepler-453b, Kepler-16b, and Kepler-47c are in the binary habitable zone (HZ). Given the large sizes of these planets, it is unlikely that they would be habitable. However, similar to the giant planets in our solar system, these planets may have large moons, which orbit their host planets while in the HZ. These exomoons, if exist, present viable candidates for habitability. As a condition for habitability, the planet-moon system has to maintain its orbital stability for long time. Usually, the empirical formula by Holeman & Wiegert (1999) is used as a measure of orbital stability in circumbinary systems. However, this formula was obtained by assuming planets to be test particles and therefore does not include possible perturbation of the planet on the binary. In this work, we present results of more realistic calculations of stability of circumbinary planets where the interactions between planets and their central binaries are taken into account. We map the region of stability, which in this case will be specific to each system, and determine the range of the orbital parameters of the moons for which their orbits will be long-term stable.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    We explore the impact of obliquity variations on planetary habitability in hypothetical systems with high mutual inclination. We show that large-amplitude, high-frequency obliquity oscillations on Earth-like exoplanets can suppress the ice-albedo feedback, increasing the outer edge of the habitable zone. We restricted our exploration to hypothetical systems consisting of a solar-mass star, an Earth-mass planet at 1 AU, and 1 or 2 larger planets. We verified that these systems are stable for 10(8) years with N-body simulations and calculated the obliquity variations induced by the orbital evolution of the Earth-mass planet and a torque from the host star. We ran a simplified energy balance model on the terrestrial planet to assess surface temperature and ice coverage on the planet's surface, and we calculated differences in the outer edge of the habitable zone for planets with rapid obliquity variations. For each hypothetical system, we calculated the outer edge of habitability for two conditions: (1) the full evolution of the planetary spin and orbit and (2) the eccentricity and obliquity fixed at their average values. We recovered previous results that higher values of fixed obliquity and eccentricity expand the habitable zone, but we also found that obliquity oscillations further expand habitable orbits in all cases. Terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone may be more likely to support life in systems that induce rapid obliquity oscillations as opposed to fixed-spin planets. Such planets may be the easiest to directly characterize with space-borne telescopes. PMID:24611714

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kane, Stephen R.

    2013-09-01

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

  16. Habitable Niches In Single and Binary Star Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Joni; Mason, P. A.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate habitable niches, defined as locations with optimum conditions for complex life to exist. The recent discovery of planets in several binaries motivates this study to examine favorable habitability circumstances in both single and binary star systems. Stellar evolution calculations are used to model time dependent stellar luminosity, UV flux, photo-synthetic flux and atmospheric water photolysis. Tidal interactions such as synchronization timescales, heat generation, and forcing frequency are also investigated. An Earth-analogue planet in the habitable zone of a 0.8 solar mass star is well suited for complex life. Several high quality niches are available to planets in habitable zones of binaries. For example, orbiting a pair of twin stars each 0.75 solar masses with a binary period of ten days will provide ample photo-synthetic radiation without an overdose of UV radiation, and tidal effects mimicking the Earth-Moon. A solar like star with a close red dwarf companion, like the recently discovered Kepler 47, provides a high quality niche because both stars are relatively long lived and the habitable zone has abundant photo-synthetic light while avoiding harmful UV light. A similar niche exists with a sun like star, which in turn is orbited by a distant red dwarf, providing a roughly annual enhanced red photo-synthetic flux. Also, moons orbiting Jupiter mass planets may exist within habitable zones of both single and binary stars. Such moons might be synchronized to the planet rather than the star. Due to the abundance of binary systems and the presence of high quality niches; binaries may harbor a significant fraction of inhabited planets within the universe. The present study allows for selection of the best habitability follow up targets for large telescopes.

  17. Application of the Titius-Bode Rule to the 55 Cancri System: Tentative Prediction of a Possibly Habitable Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuntz, Manfred

    2012-08-01

    Following the notion that the Titius-Bode rule (TBR) may also be applicable to some extrasolar planetary systems, although this number could be relatively small, it is applied to 55 Cancri, which is a G-type main-sequence star currently known to host five planets. Following a concise computational process, we tentatively identified four new hypothetical planetary positions, given as 0.081, 0.41, 1.51, and 2.95 AU from the star. The likelihood that these positions are occupied by real existing planets is significantly enhanced for the positions of 1.51 and 2.95 AU in view of previous simulations on planet formation and planetary orbital stability. For example, Raymond, Barnes, and Gorelick (2008, ApJ, 689, 478) argued that additional planets would be possible between 55 Cnc f and 55 Cnc d, which would include planets situated at 1.51 and 2.95 AU. If two additional planets are assumed to exist between 55 Cnc f and 55 Cnc d, the deduced domains of stability would be given as 1.3-1.6 and 2.2-3.3 AU. The possible planet near 1.5 AU appears to be located at the outskirts of the stellar habitable zone, which is, however, notably affected by the stellar parameters as well as the adopted model of circumstellar habitability. We also computed the distance of the next possible outer planet in the 55 Cnc system, which, if existing, is predicted to be located between 10.9 and 12.2 AU, which is consistent with orbital stability constraints. The inherent statistical significance of the TBR was evaluated following a method by Lynch (2003, MNRAS, 341, 1174). Yet it is up to future planetary search missions to verify or falsify the applicability of the TBR to the 55 Cnc system, and to obtain information on additional planets, if existing.

  18. Habitable planets with high obliquities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D. M.; Kasting, J. F.

    1997-01-01

    Earth's obliquity would vary chaotically from 0 degrees to 85 degrees were it not for the presence of the Moon (J. Laskar, F. Joutel, and P. Robutel, 1993, Nature 361, 615-617). The Moon itself is thought to be an accident of accretion, formed by a glancing blow from a Mars-sized planetesimal. Hence, planets with similar moons and stable obliquities may be extremely rare. This has lead Laskar and colleagues to suggest that the number of Earth-like planets with high obliquities and temperate, life-supporting climates may be small. To test this proposition, we have used an energy-balance climate model to simulate Earth's climate at obliquities up to 90 degrees. We show that Earth's climate would become regionally severe in such circumstances, with large seasonal cycles and accompanying temperature extremes on middle- and high-latitude continents which might be damaging to many forms of life. The response of other, hypothetical, Earth-like planets to large obliquity fluctuations depends on their land-sea distribution and on their position within the habitable zone (HZ) around their star. Planets with several modest-sized continents or equatorial supercontinents are more climatically stable than those with polar supercontinents. Planets farther out in the HZ are less affected by high obliquities because their atmospheres should accumulate CO2 in response to the carbonate-silicate cycle. Dense, CO2-rich atmospheres transport heat very effectively and therefore limit the magnitude of both seasonal cycles and latitudinal temperature gradients. We conclude that a significant fraction of extrasolar Earth-like planets may still be habitable, even if they are subject to large obliquity fluctuations.

  19. What makes a planet habitable ?

    E-print Network

    Guyon, Olivier

    What makes a planet habitable ? #12;#12;How to detect planets ? #12;Radial velocity #12;Transits storms · Gl 581 b,c,d,e [RV]: habitable planets ? Only 20 light year away, 4 planets. Gl 581 e (closest, but WILL "freeze away" with time When is a planet habitable ? #12;Water... Mars & Venus lost their oceans H2O

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

    We review recent work that directly or indirectly addresses the habitability of terrestrial (rocky) planets like the Earth. Habitability has been traditionally defined in terms of an orbital semimajor axis within a range known as the habitable zone, but it is also well known that the habitability of Earth is due to many other astrophysical, geological, and geochemical factors. We focus this review on (1) recent refinements to habitable zone calculations; (2) the formation and orbital stability of terrestrial planets; (3) the tempo and mode of geologic activity (e.g., plate tectonics) on terrestrial planets; (4) the delivery of water to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone; and (5) the acquisition and loss of terrestrial planet carbon and nitrogen, elements that constitute important atmospheric gases responsible for habitable conditions on Earth's surface as well as being the building blocks of the biosphere itself. Finally, we consider recent work on evidence for the earliest habitable environments and the appearance of life itself on our planet. Such evidence provides us with an important, if nominal, calibration point for our search for other habitable worlds. PMID:15815163

  1. HABITABLE CLIMATES: THE INFLUENCE OF ECCENTRICITY

    SciTech Connect

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Spiegel, David S.; Scharf, Caleb A.; Menou, Kristen; Raymond, Sean N. E-mail: dsp@astro.princeton.ed E-mail: caleb@astro.columbia.ed

    2010-10-01

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

  2. POST-CAPTURE EVOLUTION OF POTENTIALLY HABITABLE EXOMOONS

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Simon B.; Grundy, William M.

    2011-07-20

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

  3. Delivery of Volatiles to Habitable Planets in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chambers, John E.; Kress, Monika E.; Bell, K. Robbins; Cash, Michele; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Earth can support life because: (1) its orbit lies in the Sun's habitable zone', and (2) it contains enough volatile material (e.g. water and organics) for life to flourish. However, it seems likely that the Earth was drier when it formed because it accreted in a part of the Sun's protoplanetary nebula that was too hot for volatiles to condense. If this is correct, water and organics must have been delivered to the habitable zone, after dissipation of the solar nebula, from a 'wet zone' in the asteroid belt or the outer solar system, where the nebula was cool enough for volatiles to condense. Material from the wet zone would have been delivered to the Earth by Jupiter and Saturn. Gravitational perturbations from these giant planets made much of the wet zone unstable, scattering volatile-rich planetesimals and protoplanets across the Solar System. Some of these objects ultimately collided with the inner Planets which themselves lie in a stable part of the Solar System. Giant planets are now being discovered orbiting other sunlike stars. To date, these planets have orbits and masses very different from Jupiter and Saturn, such that few if any of these systems is likely to have terrestrial planets in the star's habitable zone. However, new discoveries are anticipated due to improved detector sensitivity and the increase in the timespan of observations. Here we present numerical experiments examining the range of giant-planet characteristics that: (1) allow stable terrestrial Planets to exist in a star's habitable zone, and (2) make a large part of the star's wet zone weakly unstable, thus delivering volatiles to the terrestrial planets over an extended period of time after the dissipation of the solar nebula.

  4. 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 monotonically increasing toward the central star.

  5. Trajectories of martian habitability.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-02-01

    Beginning from two plausible starting points-an uninhabited or inhabited Mars-this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments. PMID:24506485

  6. Effective Physics Study Habits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zettili, Nouredine

    2011-04-01

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

  7. Computer codes for evaluation of control room habitability (HABIT)

    SciTech Connect

    Stage, S.A.

    1996-06-01

    This report describes the Computer Codes for Evaluation of Control Room Habitability (HABIT). HABIT is a package of computer codes designed to be used for the evaluation of control room habitability in the event of an accidental release of toxic chemicals or radioactive materials. Given information about the design of a nuclear power plant, a scenario for the release of toxic chemicals or radionuclides, and information about the air flows and protection systems of the control room, HABIT can be used to estimate the chemical exposure or radiological dose to control room personnel. HABIT is an integrated package of several programs that previously needed to be run separately and required considerable user intervention. This report discusses the theoretical basis and physical assumptions made by each of the modules in HABIT and gives detailed information about the data entry windows. Sample runs are given for each of the modules. A brief section of programming notes is included. A set of computer disks will accompany this report if the report is ordered from the Energy Science and Technology Software Center. The disks contain the files needed to run HABIT on a personal computer running DOS. Source codes for the various HABIT routines are on the disks. Also included are input and output files for three demonstration runs.

  8. Longevity of moons around habitable planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, Takashi; Barnes, Jason W.

    2014-10-01

    We consider tidal decay lifetimes for moons orbiting habitable extrasolar planets using the constant Q approach for tidal evolution theory. Large moons stabilize planetary obliquity in some cases, and it has been suggested that large moons are necessary for the evolution of complex life. We find that the Moon in the Sun-Earth system must have had an initial orbital period of not slower than 20 h rev-1 for the moon's lifetime to exceed a 5 Gyr lifetime. We assume that 5 Gyr is long enough for life on planets to evolve complex life. We show that moons of habitable planets cannot survive for more than 5 Gyr if the stellar mass is less than 0.55 and 0.42 M ? for Q p=10 and 100, respectively, where Q p is the planetary tidal dissipation quality factor. Kepler-62e and f are of particular interest because they are two actually known rocky planets in the habitable zone. Kepler-62e would need to be made of iron and have Q p=100 for its hypothetical moon to live for longer than 5 Gyr. A hypothetical moon of Kepler-62f, by contrast, may have a lifetime greater than 5 Gyr under several scenarios, and particularly for Q p=100.

  9. Characteristics of Interstellar and Circumstellar Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    This paper will review our current knowledge of circumstellar and interstellar dust from an astronomical point of view. About half of the interstellar dust volume consists of amorphous silicates. The remainder has to be made up of an carbonaceous component such as graphite, amorphous carbon (i.e., soot), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon molecules (PAHs), and/or organic grain mantles (i.e., mixed polymers). The observational evidence for these components will be reviewed and their relative importance assessed. The emphasis will be on recent observations using the Infrared Space Observatory. Most of these dust components are formed in the outflows from stars in the late stages of their evolution (i.e., red giants, planetary nebulae, novae, supergiants, Wolf Rayet stars, and supernovae). Indeed, observation of such objects indicate an even richer spectrum of stardust components, including also SiC, MgS, and aluminates and crystalline silicates. These observations will be briefly discussed. The stardust budget of the galaxy will be reviewed and the relative importance of the various birth sites assessed. Finally, in recent years, isotopic composition studies have shown that some circumstellar and interstellar dust grains have been incorporated into solar system bodies such as planetary dust particles and meteorites without totally losing their identity. Among the components identified are SiC, graphite, diamonds, PAHs, aluminum oxides, as well as various trace element carbides. Studies of this kind have opened up a new window on the composition and structure of interstellar dust. These different sources of information on interstellar and circumstellar dust will be briefly contrasted.

  10. Planetary habitability: lessons learned from terrestrial analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, Louisa J.; Dartnell, Lewis R.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial analogue studies underpin almost all planetary missions and their use is essential in the exploration of our Solar system and in assessing the habitability of other worlds. Their value relies on the similarity of the analogue to its target, either in terms of their mineralogical or geochemical context, or current physical or chemical environmental conditions. Such analogue sites offer critical ground-truthing for astrobiological studies on the habitability of different environmental parameter sets, the biological mechanisms for survival in extreme environments and the preservation potential and detectability of biosignatures. The 33 analogue sites discussed in this review have been selected on the basis of their congruence to particular extraterrestrial locations. Terrestrial field sites that have been used most often in the literature, as well as some lesser known ones which require greater study, are incorporated to inform on the astrobiological potential of Venus, Mars, Europa, Enceladus and Titan. For example, the possibility of an aerial habitable zone on Venus has been hypothesized based on studies of life at high-altitudes in the terrestrial atmosphere. We also demonstrate why many different terrestrial analogue sites are required to satisfactorily assess the habitability of the changing environmental conditions throughout Martian history, and recommend particular sites for different epochs or potential niches. Finally, habitable zones within the aqueous environments of the icy moons of Europa and Enceladus and potentially in the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan are discussed and suitable analogue sites proposed. It is clear from this review that a number of terrestrial analogue sites can be applied to multiple planetary bodies, thereby increasing their value for astrobiological exploration. For each analogue site considered here, we summarize the pertinent physiochemical environmental features they offer and critically assess the fidelity with which they emulate their intended target locale. We also outline key issues associated with the existing documentation of analogue research and the constraints this has on the efficiency of discoveries in this field. This review thus highlights the need for a global open access database for planetary analogues.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-10

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

  12. 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

  13. The Structure of Brown Dwarf Circumstellar Disks

    E-print Network

    Christina Walker; Kenneth Wood; C. J. Lada; Thomas Robitaille; J. E. Bjorkman; Barbara Whitney

    2004-03-11

    We present synthetic spectra for circumstellar disks that are heated by radiation from a central brown dwarf. Under the assumption of vertical hydrostatic equilibrium, our models yield scaleheights for brown dwarf disks in excess of three times those derived for classical T Tauri (CTTS) disks. If the near-IR excess emission observed from brown dwarfs is indeed due to circumstellar disks, then the large scaleheights we find could have a significant impact on the optical and near-IR detectability of such systems. Our radiation transfer calculations show that such highly flared disks around brown dwarfs will result in a large fraction of obscured sources due to extinction of direct starlight by the disk over a wide range of sightlines. The obscured fraction for a 'typical' CTTS is less than 20%. We show that the obscured fraction for brown dwarfs may be double that for CTTS, but this depends on stellar and disk mass. We also comment on possible confusion in identifying brown dwarfs via color-magnitude diagrams: edge-on CTTS display similar colors and magnitudes as a face-on brown dwarf plus disk systems.

  14. Which Galaxies Are the Most Habitable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    Habitable zones are a hot topic in exoplanet studies: where, around a given star, could a planet exist that supports life? But if you scale this up, you get a much less common question: which type of galaxy is most likely to host complex life in the universe? A team of researchers from the UK believes it has the answer.Criteria for HabitabilityLed by Pratika Dayal of the University of Durham, the authors of this study set out to estimate the habitability of a large population of galaxies. The first step in this process is to determine what elements contribute to a galaxys habitability. The authors note three primary factors:Total number of starsMore stars means more planets!Metallicity of the starsPlanets are more likely to form in stellar vicinities with higher metallicities, since planet formation requires elements heavier than iron.Likelihood of Type II supernovae nearbyPlanets that are located out of range of supernovae have a higher probability of being habitable, since a major dose of cosmic radiation is likely to cause mass extinctions or delay evolution of complex life. Galaxies supernova rates can be estimated from their star formation rates (the two are connected via the initial mass function).Hospitable Cosmic GiantsLower panel: the number of Earth-like habitable planets (given by the color bar, which shows the log ratio relative to the Milky Way) increases in galaxies with larger stellar mass and lower star formation rates. Upper panel: the larger stellar-mass galaxies tend to be elliptical (blue line) rather than spiral (red line). Click for larger view. [Dayal et al. 2015]Interestingly, these three conditions have previously been shown to be linked via something termed the fundamental metallicity relation, which relates the total stellar masses, metallicities, and star formation rates of galaxies. By using this relation, the authors were able to create predictions for the number of habitable planets in more than 100,000 galaxies in the local universe (cataloged by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey).Based on these predictions, the authors find that the galaxies likely to host the largest number of habitable planets are those that have a mass greater than twice that of the Milky Way and star formation rates less than a tenth of that of the Milky Way.These galaxies tend to be giant elliptical galaxies, rather than compact spirals like our own galaxy. The authors calculate that the most hospitable galaxies can host up to 10,000 times as many Earth-like planets and 1,000,000 times as many gas-giants (which might have habitable moons) as the Milky Way!CitationPratika Dayal et al.2015 ApJ 810 L2 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/810/1/L2

  15. Which Galaxies Are the Most Habitable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Habitable zones are a hot topic in exoplanet studies: where, around a given star, could a planet exist that supports life? But if you scale this up, you get a much less common question: which type of galaxy is most likely to host complex life in the universe? A team of researchers from the UK believes it has the answer.Criteria for HabitabilityLed by Pratika Dayal of the University of Durham, the authors of this study set out to estimate the habitability of a large population of galaxies. The first step in this process is to determine what elements contribute to a galaxys habitability. The authors note three primary factors:Total number of starsMore stars means more planets!Metallicity of the starsPlanets are more likely to form in stellar vicinities with higher metallicities, since planet formation requires elements heavier than iron.Likelihood of Type II supernovae nearbyPlanets that are located out of range of supernovae have a higher probability of being habitable, since a major dose of cosmic radiation is likely to cause mass extinctions or delay evolution of complex life. Galaxies supernova rates can be estimated from their star formation rates (the two are connected via the initial mass function).Hospitable Cosmic GiantsLower panel: the number of Earth-like habitable planets (given by the color bar, which shows the log ratio relative to the Milky Way) increases in galaxies with larger stellar mass and lower star formation rates. Upper panel: the larger stellar-mass galaxies tend to be elliptical (blue line) rather than spiral (red line). Click for larger view. [Dayal et al. 2015]Interestingly, these three conditions have previously been shown to be linked via something termed the fundamental metallicity relation, which relates the total stellar masses, metallicities, and star formation rates of galaxies. By using this relation, the authors were able to create predictions for the number of habitable planets in more than 100,000 galaxies in the local universe (cataloged by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey).Based on these predictions, the authors find that the galaxies likely to host the largest number of habitable planets are those that have a mass greater than twice that of the Milky Way and star formation rates less than a tenth of that of the Milky Way.These galaxies tend to be giant elliptical galaxies, rather than compact spirals like our own galaxy. The authors calculate that the most hospitable galaxies can host up to 10,000 times as many Earth-like planets and 1,000,000 times as many gas-giants (which might have habitable moons) as the Milky Way!CitationPratika Dayal et al.2015 ApJ 810 L2 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/810/1/L2

  16. An Investigation of Circumbinary Planet Orbital Stability and Habitability to Identify Potential Planetary Systems with Several Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge; Cuartas, Pablo A.

    2015-08-01

    The census of planets orbiting the center of mass of binary stars is rapidly growing. The question of stability for circumbinary planets has been the focus of much recent research. We review this work and present results of new simulations, from which we find criteria for the long term stability of exoplanets orbiting binaries. We are especially concerned with the potential stability of planets in habitable zones surrounding binaries. For this purpose, we merge a long-term orbital stability study with an analysis of the rotational evolution of the stellar components. The stellar evolution and rotational study enables estimates of stellar activity, and the effects on the magnetospheres and atmospheres of planets over the course of history for a potentially habitable circumbinary planet. We find that the long-term orbital stability of circumbinary habitable zone depends sensitively on the initial orbit of the binary and on the masses of the stars. We find that stellar twins (binary mass ratio ~ 1) and binaries with circular orbits provide the most stable solutions. However, if the binary orbit evolves too rapidly, planets may be lost due to changes in resonance locations. A subset of binaries are identified possessing both stable orbital solutions for multiple planets in the habitable zone and reduced stellar aggression due to tidal torqueing of the stellar rotation.

  17. DERECHOS HUMANOS Donde no habite

    E-print Network

    Schettini, Raimondo

    DERECHOS HUMANOS Donde no habite el olvido Herencia y transmisión del testimonio en América Latina Congreso Internacional de Literatura y Derechos Humanos Gargnano del Garda 29 de junio ­ 4 de julio de 2015 Internacional de Literatura y Derechos Humanos Donde no habite el olvido. Herencia y transmisión del testimonio

  18. How Common are Habitable Planets?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Earth is teeming with life, which, occupies a diverse array of environments; other bodies in our Solar System offer fewer, if any, niches which are habitable by life as we know it. Nonetheless, astronomical studies suggest that a large number of habitable planets-are likely to be present within our Galaxy.

  19. Developing Mathematical Habits of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mark, June; Cuoco, Al; Goldenberg, E. Paul; Sword, Sarah

    2010-01-01

    "Mathematical habits of mind" include reasoning by continuity, looking at extreme cases, performing thought experiments, and using abstraction that mathematicians use in their work. Current recommendations emphasize the critical nature of developing these habits of mind: "Once this kind of thinking is established, students can apply it in the…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-10

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

  1. Rotational Synchronization May Enhance Habitability for Circumbinary Planets: Kepler Binary Case Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. HL Tauri and its circumstellar disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, M.

    1983-07-01

    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.

  5. Dust Stratification in Young Circumstellar Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettig, Terrence W.; Brittain, S. D.; Simon, T.; Gibb, E.; Balsara, D. S.; Tilley, D. A.; Kulesa, C.

    2006-06-01

    We present high-resolution infrared spectra of four YSOs (T Tau N, T Tau S, RNO 91, and HL Tau). The spectra exhibit narrow absorption lines of 12CO, 13CO, and C18O as well as broad emission lines of gas phase12CO. The narrow absorption lines of CO are shown to originate from the colder circumstellar gas. We find that the line of sight gas column densities resulting from the CO absorption lines are much higher than expected for the measured extinction for each source and suggest the gas to dust ratio is measuring the dust settling and/or grain coagulation in these extended disks. We provide a model of turbulence, dust settling and grain growth to explain the results.

  6. Dust Stratification in Young Circumstellar Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettig, Terrence; Brittain, Sean; Simon, Theodore; Gibb, Erika; Balsara, Dinshaw S.; Tilley, David A.; Kulesa, Craig

    2006-07-01

    We present high-resolution infrared spectra of four YSOs (T Tau N, T Tau S, RNO 91, and HL Tau). The spectra exhibit narrow absorption lines of 12CO, 13CO, and C18O, as well as broad emission lines of gas-phase 12CO. The narrow absorption lines of CO are shown to originate from the colder circumstellar gas. We find that the line-of-sight gas column densities resulting from the CO absorption lines are much higher than expected for the measured extinction for each source and suggest the gas/dust ratio is measuring the dust settling and/or grain coagulation in these extended disks. We provide a model of turbulence, dust settling, and grain growth to explain the results.

  7. Assessing Habitability: Lessons from the Phoenix Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol R.

    2013-01-01

    The Phoenix mission's key objective was to search for a habitable zone. The Phoenix lander carried a robotic arm with digging scoop to collect soil and icy material for analysis with an instrument payload that included volatile mineral and organic analysis(3) and soil ionic chemistry analysis (4). Results from Phoenix along with theoretical modeling and other previous mission results were used to evaluate the habitability of the landing site by considering four factors that characterize the environments ability to support life as we know it: the presence of liquid water, the presence of an energy source to support metabolism, the presence of nutrients containing the fundamental building blocks of life, and the absence of environmental conditions that are toxic to or preclude life. Phoenix observational evidence for the presence of liquid water (past or present) includes clean segregated ice, chemical etching of soil grains, calcite minerals in the soil and variable concentrations of soluble salts5. The maximum surface temperature measured was 260K so unfrozen water can form only in adsorbed films or saline brines but warmer climates occur cyclically on geologically short time scales due to variations in orbital parameters. During high obliquity periods, temperatures allowing metabolism extend nearly a meter into the subsurface. Phoenix discovered 1%w/w perchlorate salt in the soil, a chemical energy source utilized by a wide range of microbes. Nutrient sources including C, H, N, O, P and S compounds are supplied by known atmospheric sources or global dust. Environmental conditions are within growth tolerance for terrestrial microbes. Summer daytime temperatures are sufficient for metabolic activity, the pH is 7.8 and is well buffered and the projected water activity of a wet soil will allow growth. In summary, martian permafrost in the north polar region is a viable location for modern life. Stoker et al. presented a formalism for comparing the habitability of various regions visited to date on Mars that involved computing a habitability probability, defined as the product of probabilities for the presence of liquid water (P(sub lw)), energy (P(sub e)), nutrients (P(sub ch)), and a benign environment (P(sub b)). Using this formalism, they argued that the Phoenix site was the most habitable of any site visited to date by landed missions and warranted a follow up mission to search for modern evidence of life. This paper will review that conclusion in view of more recent information from the Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Science Lander missions.

  8. A Habitability Test of the Exoplanetary System K2-3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz-Perez, Ryan; Kipping, David M.; Johnson, John A.

    2016-01-01

    The question of habitability is one of the most interesting questions in exoplanetary science. By studying the orbital properties of a planet, like it's eccentricity and habitable zone inner edge distance we can answer this question. Here we answer the habitability question for the planets in the exoplanetary system K2-3 discovered by the Kepler 2 spacecraft. The system is compose of three planets with radii 1.61-2.17 Rearth, and with orbital periods of 10-45 days. The most outer planet in this system known as K2-3d is particularly interesting due to its proximity towards the habitable zone. The eccentricities of the planets in K2-3 were calculated using a method known as stellar density profiling, and from these eccentricities the range of the semi-major axis were determined. The planet K2-3d was calculated to have a semi-major axis of 0.18 AU, which puts it outside the habitable zone where inner edge of the habitable zone is 0.27 AU from its host star. This project was supported by the The Harvard Banneker Institute.

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

    E-print Network

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

    2014-01-01

    We explore the impact of obliquity variations on planetary habitability in hypothetical systems with high mutual inclination. We show that large amplitude, high frequency obliquity oscillations on Earth-like exoplanets can suppress the ice-albedo feedback, increasing the outer edge of the habitable zone. We restrict our exploration to hypothetical systems consisting of a solar-mass star, an Earth-mass planet at 1 AU, and 1 or 2 larger planets. We verify that these systems are stable for $10^8$ years with N-body simulations, and calculate the obliquity variations induced by the orbital evolution of the Earth-mass planet and a torque from the host star. We run a simplified energy balance model on the terrestrial planet to assess surface temperature and ice coverage on the planet's surface, and we calculate differences in the outer edge of the habitable zone for planets with rapid obliquity variations. For each hypothetical system, we calculate the outer edge of habitability for two conditions: 1) the full evolu...

  10. Detecting Habitable Planets via Astrometry in Current Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Hui-Gen

    2015-08-01

    We explore the potential of astrometry method in finding habitable planets orbiting nearby solar-like stars. We consider different types of planet systems with an undiscovered habitable Earth-like exoplanets in them. We simulate their astrometry signals and use our code to fit the masses and orbits of the habitable planets. When comparing our fitting results with the real ones, we find the threshold of different noise levels and the detection potential in different planet systems. We find astrometry is nearly suitable for all kinds of planet systems we discover today. Only in the case when the other planets in the systems have very short periods(less than 3 days) or long period about 30 years, the fitting errors of the giant planets lead to large fitting errors of the habitbale Earth-like planets. After adding noise in the astrometry data, the fitting of the orbital elemants, such as the eccentricity and inclination, becomes difficult. Under the presicion of 0.3 uas, we suggest 10 earth mass is the boundary of good-fitting, compared to 100 earth mass under the precision of 10 uas. At last, we simulate the discovered planet systems in 50 pc, assuming that 10 earth mass is in the habitable zone at about 1 AU, we use the fitting results of their masses, semi-major axes, eccentricities and inclinations to give a rank to suggest the possibility of discovering habitable exoplanets in these systems.

  11. Prospects for the habitability of OGLE-2006-BLG-109L

    E-print Network

    Renu Malhotra; David A. Minton

    2008-06-27

    The extrasolar system OGLE-2006-BLG-109L is the first multiple-planet system to be discovered by gravitational microlensing (Gaudi et al., 2008); the two large planets that have been detected have mass ratios, semimajor axis ratios, and equilibrium temperatures that are similar to those of Jupiter and Saturn; the mass of the host star is only 0.5 M_sun, and the system is more compact than our own Solar system. We find that in the habitable zone of the host star, the two detected planets resonantly excite large orbital eccentricities on a putative earth-mass planet, driving such a planet out of the habitable zone. We show that an additional inner planet of ~>0.3M_earth at planets and two jovian planets -- could bear very close resemblance to our own Solar system.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Gelino, Dawn M.

    2014-09-10

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

  13. Rotating Stars Can Help Planets Become Habitable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    What characteristics must a terrestrial planet exhibit to have the potential to host life? Orbiting within the habitable zone of its host star is certainly a good start, but theres another important aspect: the planet has to have the right atmosphere. A recent study has determined how host stars can help their planets to lose initial, enormous gaseous envelopes and become more Earth-like.Collecting An EnvelopeWhen a terrestrial planet forms inside a gaseous protoplanetary disk, it can accumulate a significant envelope of hydrogen gas causing the planet to bear more similarity to a mini-Neptune than to Earth. Before the planet can become habitable, it must shed this enormous, primordial hydrogen envelope, so that an appropriate secondary atmosphere can form.So what determines whether a planet can get rid of its protoatmosphere? The dominant process for shedding a hydrogen atmosphere is thermal mass loss: as the planets upper atmosphere is heated by X-ray and extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) radiation from the host star, the envelope evaporates.A Critical DependenceIn a recent study led by Colin Johnstone (University of Vienna), a team of scientists has developed models of this evaporation process for hydrogen planetary atmospheres. In particular, Johnstone and collaborators examine how the host stars initial rotation rate which strongly impacts the stars level of XUV activity affects the degree to which the planets hydrogen atmosphere is evaporated, and the rate at which the evaporation occurs.The authors findings can be illustrated with the example of an Earth-mass planet located in the habitable zone of a solar-mass star. In this case, the authors find four interesting regimes (shown in the plot to the right):Evolution of the hydrogen protoatmosphere of an Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of a solar-mass star. The four lettered cases describe different initial atmospheric masses. The three curves for each case describe the stellar rotation rate: slow (red), average (green), or fast (blue). [Johnstone et al. 2015]Case A(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-4 Earth masses)Entire atmosphere evaporates quickly, regardless of the rotation speed of the host star.Case B(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-3 Earth masses)Entire atmosphere evaporates, but the timescale is much shorter if the stellar host is fast-rotating as opposed to slow-rotating.Case C(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-2 Earth masses)If the stellar host is fast-rotating, entire atmosphere evaporates on a short timescale. If the host is slow-rotating, very little of the atmosphere evaporates.Case D(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-1 Earth masses)Very little of the atmosphere evaporates, regardless of the rotation speed of the host star.These results demonstrate that the initial rotation rate of a host star not only determines whether a planet will lose its protoatmosphere, but also how long this process will take. Thus, the evolution of host stars rotation rates is an important component in our understanding of how planets might evolve to become habitable.CitationC. P. Johnstone et al 2015 ApJ 815 L12. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/815/1/L12

  14. Rotating Stars Can Help Planets Become Habitable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    What characteristics must a terrestrial planet exhibit to have the potential to host life? Orbiting within the habitable zone of its host star is certainly a good start, but theres another important aspect: the planet has to have the right atmosphere. A recent study has determined how host stars can help their planets to lose initial, enormous gaseous envelopes and become more Earth-like.Collecting An EnvelopeWhen a terrestrial planet forms inside a gaseous protoplanetary disk, it can accumulate a significant envelope of hydrogen gas causing the planet to bear more similarity to a mini-Neptune than to Earth. Before the planet can become habitable, it must shed this enormous, primordial hydrogen envelope, so that an appropriate secondary atmosphere can form.So what determines whether a planet can get rid of its protoatmosphere? The dominant process for shedding a hydrogen atmosphere is thermal mass loss: as the planets upper atmosphere is heated by X-ray and extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) radiation from the host star, the envelope evaporates.A Critical DependenceIn a recent study led by Colin Johnstone (University of Vienna), a team of scientists has developed models of this evaporation process for hydrogen planetary atmospheres. In particular, Johnstone and collaborators examine how the host stars initial rotation rate which strongly impacts the stars level of XUV activity affects the degree to which the planets hydrogen atmosphere is evaporated, and the rate at which the evaporation occurs.The authors findings can be illustrated with the example of an Earth-mass planet located in the habitable zone of a solar-mass star. In this case, the authors find four interesting regimes (shown in the plot to the right):Evolution of the hydrogen protoatmosphere of an Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of a solar-mass star. The four lettered cases describe different initial atmospheric masses. The three curves for each case describe the stellar rotation rate: slow (red), average (green), or fast (blue). [Johnstone et al. 2015]Case A(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-4 Earth masses)Entire atmosphere evaporates quickly, regardless of the rotation speed of the host star.Case B(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-3 Earth masses)Entire atmosphere evaporates, but the timescale is much shorter if the stellar host is fast-rotating as opposed to slow-rotating.Case C(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-2 Earth masses)If the stellar host is fast-rotating, entire atmosphere evaporates on a short timescale. If the host is slow-rotating, very little of the atmosphere evaporates.Case D(Initial atmospheric mass of 10-1 Earth masses)Very little of the atmosphere evaporates, regardless of the rotation speed of the host star.These results demonstrate that the initial rotation rate of a host star not only determines whether a planet will lose its protoatmosphere, but also how long this process will take. Thus, the evolution of host stars rotation rates is an important component in our understanding of how planets might evolve to become habitable.CitationC. P. Johnstone et al 2015 ApJ 815 L12. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/815/1/L12

  15. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D. M.; Kasting, J. F.; Wade, R. A.

    1997-01-01

    Possible planetary objects have now been discovered orbiting nine different main-sequence stars. These companion objects (some of which might actually be brown dwarfs) all have a mass at least half that of Jupiter, and are therefore unlikely to be hospitable to Earth-like life: jovian planets and brown dwarfs support neither a solid nor a liquid surface near which organisms might dwell. Here we argue that rocky moons orbiting these companions could be habitable if the planet-moon system orbits the parent star within the so-called 'habitable zone', where life-supporting liquid water could be present. The companions to the stars 16 Cygni B and 47 Ursae Majoris might satisfy this criterion. Such a moon would, however, need to be large enough (>0.12 Earth masses) to retain a substantial and long-lived atmosphere, and would also need to possess a strong magnetic field in order to prevent its atmosphere from being sputtered away by the constant bombardment of energetic ions from the planet's magnetosphere.

  16. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets.

    PubMed

    Williams, D M; Kasting, J F; Wade, R A

    1997-01-16

    Possible planetary objects have now been discovered orbiting nine different main-sequence stars. These companion objects (some of which might actually be brown dwarfs) all have a mass at least half that of Jupiter, and are therefore unlikely to be hospitable to Earth-like life: jovian planets and brown dwarfs support neither a solid nor a liquid surface near which organisms might dwell. Here we argue that rocky moons orbiting these companions could be habitable if the planet-moon system orbits the parent star within the so-called 'habitable zone', where life-supporting liquid water could be present. The companions to the stars 16 Cygni B and 47 Ursae Majoris might satisfy this criterion. Such a moon would, however, need to be large enough (>0.12 Earth masses) to retain a substantial and long-lived atmosphere, and would also need to possess a strong magnetic field in order to prevent its atmosphere from being sputtered away by the constant bombardment of energetic ions from the planet's magnetosphere. PMID:9000072

  17. Evaluating Galactic Habitability Using High Resolution Cosmological Simulations of Galaxy Formation

    E-print Network

    Forgan, Duncan; Cockell, Charles; Libeskind, Noam

    2015-01-01

    We present the first model that couples high-resolution simulations of the formation of Local Group galaxies with calculations of the galactic habitable zone (GHZ), a region of space which has sufficient metallicity to form terrestrial planets without being subject to hazardous radiation. These simulations allow us to make substantial progress in mapping out the asymmetric three-dimensional GHZ and its time evolution for the Milky Way (MW) and Triangulum (M33) galaxies, as opposed to works that generally assume an azimuthally symmetric GHZ. Applying typical habitability metrics to MW and M33, we find that while a large number of habitable planets exist as close as a few kiloparsecs from the galactic centre, the probability of individual planetary systems being habitable rises as one approaches the edge of the stellar disc. Tidal streams and satellite galaxies also appear to be fertile grounds for habitable planet formation. In short, we find that both galaxies arrive at similar GHZs by different evolutionary ...

  18. Exotic Earths: Forming Habitable Worlds with Giant Planet Migration

    E-print Network

    Sean N. Raymond; Avi M. Mandell; Steinn Sigurdsson

    2006-09-08

    Close-in giant planets (e.g. ``Hot Jupiters'') are thought to form far from their host stars and migrate inward, through the terrestrial planet zone, via torques with a massive gaseous disk. Here we simulate terrestrial planet growth during and after giant planet migration. Several-Earth mass planets also form interior to the migrating Jovian planet, analogous to recently-discovered ``Hot Earths''. Very water-rich, Earth-mass planets form from surviving material outside the giant planet's orbit, often in the Habitable Zone and with low orbital eccentricities. More than a third of the known systems of giant planets may harbor Earth-like planets.

  19. Exotic Earths: forming habitable worlds with giant planet migration.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Sean N; Mandell, Avi M; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2006-09-01

    Close-in giant planets (e.g., "hot Jupiters") are thought to form far from their host stars and migrate inward, through the terrestrial planet zone, via torques with a massive gaseous disk. Here we simulate terrestrial planet growth during and after giant planet migration. Several-Earth-mass planets also form interior to the migrating jovian planet, analogous to recently discovered "hot Earths." Very-water-rich, Earth-mass planets form from surviving material outside the giant planet's orbit, often in the habitable zone and with low orbital eccentricities. More than a third of the known systems of giant planets may harbor Earth-like planets. PMID:16960000

  20. Managing away bad habits.

    PubMed

    Waldroop, J; Butler, T

    2000-01-01

    We've all worked with highly competent people who are held back by a seemingly fatal personality flaw. One person takes on too much work; another sees the downside in every proposed change; a third pushes people out of the way. At best, people with these "bad habits" create their own glass ceilings, which limit their success and their contributions to the company. At worst, they destroy their own careers. Although the psychological flaws of such individuals run deep, their managers are not helpless. In this article, James Waldroop and Timothy Butler--both psychologists--examine the root causes of these flaws and suggest concrete tactics they have used to help people recognize and correct the following six behavior patterns: The hero, who always pushes himself--and subordinates--too hard to do too much for too long. The meritocrat, who believes that the best ideas can and will be determined objectively and ignores the politics inherent in most situations. The bulldozer, who runs roughshod over others in a quest for power. The pessimist, who always worries about what could go wrong. The rebel, who automatically fights against authority and convention. And the home run hitter, who tries to do too much too soon--he swings for the fences before he's learned to hit singles. Helping people break through their self-created glass ceilings is the ultimate win-win scenario: both the individual and the organization are rewarded. Using the tactics introduced in this article, managers can help their brilliantly flawed performers become spectacular achievers. PMID:11143157

  1. Circumstellar disks around binary stars in Taurus

    SciTech Connect

    Akeson, R. L.

    2014-03-20

    We have conducted a survey of 17 wide (>100 AU) young binary systems in Taurus with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) at two wavelengths. The observations were designed to measure the masses of circumstellar disks in these systems as an aid to understanding the role of multiplicity in star and planet formation. The ALMA observations had sufficient resolution to localize emission within the binary system. Disk emission was detected around all primaries and 10 secondaries, with disk masses as low as 10{sup –4} M {sub ?}. We compare the properties of our sample to the population of known disks in Taurus and find that the disks from this binary sample match the scaling between stellar mass and millimeter flux of F{sub mm}?M{sub ?}{sup 1.5--2.0} to within the scatter found in previous studies. We also compare the properties of the primaries to those of the secondaries and find that the secondary/primary stellar and disk mass ratios are not correlated; in three systems, the circumsecondary disk is more massive than the circumprimary disk, counter to some theoretical predictions.

  2. Circumstellar Disks and Outer Planet Formation

    E-print Network

    A. Lecavelier Des Etangs

    1998-06-16

    The dust disk around Beta Pic must be produced by collision or by evaporation of orbiting Kuiper belt-like objects. Here we present the Orbiting-Evaporating-Bodies scenario in which the disk is a gigantic multi-cometary tail supplied by slowly evaporating bodies like Chiron. If dust is produced by evaporation, a planet with an eccentric orbit can explain the observed asymmetry of the disk, because the periastron distribution of the parent bodies are then expected to be non-axisymmetric. We investigate the consequence for the Kuiper belt-like objects of the formation and the migration of an outer planet like Neptune in Fernandez's scheme (1982). We find that bodies trapped in resonance with a migrating planet can significantly evaporate, producing a Beta Pic-like disk with similar characteristics like opening angle and asymmetry. We thus show that the Beta Pic disk can be a transient phenomenon. The circumstellar disks around main sequence stars can be the signature of the present formation and migration of outer planets.

  3. Organics in the interstellar/circumstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dartois, Emmanuel; Alata, Ivan; Bardin, Noémie; Beroff, Karine; Brunetto, Rosario; Chabot, Marin; Cruz-Diaz, Gustavo A.; Delauche, Lucie; Dumas, Paul; Duprat, Jean; Engrand, Cecile; Gavilan, Lisseth; Jallat, Aurélie; Jamme, Frédéric; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo M.; Pino, Thomas; Quirico, Eric; Rémusat, Laurent; Sandt, Christophe; Mostefaoui, Smail

    2015-08-01

    The interstellar medium is a physico-chemical laboratory where extreme conditions are encountered and its environmental parameters (e.g. density, reactant nature, radiations, temperature, time scales) define both the structure and the composition of matter.Whereas astrochemists must rely on remote observations to monitor and analyze the physico-chemical composition of interstellar organic solids,planetologists and cosmochemists can infer spectroscopically in the laboratory the actual structure and composition of collected extraterrestrial material.The interstellar/circumstellar observations give essentially access to the molecular functionality of these solids, rarely their elemental composition and the isotopic fractionation can almost only be inferred in the gas phase. Astrochemistery can provide additional information from the study of analogs produced in the laboratory, placed in simulated space environments.In this presentation, I will briefly summarize some observations in the diffuse interstellar medium (DISM) and molecular clouds (MC), setting constraints on both the composition of organic solids and the large molecules belonging to the cycle of matter in the Galaxy and briefly discuss the relations and differences between materials found in the Solar System and the interstellar dust.

  4. Type Ia supernovae in dense circumstellar gas

    E-print Network

    N. N. Chugai; L. R. Yungelson

    2003-08-18

    We propose a simple model for the bolometric light curve of type Ia supernova exploding in a dense circumstellar (CS) envelope to describe the light curves of supernovae 2002ic and 1997cy. The modeling shows that at the radius $\\sim7\\times10^{15}$ cm the density of CS envelopes around both supernovae is similar. The mass of the CS envelope around SN 1997cy is close to $5 M_{\\odot}$, while the characteristic time of the ejection of this envelope does not exceed 600 yr. We analyze two possible evolutionary scenarios which might lead to the explosion of type Ia supernova inside a dense CS envelope: accretion on CO white dwarf in the symbiotic binary and evolution of a single star with the initial mass of about $8 M_{\\odot}$. If the conjecture about the explosion of type Ia supernova in a dense CS envelope is correct in the case of SN 2002ic and SN 1997cy then the rapid loss of the red supergiant envelope and the subsequent explosion of the CO white dwarf are synchronized by certain mechanism. This mechanism might be related to the contraction of the white dwarf as it approaches the Chandrasekhar limit. We show that formation of a (super)Chandrasekhar mass due to the merger of a CO white dwarf and CO core of a red supergiant with consequent explosion is unlikely, since it does not provide the required synchronization of the rapid mass loss and explosion.

  5. Type Ia supernovae in dense circumstellar gas

    E-print Network

    Chugai, N N

    2004-01-01

    We propose a simple model for the bolometric light curve of type Ia supernova exploding in a dense circumstellar (CS) envelope to describe the light curves of supernovae 2002ic and 1997cy. The modeling shows that at the radius $\\sim7\\times10^{15}$ cm the density of CS envelopes around both supernovae is similar. The mass of the CS envelope around SN 1997cy is close to $5 M_{\\odot}$, while the characteristic time of the ejection of this envelope does not exceed 600 yr. We analyze two possible evolutionary scenarios which might lead to the explosion of type Ia supernova inside a dense CS envelope: accretion on CO white dwarf in the symbiotic binary and evolution of a single star with the initial mass of about $8 M_{\\odot}$. If the conjecture about the explosion of type Ia supernova in a dense CS envelope is correct in the case of SN 2002ic and SN 1997cy then the rapid loss of the red supergiant envelope and the subsequent explosion of the CO white dwarf are synchronized by certain mechanism. This mechanism migh...

  6. CIRCUMSTELLAR SHELL FORMATION IN SYMBIOTIC RECURRENT NOVAE

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, Kevin; Bildsten, Lars

    2012-12-20

    We present models of spherically symmetric recurrent nova shells interacting with circumstellar material (CSM) in a symbiotic system composed of a red giant (RG) expelling a wind and a white dwarf accreting from this material. Recurrent nova eruptions periodically eject material at high velocities ({approx}> 10{sup 3} km s{sup -1}) into the RG wind profile, creating a decelerating shock wave as CSM is swept up. High CSM densities cause the shocked wind and ejecta to have very short cooling times of days to weeks. Thus, the late-time evolution of the shell is determined by momentum conservation instead of energy conservation. We compute and show evolutionary tracks of shell deceleration, as well as post-shock structure. After sweeping up all the RG wind, the shell coasts at a velocity {approx}100 km s{sup -1}, depending on system parameters. These velocities are similar to those measured in blueshifted CSM from the symbiotic nova RS Oph, as well as a few Type Ia supernovae that show evidence of CSM, such as 2006X, 2007le, and PTF 11kx. Supernovae occurring in such systems may not show CSM interaction until the inner nova shell gets hit by the supernova ejecta, days to months after the explosion.

  7. Finding Habitable Planets Around the Nearest Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, R.

    The discovery of the first 700 extrasolar planets have had a profound impact on science and society. The 2000 Decadal Survey of Astronomy & Astrophysics cites the discovery of extrasolar planets as the most important advance of the previous decade. The 2010 Decadal Survey cites extrasolar planets as one of the three pillars of modern astrophysics, and explicitly states that the discovery of potentially habitable planets around nearby stars is the highest priority for the next decade. Most of the planets that have been discovered orbiting nearby stars are massive gas giants found with Doppler velocity systems that have achieved 3 to 10 m/s. This first generation of exoplanets had amplitudes of 50 m/s or more, and could be detected with sparse sampling. Terrestrial mass and super-earth planets in habitable 1 AU orbits around G dwarfs have Doppler amplitudes of less than 0.5 m/s, and are currently undetectable. Due to their lower mass and brightness, the habitable liquid water zone around M dwarfs is at 0.1 to 0.2 AU, with corresponding Doppler velocity amplitudes of 2 to 5 m/s. These planets are typically in multiple planet systems in which several planets have similar amplitudes, leading to complex Doppler velocity signals. These planets can be detected with high cadence observations that achieve state-of-the-art precision of 1 m/s. While M dwarfs constitute 70% of the nearest stars, they are significantly fainter than nearby G & K dwarfs, and require large telescopes to reach 1 m/s precision. We have built the first American Doppler velocity system that produces 1 m/s precision. The Planet Finding Spectrometer (PFS) on Magellan has been custom built for precision velocity measurements. Compared to HIRES on Keck, PFS is mechanically and thermally stabilized, has triple the throughput, operates at higher resolution, and had 50% greater sampling. PFS on Magellan is slightly faster than HIRES on Keck in spite of the difference in aperture, 6.5-m vs 10-m. We are currently receiving ~50 nights per year on Magellan/PFS to target the nearest M dwarfs with high cadence observations. Over the next 3 years we will survey the nearest 200 M dwarfs with sufficient precision and cadence to detect terrestrial mass and super- earth planets in the habitable zone of these stars. After just two high cadence observing runs we already have candidates. Over the past quarter century our planet surveys, initially at Lick and later at Keck and the AAT, have had a broad societal and scientific impact, including the discovery of half of the known planets orbiting nearby stars. Our work has been credited with providing the motivation for the new disciplines of astrobiology and extrasolar planet studies. All the Iodine precision velocity systems in the world are based on our original system on the Lick 3-m (Butler et al. 1996). For us the PFS/Magellan system is the culmination of 25 years of work, leading to the detection of potentially habitable planets.

  8. The Quest for Cradles of Life: Using the Fundamental Metallicity Relation to Hunt for the Most Habitable Type of Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dayal, Pratika; Cockell, Charles; Rice, Ken; Mazumdar, Anupam

    2015-09-01

    The field of astrobiology has made huge strides in understanding the habitable zones around stars (stellar habitable zones) where life can begin, sustain its existence and evolve into complex forms. A few studies have extended this idea by modeling galactic-scale habitable zones (galactic habitable zones) for our Milky Way (MW) and specific elliptical galaxies. However, estimating the habitability for galaxies spanning a wide range of physical properties has so far remained an outstanding issue. Here, we present a “cosmobiological” framework that allows us to sift through the entire galaxy population in the local universe and answer the question, “Which type of galaxy is most likely to host complex life in the cosmos?” Interestingly, the three key astrophysical criteria governing habitability (total mass in stars, total metal mass and ongoing star formation rate) are found to be intricately linked through the “fundamental metallicity relation” as shown by Sloan Digital Sky Survey observations of more than a hundred thousand galaxies in the local universe. Using this relation we show that metal-rich, shapeless giant elliptical galaxies at least twice as massive as the MW (with a tenth of its star formation rate) can potentially host ten thousand times as many habitable (Earth-like) planets, making them the most probable “cradles of life” in the universe.

  9. Design Considerations for a Ground-based Transit Search for Habitable Planets Orbiting M dwarfs

    E-print Network

    Philip Nutzman; David Charbonneau

    2008-01-18

    By targeting nearby M dwarfs, a transit search using modest equipment is capable of discovering planets as small as 2 Earth radii in the habitable zones of their host stars. The MEarth Project, a future transit search, aims to employ a network of ground-based robotic telescopes to monitor M dwarfs in the northern hemisphere with sufficient precision and cadence to detect such planets. Here we investigate the design requirements for the MEarth Project. We evaluate the optimal bandpass, and the necessary field of view, telescope aperture, and telescope time allocation on a star-by-star basis, as is possible for the well-characterized nearby M dwarfs. Through these considerations, 1,976 late M dwarfs (R planets in habitable zone orbits, we find that a network of ten 30 cm telescopes could survey these 1,976 M dwarfs in less than 3 years. A null result from this survey would set an upper limit (at 99% confidence) of 17% for the rate of occurrence of planets larger than 2 Earth radii in the habitable zones of late M dwarfs, and even stronger constraints for planets lying closer than the habitable zone. If the true occurrence rate of habitable planets is 10%, the expected yield would be 2.6 planets.

  10. 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 (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

  11. First Circumstellar Disk around a Massive Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-06-01

    Observations with an infrared-sensitive instrument at the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla have for the first time shown the presence of a disk around a hot and massive star, known as G339.88-1.26 . Until now, disks have only been found around less massive stars. Planets are formed in such disks. The new discovery may thus have important implications for our understanding of the formation of planetary systems around stars. TIMMI observations Observations at mid-infrared wavelengths were carried out in July 1997 by Bringfried Stecklum (Landessternwarte Thüringen, Tautenburg, Germany) and Hans-Ulrich Käufl (ESO), using the TIMMI instrument at the ESO 3.6-m telescope. Additional measurements were carried out in March 1998. TIMMI ( T hermal I nfrared M ulti M ode I nstrument) is a general-purpose camera spectrometer operating at a wavelength of 10 µm. To reach sufficient sensitivity, the camera must be cooled to approx. -260 o C, i.e. a few degrees above the absolute minimum, by use of liquid Helium. Astronomical objects whose temperatures are between -120 o C and 300 o C radiate most of their energy at this wavelength. In addition, dust and haze that are absolutely impenetrable for light visible to the human eye, are often found to be nearly transparent at this wavelength. This is why fire-fighters now use similar equipment to look through smoke. G339.88-1.26: A very special object ESO PR Photo 22a/98 ESO PR Photo 22a/98 [JPEG, 800k] This image is a true-color composite of near-infrared observations of the sky region around the radio source G339.88-1.26 with the ESO/MPI 2.2-m telescope at La Silla. In this image, the visible colors red, green and blue have been used to represent the infrared filters J, H and K (at 1.25, 1.63 and 2.2 µm wavelength, respectively). No object is visible at the position of the radio source, even at these near-infrared wavelengths. A dark band of absorbing dust is clearly visible, exactly at the position of the object (indicated by an arrow). Earlier observations with radio telescopes of the object G339.88-1.26 , deeply embedded in an interstellar nebula, had been interpreted in terms of the possible existence of a circumstellar disk around a high-mass star. It was concluded that the star responsible for heating the surrounding gas must be very hot and also that it must be intrinsically very bright. The star, most likely of spectral type O9, would have a luminosity 10,000 times higher than that of the Sun and a mass of about 20 times that of the Sun. From the measured velocity, the likely distance of this object is about 10,000 light-years. The object is associated with several "spots" of very strong radio emission from methanol molecules (methanol masers). Interestingly, they form a chain in the sky and the measured velocities of the individual spots are indicative for orbital motion in a rotating disk around the central star. The circumstellar disk ESO PR Photo 22/98 ESO PR Photo 22b/98 [JPEG, 640k] The TIMMI 10 µm image of the inclined dust disk around a hot O9 star at the G339.88-1.26 radio source. The diameter of the disk is of the order of 5 arcsec, i.e. at the most probable distance to the object (10,000 lightyears) it is 20,000 times larger than the diameter of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. The new TIMMI observations of G339.88-1.26 showed an elliptical object with strong infrared radiation. The peak of this radiation (as seen in the sky) coincides with the peak of the radio emission. Furthermore, the apparent orientation of the disk is well aligned with that of the methanol maser "spots". There is little doubt that this object is indeed the infrared image of a circumstellar disk, viewed at an angle. As far as known, this is the first direct image of a disk around a very massive star. At a wavelength of 10 µm, however, the central star that is responsible for heating the dust disc, cannot be seen in spite of its rather high luminosity. This is because it radiates mostly in the ultra-violet part of the spectrum. Moreover, the dust disk in which the hot star is

  12. THE RICH CIRCUMSTELLAR CHEMISTRY OF SMP LMC 11

    SciTech Connect

    Malek, S. E.; Cami, J.; Bernard-Salas, J. E-mail: jcami@uwo.ca

    2012-01-01

    Carbon-rich evolved stars from the asymptotic giant branch to the planetary nebula phase are characterized by a rich and complex carbon chemistry in their circumstellar envelopes. A peculiar object is the preplanetary nebula SMP LMC 11, whose Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph spectrum shows remarkable and diverse molecular absorption bands. To study how the molecular composition in this object compares to our current understanding of circumstellar carbon chemistry, we modeled this molecular absorption. We find high abundances for a number of molecules, perhaps most notably benzene. We also confirm the presence of propyne (CH{sub 3}C{sub 2}H) in this spectrum. Of all the cyanopolyynes, only HC{sub 3}N is evident; we can detect at best a marginal presence of HCN. From comparisons to various chemical models, we can conclude that SMP LMC 11 must have an unusual circumstellar environment (a torus rather than an outflow).

  13. Circular Polarization of Circumstellar Water Masers around S Per

    E-print Network

    W. Vlemmings; P. J. Diamond; H. J. van Langevelde

    2001-07-04

    We present the first circular polarization measurements of circumstellar H2O masers. Previously the magnetic field in circumstellar envelopes has been estimated using polarization observations of SiO and OH masers. SiO masers are probes of the high temperature and density regime close to the central star. OH masers are found at much lower densities and temperatures, generally much further out in the circumstellar envelope. The detection of the circular polarization of the (6_16 - 5_23) rotational transition of the H2O maser could be attributed to Zeeman splitting due to the magnetic field in the intermediate temperature and density regime. The fields inferred here agree well with predicted values for a combination of the r^{-2} dependence of a solar-type magnetic field, and the coupling of the field to the high density masing regions. We also discuss the unexpected narrowing of the circular polarization spectrum.

  14. Habitability of exoplanetary systems with planets observed in transit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Barrie W.; Sleep, P. Nick

    2010-09-01

    We have used the measured properties of the stars in the 79 exoplanetary systems with one or more planets that have been observed in transit, to estimate each system's present habitability. Such systems have the advantage that the inclination of the planetary orbits is known, and therefore the actual mass of the planet can be obtained, rather than the minimum mass in the many systems that have been observed only with the radial velocity technique. The measured stellar properties have been used to determine the present location of the classical habitable zone (HZ). To establish habitability we use the estimated distances from the giant planet(s) within which an Earth-like planet would be inside the gravitational reach of the giant. These distances are given by nRH, where RH is the Hill radius of the giant planet and n is a multiplier that depends on the giant's orbital eccentricity eG and on whether the orbit of the Earth-like planet is interior or exterior to the giant planet. We obtained nint(eG) and next(eG) in earlier work and summarize those results here. We then evaluate the present habitability of each exoplanetary system by examining the penetration of the giant planet(s) gravitational reach into the HZ. Of the 79 transiting systems known in 2010 April, only two do not offer safe havens to Earth-like planets in the HZ, and thus could not support life today. We have also estimated whether habitability is possible for 1.7 Gyr into the past, i.e. 0.7 Gyr for a heavy bombardment, plus 1.0 Gyr for life to emerge and thus be present today. We find that, for the best estimate of each stellar age, an additional 28 systems do not offer such sustained habitability. If we reduce 1.7 Gyr to 1.0 Gyr, this number falls to 22. However, if giant planets orbiting closer to the star than the inner boundary of the HZ have got there by migration through the HZ, and if this ruled out the subsequent formation of Earth-like planets, then, of course, none of the presently known transiting exoplanetary systems offers habitability. Fortunately, this bleak conclusion could well be wrong. As well as obtaining results on the 79 transiting systems, this paper demonstrates a method for determining the habitability of the cornucopia of such systems that will surely be discovered over the next few years.

  15. Habitable Planet Formation in Binary-Planetary Systems

    E-print Network

    Nader Haghighipour; Sean N. Raymond

    2007-02-27

    Recent radial velocity observations have indicated that Jovian-type planets can exist in moderately close binary star systems. Numerical simulations of the dynamical stability of terrestrial-class planets in such environments have shown that, in addition to their giant planets, these systems can also harbor Earth-like objects. In this paper, we study the late stage of terrestrial planet formation in such binary-planetary systems, and present the results of the simulations of the formation of Earth-like bodies in their habitable zones. We consider a circumprimary disk of Moon- to Mars-sized objects and numerically integrate the orbits of these bodies at the presence of the Jovian-type planet of the system and for different values of the mass, semimajor axis, and orbital eccentricity of the secondary star. Results indicate that, Earth-like objects, with substantial amounts of water, can form in the habitable zone of the primary star. Simulations also indicate that, by transferring angular momentum from the secondary star to protoplanetary objects, the giant planet of the system plays a key role in the radial mixing of these bodies and the water contents of the final terrestrial planets. We will discuss the results of our simulation and show that the formation of habitable planets in binary-planetary systems is more probable in binaries with moderate to large perihelia.

  16. Breastfeeding FAQs: Your Eating and Drinking Habits

    MedlinePLUS

    ... Kids Deal With Bullies Pregnant? What to Expect Breastfeeding FAQs: Your Eating and Drinking Habits KidsHealth > Parents > Growth & Development > Feeding & Eating > Breastfeeding FAQs: Your Eating and Drinking Habits Print A ...

  17. Habitability potential of icy moons: a comparative study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomonidou, Anezina; Coustenis, Athena; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Sohl, Frank; Hussmann, Hauke; Bampasidis, Georgios; Wagner, Frank; Raulin, François; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Lopes, Rosaly

    2014-05-01

    Looking for habitable conditions in the outer solar system our research focuses on the natural satellites rather than the planets themselves. Indeed, the habitable zone as traditionally defined may be larger than originally con-ceived. The strong gravitational pull caused by the giant planets may produce enough energy to sufficiently heat the interiors of orbiting icy moons. The outer solar system satellites then provide a conceptual basis within which new theories for understanding habitability can be constructed. Measurements from the ground but also by the Voyager, Galileo and the Cassini spacecrafts revealed the potential of these satellites in this context, and our understanding of habitability in the solar system and beyond can be greatly enhanced by investigating several of these bodies together [1]. Their environments seem to satisfy many of the "classical" criteria for habitability (liquid water, energy sources to sustain metabolism and chemical compounds that can be used as nutrients over a period of time long enough to allow the development of life). Indeed, several of the moons show promising conditions for habitability and the de-velopment and/or maintenance of life. Europa, Callisto and Ganymede may be hiding, under their icy crust, putative undersurface liquid water oceans [3] which, in the case of Europa [2], may be in direct contact with a silicate mantle floor and kept warm by tidally generated heat [4]. Titan and Enceladus, Saturn's satellites, were found by the Cassini-Huygens mission to possess active organic chemistries with seasonal variations, unique geological features and possibly internal liquid water oceans. Titan's rigid crust and the probable existence of a subsurface ocean create an analogy with terrestrial-type plate tectonics, at least surficial [5], while Enceladus' plumes find an analogue in gey-sers. As revealed by Cassini the liquid hydrocarbon lakes [6] distributed mainly at polar latitudes on Titan are ideal isolated environments to look for biomarkers. Currently, for Titan and Enceladus, geophysical models try to explain the possible existence of an oceanic layer that decouples the mantle from the icy crust. If the silicate mantles of Eu-ropa and Ganymede and the liquid sources of Titan and Enceladus are geologically active as on Earth, giving rise to the equivalent of hydrothermal systems, the simultaneous presence of water, geodynamic interactions, chemical en-ergy sources and a diversity of key chemical elements may fulfill the basic conditions for habitability. Titan has been suggested to be a possible cryovolcanic world due to the presence of local complex volcanic-like geomorphol-ogy and the indications of surface albedo changes with time [7,8]. Such dynamic activity that would most probably include tidal heating, possible internal convection, and ice tectonics, is believed to be a pre-requisite of a habitable planetary body as it allows the recycling of minerals and potential nutrients and provides localized energy sources. In a recent study by Sohl et al. [2013], we have shown that tidal forces are a constant and significant source of inter-nal deformation on Titan and the interior liquid water ocean can be relatively warm for reasonable amounts of am-monia concentrations, thus completing the set of parameters needed for a truly habitable planetary body. Such habi-tability indications from bodies at distances of 10 AU, are essential discoveries brought to us by space exploration and which have recently revolutionized our perception of habitability in the solar system. In the solar system's neighborhood, such potential habitats can only be investigated with appropriate designed space missions, like JUICE-Laplace (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer) for Ganymede and Europa [9]. JUICE is an ESA mission to Jupiter and its icy moons, recently selected to launch in 2022. References: [1] Coustenis, A., Encrenaz, Th., in "Life Beyond Earth : the search for habitable worlds in the Universe", Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013. [2] Patterson, G.W., et al.: AGU P41F-09, 2011. [3]

  18. Erosion of circumstellar particle disks by interstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Griffith, Caitlin A.

    1989-01-01

    Circumstellar particle disks appear to be a common phenomenon; however, their properties vary greatly. Models of the evolution of such systems focus on internal mechanisms such as interparticle collisions and Poynting-Robertson drag. Herein it is shown that 'sandblasting' by interstellar dust can be an important and even dominant contributor to the evolution of circumstellar particle disks. Stars spend up to about 3 percent of their main-sequence lifetimes within atomic clouds. Among an IRAS sample of 21 nearby main-sequence A stars, beta Pictoris has the brightest disk; it also possesses the smallest random velocity and therefore the slowest predicted erosion rate.

  19. Practicing Good Habits, Grade 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nguyen Van Quan; And Others

    This illustrated primer, designed for second grade students in Vietnam, consists of stories depicting rural family life in Vietnam. The book is divided into the following six chapters: (1) Practicing Good Habits (health, play, helpfulness); (2) Duties at Home (grandparents, father and mother, servants, the extended family; (3) Duties in School…

  20. The origin and evolution of dust in interstellar and circumstellar environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whittet, Douglas C. B.; Leung, Chun M.

    1993-01-01

    This status report covers the period from the commencement of the research program on 1 Jul. 1992 through 30 Apr. 1993. Progress is reported for research in the following areas: (1) grain formation in circumstellar envelopes; (2) photochemistry in circumstellar envelopes; (3) modeling ice features in circumstellar envelopes; (4) episodic dust formation in circumstellar envelopes; (5) grain evolution in the diffuse interstellar medium; and (6) grain evolution in dense molecular clouds.

  1. Habitability of enceladus: planetary conditions for life.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Christopher D; Liang, Mao-Chang; Yung, Yuk L; Kirschivnk, Joseph L

    2008-08-01

    The prolific activity and presence of a plume on Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus offers us a unique opportunity to sample the interior composition of an icy satellite, and to look for interesting chemistry and possible signs of life. Based on studies of the potential habitability of Jupiter's moon Europa, icy satellite oceans can be habitable if they are chemically mixed with the overlying ice shell on Myr time scales. We hypothesize that Enceladus' plume, tectonic processes, and possible liquid water ocean may create a complete and sustainable geochemical cycle that may allow it to support life. We discuss evidence for surface/ocean material exchange on Enceladus based on the amounts of silicate dust material present in the Enceladus' plume particles. Microphysical cloud modeling of Enceladus' plume shows that the particles originate from a region of Enceladus' near surface where the temperature exceeds 190 K. This could be consistent with a shear-heating origin of Enceladus' tiger stripes, which would indicate extremely high temperatures ( approximately 250-273 K) in the subsurface shear fault zone, leading to the generation of subsurface liquid water, chemical equilibration between surface and subsurface ices, and crustal recycling on a time scale of 1 to 5 Myr. Alternatively, if the tiger stripes form in a mid-ocean-ridge-type mechanism, a half-spreading rate of 1 m/year is consistent with the observed regional heat flux of 250 mW m(-2) and recycling of south polar terrain crust on a 1 to 5 Myr time scale as well. PMID:18566911

  2. Habitability of extrasolar planets and tidal spin evolution.

    PubMed

    Heller, René; Barnes, Rory; Leconte, Jérémy

    2011-12-01

    Stellar radiation has conservatively been used as the key constraint to planetary habitability. We review here the effects of tides, exerted by the host star on the planet, on the evolution of the planetary spin. Tides initially drive the rotation period and the orientation of the rotation axis into an equilibrium state but do not necessarily lead to synchronous rotation. As tides also circularize the orbit, eventually the rotation period does equal the orbital period and one hemisphere will be permanently irradiated by the star. Furthermore, the rotational axis will become perpendicular to the orbit, i.e. the planetary surface will not experience seasonal variations of the insolation. We illustrate here how tides alter the spins of planets in the traditional habitable zone. As an example, we show that, neglecting perturbations due to other companions, the Super-Earth Gl581d performs two rotations per orbit and that any primordial obliquity has been eroded. PMID:22139513

  3. Climate Stability of Habitable Earth-like Planets

    E-print Network

    Menou, Kristen

    2014-01-01

    The carbon-silicate cycle regulates the atmospheric $CO_2$ content of terrestrial planets on geological timescales through a balance between the rates of $CO_2$ volcanic outgassing and planetary intake from rock weathering. It is thought to act as an efficient climatic thermostat on Earth and, by extension, on other habitable planets. If, however, the weathering rate increases with the atmospheric $CO_2$ content, as expected on planets lacking land vascular plants, the carbon-silicate cycle feedback can become severely limited. Here we show that Earth-like planets receiving less sunlight than current Earth may no longer possess a stable warm climate but instead repeatedly cycle between unstable glaciated and deglaciated climatic states. This has implications for the search for life on exoplanets in the habitable zone of nearby stars.

  4. Climate stability of habitable Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menou, Kristen

    2015-11-01

    The carbon-silicate cycle regulates the atmospheric CO2 content of terrestrial planets on geological timescales through a balance between the rates of CO2 volcanic outgassing and planetary intake from rock weathering. It is thought to act as an efficient climatic thermostat on Earth and, by extension, on other habitable planets. If, however, the weathering rate increases with the atmospheric CO2 content, as expected on planets lacking land vascular plants, the carbon-silicate cycle feedback can become severely limited. Here we show that Earth-like planets receiving less sunlight than current Earth may no longer possess a stable warm climate but instead repeatedly cycle between unstable glaciated and deglaciated climatic states. This has implications for the search for life on exoplanets in the habitable zone of nearby stars.

  5. A Catalog of Stellar Evolution Profiles and the Effects of Variable Composition on Habitable Systems

    E-print Network

    Truitt, Amanda; Spacek, Alexander; Probst, Luke; Dietrich, Jeremy

    2015-01-01

    We present stellar evolution models for 0.5 - 1.2 \\Msol at scaled metallicities of 0.1 - 1.5 Z\\sol and O/Fe values of 0.44 - 2.28 O/Fe\\sol. The time dependent evolution of habitable zone boundaries are calculated for each stellar evolution track based on stellar mass, effective temperature, and luminosity parameterizations. The rate of change of stellar surface quantities and the surrounding habitable zone position are strong functions of all three quantities explored. The range of orbits that remain continuously habitable, or habitable for at least 2 Gyr, are provided. The results show that the detailed chemical characterization of exoplanet host stars and a consideration of their evolutionary history are necessary to assess the likelihood that a planet found in the instantaneous habitable zone has had sufficient time to develop a biosphere capable of producing detectable biosignatures. This model grid is designed for use by the astrobiology and exoplanet communities to efficiently characterize the time evol...

  6. Environmental control system for Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hearty, Fred; Levi, Eric; Nelson, Matt; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Burton, Adam; Ramsey, Lawrence; Bender, Chad; Terrien, Ryan; Halverson, Samuel; Robertson, Paul; Roy, Arpita; Blank, Basil; Blanchard, Ken; Stefansson, Gudmundur

    2014-07-01

    HPF is an ultra-stable, precision radial velocity near infrared spectrograph with a unique environmental control scheme. The spectrograph will operate at a mid-range temperature of 180K, approximately half way between room temperature and liquid nitrogen temperature; it will be stable to sub -milli-Kelvin(mK) levels over a calibration cycle and a few mK over months to years. HPF's sensor is a 1.7 micron H2RG device by Teledyne. The environmental control boundary is a 9 m2 thermal enclosure that completely surrounds the optical train and produces a near blackbody cavity for all components. A large, pressure - stabilized liquid nitrogen tank provides the heat sink for the system via thermal straps while a multichannel resistive heater control system provides the stabilizing heat source. High efficiency multi-layer insulation blanketing provides the outermost boundary of the thermal enclosure to largely isolate the environmental system from ambient conditions. The cryostat, a stainless steel shell derived from the APOGEE design, surrounds the thermal enclosure and provides a stable, high quality vacuum environment. The full instrument will be housed in a passive 'meat -locker' enclosure to add a degree of additional thermal stability and as well as protect the instrument. Effectiveness of this approach is being empirically demonstrated via long duration scale model testing. The full scale cryostat and environmental control system are being constructed for a 2016 delivery of the instrument to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. This report describes the configuration of the hardware and the scale-model test results as well as projections for performance of the full system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

    We present a model of the galactic habitable zone (GHZ), described in terms of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the Galaxy that may favor the development of complex life. The Milky Way galaxy was modeled using a computational approach by populating stars and their planetary systems on an individual basis by employing Monte Carlo methods. We began with well-established properties of the disk of the Milky Way, such as the stellar number density distribution, the initial mass function, the star formation history, and the metallicity gradient as a function of radial position and time. We varied some of these properties and created four models to test the sensitivity of our assumptions. To assess habitability on the galactic scale, we modeled supernova rates, planet formation, and the time required for complex life to evolve. Our study has improved on other literature on the GHZ by populating stars on an individual basis and modeling Type II supernova (SNII) and Type Ia supernova (SNIa) sterilizations by selecting their progenitors from within this preexisting stellar population. Furthermore, we considered habitability on tidally locked and non-tidally locked planets separately and studied habitability as a function of height above and below the galactic midplane. In the model that most accurately reproduces the properties of the Galaxy, the results indicate that an individual SNIa is ?5.6× more lethal than an individual SNII on average. In addition, we predict that ?1.2% of all stars host a planet that may have been capable of supporting complex life at some point in the history of the Galaxy. Of those stars with a habitable planet, ?75% of planets are predicted to be in a tidally locked configuration with their host star. The majority of these planets that may support complex life are found toward the inner Galaxy, distributed within, and significantly above and below, the galactic midplane. PMID:22059554

  8. Maintenance of permeable habitable subsurface environments by earthquakes and tidal stresses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleep, Norman H.

    2012-10-01

    Life inhabits the subsurface of the Earth down to depths where temperature precludes it. Similar conditions are likely to exist within the traditional habitable zone for objects between 0.1 Earth mass (Mars) and 10 Earth masses (superearth). Long-term cooling and internal radioactivity maintain surface heat flow on the Earth. These heat sources are comparable and likely to be comparable in general within old rocky planets. Surface heat flow scales with mass divided by surface area and hence with surface gravity. The average absolute habitable subsurface thickness scales inversely with heat flow and gravity. Surface gravity varies by only 0.4 g for Mars to 3.15 g for a superearth. This range is less than the regional variation of heat flow on the Earth. Still ocean-boiling asteroid impacts (if they occur) are more likely to sterilize the thin habitable subsurface of large objects than thick habitable subsurface of small ones. Tectonics self-organizes to maintain subsurface permeability and habitability within both stable and active regions on the Earth. Small earthquakes within stable regions allow sudden mixing of water masses. Large earthquakes at plate boundaries allow surface water to descend to great habitable depths. Seismic shaking near major faults cracks shallow rock forming permeable regolith. Strong tidal strains form a similar porous regolith on small bodies such as Enceladus with weak stellar heating. This regolith may be water-saturated within rocky bodies and thus habitable.

  9. Maximum number of habitable planets at the time of Earth's origin: new hints for panspermia?

    PubMed

    von Bloh, Werner; Franck, Siegfried; Bounama, Christine; Schellnhuber, Hans-Joachim

    2003-04-01

    New discoveries have fuelled the ongoing discussion of panspermia, i.e. the transport of life from one planet to another within the solar system (interplanetary panspermia) or even between different planetary systems (interstellar panspermia). The main factor for the probability of interstellar panspermia is the average density of stellar systems containing habitable planets. The combination of recent results for the formation rate of Earth-like planets with our estimations of extrasolar habitable zones allows us to determine the number of habitable planets in the Milky Way over cosmological time scales. We find that there was a maximum number of habitable planets around the time of Earth's origin. If at all, interstellar panspermia was most probable at that time and may have kick-started life on our planet. PMID:12967269

  10. Space Physics of Close-in Exoplanets and its Implications for Planet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Ofer

    2015-04-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets is currently focused on planets orbiting M-dwarf stars, due to the close proximity of the habitable zone to the star. However, the traditional habitability definition does not account for the physical space environment near the planets, which can be extreme at close-in orbits, and can lead to erosion of te planetary atmosphere. In order to sustain their atmosphers, M-dwarf planets need to have either an intrinsic magnetic field, or a thick atmosphere. Here we present a set of numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the interaction of an Earth-like magnetized planet and a Venus-like non-magnetized planet with the stellar wind of M-dwarf star. We study space physics aspects of these interactions and their implications for planet habitability

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cantrell, Justin R.; Henry, Todd J.; White, Russel J. E-mail: thenry@chara.gsu.edu

    2013-10-01

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

  12. Supernova spectra below strong circumstellar interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leloudas, G.; Hsiao, E. Y.; Johansson, J.; Maeda, K.; Moriya, T. J.; Nordin, J.; Petrushevska, T.; Silverman, J. M.; Sollerman, J.; Stritzinger, M. D.; Taddia, F.; Xu, D.

    2015-02-01

    We construct spectra of supernovae (SNe) interacting strongly with a circumstellar medium (CSM) by adding SN templates, a black-body continuum, and an emission-line spectrum. In a Monte Carlo simulation we vary a large number of parameters, such as the SN type, brightness and phase, the strength of the CSM interaction, the extinction, and the signal to noise ratio (S/N) of the observed spectrum. We generate more than 800 spectra, distribute them to ten different human classifiers, and study how the different simulation parameters affect the appearance of the spectra and their classification. The SNe IIn showing some structure over the continuum were characterized as "SNe IInS" to allow for a better quantification. We demonstrate that the flux ratio of the underlying SN to the continuum fV is the single most important parameter determining whether a spectrum can be classified correctly. Other parameters, such as extinction, S/N, and the width and strength of the emission lines, do not play a significant role. Thermonuclear SNe get progressively classified as Ia-CSM, IInS, and IIn as fV decreases. The transition between Ia-CSM and IInS occurs at fV ~ 0.2-0.3. It is therefore possible to determine that SNe Ia-CSM are found at the (un-extincted) magnitude range -19.5 >M> -21.6, in very good agreement with observations, and that the faintest SN IIn that can hide a SN Ia has M = -20.1. The literature sample of SNe Ia-CSM shows an association with 91T-like SNe Ia. Our experiment does not support that this association can be attributed to a luminosity bias (91T-like being brighter than normal events). We therefore conclude that this association has real physical origins and we propose that 91T-like explosions result from single degenerate progenitors that are responsible for the CSM. Despite the spectroscopic similarities between SNe Ibc and SNe Ia, the number of misclassifications between these types was very small in our simulation and mostly at low S/N. Combined with the SN luminosity function needed to reproduce the observed SN Ia-CSM luminosities, it is unlikely that SNe Ibc constitute an important contaminant within this sample. We show how Type II spectra transition to IIn and how the H? profiles vary with fV. SNe IIn fainter than M = -17.2 are unable to mask SNe IIP brighter than M = -15. A more advanced simulation, including radiative transfer, shows that our simplified model is a good first order approximation. The spectra obtained are in good agreement with real data.

  13. Chemical evolution of circumstellar matter around young stellar objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    van Dishoeck, E. F.; Blake, G. A.

    1995-01-01

    Recent observational studies of the chemical composition of circumstellar matter around both high- and low-mass young stellar objects are reviewed. The molecular abundances are found to be a strong function of evolutionary state, but not of system mass or luminosity. The data are discussed with reference to recent theoretical models.

  14. Food habits of blue grouse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, R.E.

    1944-01-01

    The food habits of Blue Grouse vary from a simple winter diet that is made up predominantly of coniferous needles to a complex diet during the summer months, characterized by great variety of foods including green leaves, fruits and seeds, flowers, animal matter and coniferous needles. The spring and fall, which represent the transition periods between these two, are characterized by feeding habits that are generally intermediate. The diets of the two species of Blue Grouse, Dendrugapus obscurus and Dendragapus juliginosus, are quite similar as far as major types of food are concerned, but they differ considerably in the species that are taken. Such differences reflect differences in the vegetation within the ecologic and geographic ranges occupied by the two species.

  15. Effect of Magnetic Braking on Circumstellar Disk Formation in a Strongly Magnetized Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machida, Masahiro N.; Inutsuka, Shu-Ichiro; Matsumoto, Tomoaki

    2011-06-01

    Using resistive magnetohydrodynamics simulation, we consider circumstellar disk formation in a strongly magnetized cloud. As the initial state, an isolated cloud core embedded in a low-density interstellar medium with a uniform magnetic field was adopted. The cloud evolution was calculated until almost all gas inside the initial cloud fell onto either the circumstellar disk or a protostar, and a part of the gas was ejected into the interstellar medium by the protostellar outflow driven by the circumstellar disk. In the early main accretion phase, the disk size is limited to ˜10 AU because the angular momentum of the circumstellar disk is effectively transferred by both magnetic braking and the protostellar outflow. In the later main accretion phase, however, the circumstellar disk grows rapidly and exceeds ? 100 AU by the end of the main accretion phase. This rapid growth of the circumstellar disk is caused by depletion of the infalling envelope, while magnetic braking is effective when the infalling envelope is more massive than the circumstellar disk. The infalling envelope cannot brake the circumstellar disk when the latter is more massive than the former. In addition, the protostellar outflow weakens and disappears in the later main accretion phase, because the outflow is powered by gas accretion onto the circumstellar disk. Although the circumstellar disk formed in a magnetized cloud is considerably smaller than that in an unmagnetized cloud, a circumstellar disk exceeding 100 AU can form even in a strongly magnetized cloud.

  16. Widen the belt of habitability!

    PubMed

    Möhlmann, D

    2012-06-01

    Among the key-parameters to characterize habitability are presence or availability of liquid water, an appropriate temperature range, and the time scale of reference. These criteria for habitability are discussed and described from the point of view of water- and ice-physics, and it is shown that liquid water may exist in the sub-surfaces of planetary bodies like Mars, and possibly of inner asteroids and internally heated ice-moons. Water can remain fluid there also at temperatures far below the "canonical" 0 °C. This behaviour is made possible as a consequence of the freezing point depression due to salty solutes in water or "brines", as they can be expected to exist in nature more frequently than pure liquid water. On the other hand, low temperatures cause a slowing down of chemical processes, as can be described by Arrhenius's relation. The resulting smaller reaction rates probably will have the consequence to complicate the detection of low-temperature life processes, if they exist. Furthermore, the adaptation potential of life is to be mentioned in this context as a yet partially unknown process. Resulting recommendations are given to improve the use of criteria to characterize habitable conditions. PMID:22638839

  17. Widen the Belt of Habitability!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möhlmann, D.

    2012-06-01

    Among the key-parameters to characterize habitability are presence or availability of liquid water, an appropriate temperature range, and the time scale of reference. These criteria for habitability are discussed and described from the point of view of water- and ice-physics, and it is shown that liquid water may exist in the sub-surfaces of planetary bodies like Mars, and possibly of inner asteroids and internally heated ice-moons. Water can remain fluid there also at temperatures far below the "canonical" 0 °C. This behaviour is made possible as a consequence of the freezing point depression due to salty solutes in water or "brines", as they can be expected to exist in nature more frequently than pure liquid water. On the other hand, low temperatures cause a slowing down of chemical processes, as can be described by Arrhenius's relation. The resulting smaller reaction rates probably will have the consequence to complicate the detection of low-temperature life processes, if they exist. Furthermore, the adaptation potential of life is to be mentioned in this context as a yet partially unknown process. Resulting recommendations are given to improve the use of criteria to characterize habitable conditions.

  18. S-type and P-type habitability in stellar binary systems: A comprehensive approach. I. Method and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Cuntz, M.

    2014-01-01

    A comprehensive approach is provided for the study of both S-type and P-type habitability in stellar binary systems, which in principle can also be expanded to systems of higher order. P-type orbits occur when the planet orbits both binary components, whereas in the case of S-type orbits, the planet orbits only one of the binary components with the second component considered a perturbator. The selected approach encapsulates a variety of different aspects, which include: (1) the consideration of a joint constraint, including orbital stability and a habitable region for a putative system planet through the stellar radiative energy fluxes ({sup r}adiative habitable zone{sup ;} RHZ), needs to be met; (2) the treatment of conservative, general, and extended zones of habitability for the various systems as defined for the solar system and beyond; (3) the provision of a combined formalism for the assessment of both S-type and P-type habitability; in particular, mathematical criteria are presented for the kind of system in which S-type and P-type habitability is realized; (4) applications of the attained theoretical approach to standard (theoretical) main-sequence stars. In principle, five different cases of habitability are identified, which are S-type and P-type habitability provided by the full extent of the RHZs; habitability, where the RHZs are truncated by the additional constraint of planetary orbital stability (referred to as ST- and PT-type, respectively); and cases of no habitability at all. Regarding the treatment of planetary orbital stability, we utilize the formulae of Holman and Wiegert as also used in previous studies. In this work, we focus on binary systems in circular orbits. Future applications will also consider binary systems in elliptical orbits and provide thorough comparisons to other methods and results given in the literature.

  19. Trace Element Condensation in Circumstellar Envelopes of Carbon Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodders, K.; Fegley, B., Jr.

    1992-07-01

    It is now well established that meteorites contain reduced presolar grains, such as graphite and silicon carbide (SiC), which are probably formed by condensation of dust in the circumstellar envelopes of carbon-rich AGB stars. Here we model condensation in envelopes of carbon stars, with an emphasis on trace elements. Since absolute elemental abundances in stellar atmospheres are generally not known, we assume solar abundances (Anders and Grevesse 1989), except for carbon. A C/O ratio of 2, consistent with the mean and median values of 2.1 and 1.8 respectively, for 61 carbon stars (Gow 1977) was used. The C/O ratio was increased by adding carbon because astrophysicists believe that carbon produced in helium-burning zones may be mixed to the surfaces of C stars (e.g. Lucy 1976). We used physical parameters for the circumstellar shell of the high mass-loss rate, prototypical carbon star IRC +10216 (e.g. Keady et al. 1988, Dominik et al. 1990) and theoretical considerations by Salpeter (1974a,b) to construct a P-T-model of the envelope (see Fig. 1). Thermodynamic equilibrium condensation calculations for a reduced gas include ~600 gaseous and solid compounds of the elements H, C, N, O, S, P, F, Cl, Fe, Mg, Al, Ti, Si, Ca, Zr, Hf, V, Nb, Ta, Cr, Mo, W, and REE. Refractory oxides, sulfides, nitrides, and carbides were considered as condensates. The calculations were done from T = 800 to 2500 K, and P= 10^-5 to 10^-13 bars. The effects of nucleation on condensation temperatures were calculated using the nucleation model discussed by Salpeter (1974a,b) and Cameron and Fegley (1982). The temperature drop required for condensation depends on (P,T, density) in the expanding envelope and also on the abundance, density, and surface energy (Es) of the nucleating compound. The range of E(sub)s values for NaCl-type carbides are about 800-1700 erg/cm^2 (Livey & Murray 1956); however, these data are generally poorly known. Another important variable is the sticking coefficient (s), taken = 10^-3 here. Results of the equilibrium condensation calculations as a function of pressure at C/O = 2 are shown in Table 1 and Fig. 1. The initial major element condensates are graphite, TiC, SiC, Fe3C, AlN, and CaS (Table 1). The data for C(sub)GR TiC, and SiC are also shown in Fig. 1, together with the P-T profile for the carbon star IRC +10216. Also included are the condensation temperatures if nucleation constraints are applied (dotted lines). Neglecting nucleation effects, C(sub)Gr, TiC, and SiC would be present within 2-3 stellar radii from the photosphere (r/R = 1). With nucleation constraints, TiC and SiC form at lower T at a distance of about 5 stellar radii. The T-drop required for graphite condensation is only about 100 K lower than the equilibrium condensation temperatures at higher P. Therefore, graphite grains would be stable at r/R >1.5. We note that at r = 3-5 R there is observational evidence for SiC, graphite and amorphous carbon in the envelope of the C star IRC +10216 (e.g. Keady et al. 1988, Ridgway and Keady 1988). Of the nitrides, AlN is the only which forms initially. Because of its structural similarity to SiC and TiC one could expect formation of AlN solid solutions with NaCl-type carbides. Most trace elements initially form carbides. The most refractory carbides are TaC, WC, NbC, ZrC, and HfC, condensing about 100-250 K higher than TiC. E(sub)s data are available for TaC and ZrC. Nucleation constraints show that only ZrC would form prior to TiC. Other trace element carbides (Mo(sub)2C, MoC, VC(sub)0.88, YC(sub)2, Cr(sub)3C(sub)2) condense as pure compounds below the equilibrium condensation temperatures of C(sub)Gr, TiC, and SiC. However, they may condense in solid solution in TiC or SiC or in both if allowed by their crystal structures. In any case, nitrides are not initial condensates for these trace elements. However, because the carbides and nitrides can form solid solutions, one could expect carbide-nitride solutions. References: Anders E. and Grevesse N. (1989) Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 53, 197-214. Cameron A.G.W

  20. Radiative Transfer Modeling of the Winds and Circumstellar Environments of Hot and Cool Massive Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobel, A.

    2010-06-01

    We present modeling research work of the winds and circumstellar environments of a variety of prototypical hot and cool massive stars using advanced radiative-transfer calculations. This research aims at unraveling the detailed physics of various mass-loss mechanisms of luminous stars in the upper portion of the H-R diagram. Very recent 3D radiative-transfer calculations, combined with hydrodynamic simulations, show that radiatively-driven winds of OB supergiants are structured due to large-scale density and velocity fields caused by rotating bright spots at the stellar equator. The mass-loss rates computed from matching Discrete Absorption Components (DACs) in IUE observations of HD 64760 (B Ib) do not reveal appreciable changes from the rates of unstructured (smooth) wind models. Intermediate yellow supergiants (such as the yellow hypergiant ? Cas, F-G Ia0), on the other hand, show prominent spectroscopic signatures of strongly increased mass-loss rates during episodic outbursts that cause dramatic changes of the stellar photospheric conditions. Long-term high-resolution spectroscopic monitoring of cool hypergiants near the Yellow Evolutionary Void reveals that their mass-loss rates and wind-structure are dominated by photospheric eruptions and large-amplitude pulsations that impart mechanical momentum to the circumstellar environment by propagating acoustic (shock) waves. In massive red supergiants, however, clear evidence for mechanical wave propagation from the sub-photospheric convection zones is lacking, despite their frequently observed spectroscopic and photometric variability. Recent spatially resolved HST-STIS observations inside Betelgeuse's (M Iab) very extended chromosphere and dust envelope show evidence of warm chromospheric gas far beyond the dust-condensation radius of radiative-transfer models. Models for these long-term spectroscopic observations demonstrate that the chromospheric pulsations are not spherically symmetric. The STIS observations point to the importance of mechanical wave propagation for heating and sustaining chromospheric conditions in the extended winds of red supergiants.

  1. On the Possibility of Habitable, Trojan Planets in the Kepler Circumbinary Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudol, Jeffrey; Haghighipour, Nader

    2015-12-01

    The recent discovery of circumbinary planets with the Kepler space telescope has opened a new direction in the search for habitable planets. Three of the known Kepler circumbinary planets reside in habitable zones: Kepler 16b, Kepler 47c, and Kepler 453b. Although these planets are too large to be habitable, they present the possibility of having habitable, terrestrial-size Trojan planets and/or moons. Although no Trojan planets have yet been detected in any exoplanetary system, theoretical studies suggest Trojan planets can exist in stable orbits in circumbinary planetary systems and can be detected with current and future space telescopes. We have performed more than 1,000 numerical integrations of each of these systems in which we have included an Earth-mass object in a random orbit near one of the two Lagrangian points in the habitable zone. We present the results of these integrations and further discuss their implications for the formation and evolution of these particular systems. We also report on the detectability of Earth-mass Trojan planets via transits or transit timing variations.

  2. Habitable worlds with no signs of life

    E-print Network

    Cockell, Charles S

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Atomic Hydrogen in the Circumstellar Envelope of IRC+10216

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, L. D.; Gérard, E.; Le Bertre, T.

    2015-08-01

    Using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), we have performed the most sensitive search to date for neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) associated with the circumstellar envelope (CSE) of the carbon star IRC+10216. We report the discovery of a low surface brightness HI shell of diameter ˜1280'' (˜0.8 pc) surrounding the star. The shell's kinematics are consistent with matter that has been decelerated through interaction with the interstellar medium (ISM). The angular extent of the shell is comparable to the far ultraviolet (FUV)-emitting astrosphere previously detected with GALEX. The total mass of atomic hydrogen associated with IRC+10216 is < 1% of the expected total mass of the CSE. We briefly discuss implications for the possible origins of the circumstellar atomic hydrogen.

  4. Detection of circumstellar material in a normal type Ia supernova.

    PubMed

    Patat, F; Chandra, P; Chevalier, R; Justham, S; Podsiadlowski, Ph; Wolf, C; Gal-Yam, A; Pasquini, L; Crawford, I A; Mazzali, P A; Pauldrach, A W A; Nomoto, K; Benetti, S; Cappellaro, E; Elias-Rosa, N; Hillebrandt, W; Leonard, D C; Pastorello, A; Renzini, A; Sabbadin, F; Simon, J D; Turatto, M

    2007-08-17

    Type Ia supernovae are important cosmological distance indicators. Each of these bright supernovae supposedly results from the thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf star that, after accreting material from a companion star, exceeds some mass limit, but the true nature of the progenitor star system remains controversial. Here we report the spectroscopic detection of circumstellar material in a normal type Ia supernova explosion. The expansion velocities, densities, and dimensions of the circumstellar envelope indicate that this material was ejected from the progenitor system. In particular, the relatively low expansion velocities suggest that the white dwarf was accreting material from a companion star that was in the red-giant phase at the time of the explosion. PMID:17626848

  5. Revising Circumstellar Disk Evolution -- How Binaries Change the Picture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daemgen, Sebastian; Petr-Gotzens, Monika; Meyer, Elliot

    2015-01-01

    We combine new and previously published high-angular resolution near-infrared spectroscopic and photometric observations to measure the presence of accretion and hot circumstellar dust around the individual components of visual multiple stars and confirmed singles with separations between ˜20 and 800 AU in the Orion Nebula Cluster, Chamaeleon I, and Taurus star-forming regions. The data provide evidence for an accelerated disk dispersal in binaries -- in particular of the less massive stellar component -- at a mass accretion rate identical to that of single stars. Our findings have stringent implications on circumstellar disk parameters, which have been traditionally inferred from observations of ``binary-contaminated'' samples. For example, we find an increased single star accretor fraction, i.e., evidence for a longer single star disk lifetime, compared to previous surveys.

  6. Circumstellar Disk Properties of Young Stellar Objects Revealed by CARMA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Woojin

    2010-05-01

    Radio interferometers at sub/millimeter wavelengths sensitive to dust continuum are the main tools to study circumstellar disk properties, which show the initial conditions of planet formation. We have initiated a circumstellar disk survey using the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) and have obtained 6 T Tauri disk data at both 1.3 and 2.7 mm continua so far, including HL Tau with an angular resolution up to 0.13 arcsecond. We constrained disk properties by visibility modeling in Bayesian inference using power-law disk and viscous accretion disk models. In addition, we compared the two models quantitatively. Furthermore, we detected substructures presumably showing an ongoing mechanism of planet formation.

  7. X-raying circumstellar material around young stars

    E-print Network

    Schneider, P C

    2015-01-01

    Young stars are surrounded by copious amounts of circumstellar material. Its composition, in particular its gas-to-dust ratio, is an important parameter. However, measuring this ratio is challenging, because gas mass estimates are often model dependent. X-ray absorption is sensitive to the gas along the line-of-sight while optical/near-IR extinction depends on the dust content. Therefore, the gas-to-dust ratio of an absorber is given by the ratio between X-ray and optical/near-IR extinction. We present three systems where we used X-ray and optical/near-IR data to constrain the gas-to-dust ratio of circumstellar material; from a dust-rich debris disk to gaseous protoplanetary disks.

  8. STIS Imaging of the HR 4796A Circumstellar Debris Ring

    E-print Network

    G. Schneider; A. J. Weinberger; E. E. Becklin; J. H. Debes; B. A. Smith

    2008-10-01

    We have obtained high spatial resolution imaging observations of the HR 4796A circumstellar debris dust ring using the broad optical response of the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph in coronagraphic mode. We use our visual wavelength observations to improve upon the earlier measured geometrical parameters of the ring-like disk. Two significant flux density asymmetries are noted: (1) preferential forward scattering by the disk grains and (2) an azimuthal surface brightness anisotropy about the morphological minor axis of the disk with corresponding differential ansal brightness. We find the debris ring offset from the location of the star by ~1.4 AU, a shift insufficient to explain the differing brightnesses of the NE and SW ansae simply by the 1/$r^2$ dimmunition of starlight. The STIS data also better quantify the radial confinement of the starlight-scattering circumstellar debris, to a characteristic region debris, possibly including ices reddened by radiation exposure to the central star.

  9. Circumstellar Absorption in Double Detonation Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Ken J.; Guillochon, James; Foley, Ryan J.

    2013-06-01

    Upon formation, degenerate He core white dwarfs are surrounded by a radiative H-rich layer primarily supported by ideal gas pressure. In this Letter, we examine the effect of this H-rich layer on mass transfer in He+C/O double white dwarf binaries that will eventually merge and possibly yield a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) in the double detonation scenario. Because its thermal profile and equation of state differ from the underlying He core, the H-rich layer is transferred stably onto the C/O white dwarf prior to the He core's tidal disruption. We find that this material is ejected from the binary system and sweeps up the surrounding interstellar medium hundreds to thousands of years before the SN Ia. The close match between the resulting circumstellar medium profiles and values inferred from recent observations of circumstellar absorption in SNe Ia gives further credence to the resurgent double detonation scenario.

  10. Moderate Asphericity of the SN 2002ic Circumstellar Envelope

    E-print Network

    Nikolai N. Chugai; Roger A. Chevalier

    2006-11-09

    The polarization of SN 2002ic interacting with a dense circumstellar envelope is calculated in the context of the asymmetric version of a previously proposed spherical interaction model. The circumstellar envelope is taken to be oblate. The observed polarization (Wang et al. 2004) can be reproduced for an aspect ratio of 0.65-0.7 assuming inclination angles >60 degrees. This model predicts a weak sensitivity of the line profiles to the orientation, in agreement with the absence of significant variations of the line profiles among SN 2002ic-like supernovae. We propose a test for distinguishing between the binary and single star progenitor scenarios based upon the polarization distribution function for the growing sample of these events.

  11. Circumstellar interaction in type Ibn supernovae and SN 2006jc

    E-print Network

    Chugai, N N

    2009-01-01

    I analyse peculiar properties of light curve and continua of enigmatic Ibn supernovae, including SN 2006jc, and argue in favour of the early strong circumstellar interaction. This interaction explains the high luminosity and fast flux rise of SN 1999cq, while the cool dense shell formed in shocked ejecta can explain the smooth early continuum of SN 2000er and unusual blue continuum of SN 2006jc. The dust is shown to condense in the cool dense shell at about day 50. Monte Carlo modelling of the He I 7065 \\AA line profile affected by the dust occultation supports a picture, in which the dust resides in the fragmented cool dense shell, whereas He I lines originate from circumstellar clouds shocked and fragmented in the forward shock wave.

  12. Moderate Asphericity of the SN 2002ic Circumstellar Envelope

    E-print Network

    Chugai, N N; Chugai, Nikolai N.; Chevalier, Roger A.

    2006-01-01

    The polarization of SN 2002ic interacting with a dense circumstellar envelope is calculated in the context of the asymmetric version of a previously proposed spherical interaction model. The circumstellar envelope is taken to be oblate. The observed polarization (Wang et al. 2004) can be reproduced for an aspect ratio of 0.65-0.7 assuming inclination angles >60 degrees. This model predicts a weak sensitivity of the line profiles to the orientation, in agreement with the absence of significant variations of the line profiles among SN 2002ic-like supernovae. We propose a test for distinguishing between the binary and single star progenitor scenarios based upon the polarization distribution function for the growing sample of these events.

  13. CIRCUMSTELLAR ABSORPTION IN DOUBLE DETONATION TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Ken J.; Guillochon, James; Foley, Ryan J.

    2013-06-20

    Upon formation, degenerate He core white dwarfs are surrounded by a radiative H-rich layer primarily supported by ideal gas pressure. In this Letter, we examine the effect of this H-rich layer on mass transfer in He+C/O double white dwarf binaries that will eventually merge and possibly yield a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) in the double detonation scenario. Because its thermal profile and equation of state differ from the underlying He core, the H-rich layer is transferred stably onto the C/O white dwarf prior to the He core's tidal disruption. We find that this material is ejected from the binary system and sweeps up the surrounding interstellar medium hundreds to thousands of years before the SN Ia. The close match between the resulting circumstellar medium profiles and values inferred from recent observations of circumstellar absorption in SNe Ia gives further credence to the resurgent double detonation scenario.

  14. Human factor design of habitable space facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clearwater, Yvonne A.

    1987-01-01

    Current fundamental and applied habitability research conducted as part of the U.S. space program is reviewed with emphasis on methods, findings, and applications of the results to the planning and design of the International Space Station. The discussion covers the following six concurrent directions of habitability research: operational simulation, functional interior decor research, space crew privacy requirements, interior layout and configuration analysis, human spatial habitability model, and analogous environments research.

  15. Extreme Habitability: Formation of Habitable Planets in Systems with Close-in Giant Planets and/or Stellar Companions

    E-print Network

    Nader Haghighipour

    2007-11-06

    With more than 260 extrasolar planetary systems discovered to-date, the search for habitable planets has found new grounds. Unlike our solar system, the stars of many of these planets are hosts to eccentric or close-in giant bodies. Several of these stars are also members of moderately close ($planets and/or their stellar companions. These objects have profound effects on the chemical structure of the disk of planetesimals and the radial mixing of these bodies in the terrestrial regions of their host stars. For many years, it was believed that such effects would be so destructive that binary stars and also systems with close-in giant planets would not be able to form and harbor habitable bodies. Recent simulations have, however, proven otherwise. I will review the results of the simulations of the formation and long-term stability of Earth-like objects in the habitable zones of such "extreme" planetary systems, and discuss the possibility of the formation of terrestrial planets, with significant amounts of water, in systems with hot Jupiters, and also around the primaries of moderately eccentric close binary stars.

  16. Tidal Timelines: Evolution of Terrestrial Exoplanet Habitability Around Low Mass Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullins, K.; Barnes, R.

    2009-12-01

    The range of orbits for planetary habitability have traditionally been based on the stellar flux that allows liquid water to persist on a planetary surface. However, when considering terrestrial (rocky) planets close to a low mass star (?0.35M?), tidal effects must be considered because of the additional energy input from tidal heating. Of further interest is the time over which habitable conditions are generated by tidal interaction. Tides cause orbital evolution, during which the heat flux varies, which may cause the planet to migrate in and out of habitable zones and possibly result in sterilization. So, the heating history of a planet should be a consideration when searching for life-supporting planets. We apply heat flux limitations on habitability (based on observations within our solar system) and tidally evolve planets across a range of initial conditions of orbits and masses. Our results provide a visualization of the time a planet has spent with a favorable amount of tidal heat for habitability and/or the amount of time until the heating is no longer conducive to habitability. As a greater number of close in terrestrial planets are found, these results can provide a method for identifying those planets with the highest potential for life.

  17. Circumstellar Environments, Post-Red Supergiant Evolution, and Blue Loops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, R. M.

    2010-06-01

    The evolved yellow and red hypergiants near the empirical upper luminosity boundary all show evidence for instabilities and high mass loss, but a few are distinguished by extensive circumstellar ejecta and evidence for episodic mass-loss events and eruptions. What distinguishes these stars and what are the implications for their evolutionary state? I will also present some new results for lower-mass massive stars.

  18. Statistical approach to the theory of circumstellar discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hameen-Anttila, K. A.; Verronen, M.

    1990-02-01

    The equations for the viscous motion of a mixture of gas and dust in a gravitational field are derived from the statistics of particle orbits and radiative processes in a general form which gives the Navier-Stokes equation as a special case. Diffusion, partially elastic collisions and - for larger bodies - the gravitational encounters are included. The results are applied to the evolution of circumstellar disks.

  19. Observations of Circumstellar Thermochemical Equilibrium: The Case of Phosphorus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2011-01-01

    We will present observations of phosphorus-bearing species in circumstellar envelopes, including carbon- and oxygen-rich shells 1. New models of thermochemical equilibrium chemistry have been developed to interpret, and constrained by these data. These calculations will also be presented and compared to the numerous P-bearing species already observed in evolved stars. Predictions for other viable species will be made for observations with Herschel and ALMA.

  20. Space station group activities habitability module study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nixon, David

    1986-01-01

    This study explores and analyzes architectural design approaches for the interior of the Space Station Habitability Module (originally defined as Habitability Module 1 in Space Station Reference Configuration Decription, JSC-19989, August 1984). In the Research Phase, architectural program and habitability design guidelines are specified. In the Schematic Design Phase, a range of alternative concepts is described and illustrated with drawings, scale-model photographs and design analysis evaluations. Recommendations are presented on the internal architectural, configuration of the Space Station Habitability Module for such functions as the wardroom, galley, exercise facility, library and station control work station. The models show full design configurations for on-orbit performance.

  1. A Re-appraisal of the Habitability of Planets Around M Dwarf Stars

    E-print Network

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

    2006-11-20

    Stable, hydrogen-burning, M dwarf stars comprise about 75% of all stars in the Galaxy. They are extremely long-lived and because they are much smaller in mass than the Sun (between 0.5 and 0.08 MSun), their temperature and stellar luminosity are low and peaked in the red. We have re-examined what is known at present about the potential for a terrestrial planet forming within, or migrating into, the classic liquid-surface-water habitable zone close to an M dwarf star. Observations of protoplanetary disks suggest that planet-building materials are common around M dwarfs, but N-body simulations differ in their estimations of the likelihood of potentially-habitable, wet planets residing within their habitable zones, which are only ~ 1/5 to 1/50 of the width of that for a G star. Particularly in light of the claimed detection of the planets with masses as small as 5.5 and 7.5 MEarth orbiting M stars, there seems no reason to exclude the possibility of terrestrial planets. Tidally locked synchronous rotation within the narrow habitable zone doesn't necessarily lead to atmospheric collapse, and active stellar flaring may not be as much of an evolutionarily disadvantageous factor as has previously been supposed. We conclude that M dwarf stars may indeed be viable hosts for planets on which the origin and evolution of life can occur. A number of planetary processes such as cessation of geothermal activity, or thermal and non-thermal atmospheric loss processes may limit the duration of planetary habitability to periods far shorter than the extreme lifetime of the M dwarf star. Nevertheless, it makes sense to include M dwarf stars in programs that seek to find habitable worlds and evidence of life.

  2. The set of habitable planets and astrobiological regulation mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vukoti?, Branislav

    2010-04-01

    The number of habitable planets in the Milky Way and its temporal variation are major unknowns in the nascent fields of astrobiology and Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence studies. All numerical models developed thus far have suffered from large uncertainties in the input data, in addition to our lack of understanding of the processes of astrobiological dynamics. Here, we argue that at least the input data can now be specified with more confidence, and use a simple Monte Carlo model of the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ) as a flexible platform for their elucidation. Previous papers have described some of the major results of this class of models; in this paper we present its mechanics and input parameters, notably the number of the habitable planets in the GHZ and their temporal distribution, based on the results of Lineweaver et al. (Lineweaver, C.H., Fenner, Y. & Gibson, B.K. (2004). Science 303, 59-62.) Regulation mechanisms (such as gamma-ray bursts or supernovae) and their temporal evolution, assumed to be main agents responsible for large-scale correlation effects, are modelled as type ? (which can sterilize part of or the entire GHZ) and type ? (which are of local importance) events with decreasing mean temporal frequency over the cosmological timescale. The considered global risk function implies as an upper limit that about one out of a hundred habitable sites will achieve high astrobiological complexity. The preliminary results of numerical modelling presented here and elsewhere imply that the lack of a sudden change from an essentially dead Galaxy to a Galaxy filled with complex life - the astrobiological phase transition - in our past (a version of Fermi's paradox) may be understood as a consequence of global astrobiological disequilibrium, strongly indicating such a transitional epoch in our future.

  3. The Circumstellar Environments of NML Cyg and the Cool Hypergiants

    E-print Network

    Schuster, M T; Marengo, M; Schuster, Michael T.; Humphreys, Roberta M.; Marengo, Massimo

    2005-01-01

    We present high-resolution HST WFPC2 images of compact nebulosity surrounding the cool M-type hypergiants NML Cyg, VX Sgr and S Per. The powerful OH/IR source NML Cyg exhibits a peculiar bean-shaped asymmetric nebula that is coincident with the distribution of its H2O vapor masers. We show that NML Cyg's circumstellar envelope is likely shaped by photo-dissociation from the powerful, nearby association Cyg OB2 inside the Cygnus X superbubble. The OH/IR sources VX Sgr and S Per have marginally resolved envelopes. S Per's circumstellar nebula appears elongated in a NE/SW orientation similar to that for its OH and H2O masers, while VX Sgr is embedded in a spheroidal envelope. We find no evidence for circumstellar nebulosity around the intermediate-type hypergiants rho Cas, HR 8752, HR 5171a, nor the normal M-type supergiant mu Cep. We conclude that there is no evidence for high mass loss events prior to 500-1000 yrs ago for these four stars.

  4. The Circumstellar Environments of NML Cyg and the Cool Hypergiants

    E-print Network

    Michael T. Schuster; Roberta M. Humphreys; Massimo Marengo

    2005-09-30

    We present high-resolution HST WFPC2 images of compact nebulosity surrounding the cool M-type hypergiants NML Cyg, VX Sgr and S Per. The powerful OH/IR source NML Cyg exhibits a peculiar bean-shaped asymmetric nebula that is coincident with the distribution of its H2O vapor masers. We show that NML Cyg's circumstellar envelope is likely shaped by photo-dissociation from the powerful, nearby association Cyg OB2 inside the Cygnus X superbubble. The OH/IR sources VX Sgr and S Per have marginally resolved envelopes. S Per's circumstellar nebula appears elongated in a NE/SW orientation similar to that for its OH and H2O masers, while VX Sgr is embedded in a spheroidal envelope. We find no evidence for circumstellar nebulosity around the intermediate-type hypergiants rho Cas, HR 8752, HR 5171a, nor the normal M-type supergiant mu Cep. We conclude that there is no evidence for high mass loss events prior to 500-1000 yrs ago for these four stars.

  5. Additional constraints on circumstellar disks in the Trapezium Cluster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, John R.; Prosser, Charles F.; Hartmann, Lee; Mccaughrean, Mark J.

    1994-01-01

    We discuss new constraints on the population of compact ionized sources in the Trapezium Cluster thought to arise from the ionization by the central OB stars of circumstellar disks around low-mass pre-main sequence stars. We present new HST Planetary Camera observations of two of these candidate disk sources, resolving extended nebulosity around them. One source shows a small-scale (greater than 100 AU) bow-shock structure, previously seen on larger scales by O'Dell et al. We show that the circumstellar disk model is the most likely one for the majority of sources, although it remains plausible that some of the larger objects could be equilibrium globules. We combine the most complete censuses of compact radio sources and stars in the core region to derive the fraction of the stellar population that may be associated with a circumstellar disk. Our estimate of 25-75 percent is comparable to that found for PMS stars in the Taurus-Auriga dark clouds, indicating that the dense cluster environment of the Trapezium has not drastically reduced the frequency of disks seen around pre-main sequence stars.

  6. The Online Reading Habits of Malaysian Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abidin, Mohammad Jafre Bin Zainol; Pourmohammadi, Majid; Varasingam, Nalini A/P; Lean, Ooi Choon

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to ascertain the differences in online reading habits between genders and investigate the relationship between socio-economic status and online reading habits. Using a questionnaire, a quantitative approach was administered to 240 Form-Four students from four secondary schools in Penang Island, Malaysia. Findings…

  7. Genetic Influences on Adolescent Eating Habits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beaver, Kevin M.; Flores, Tori; Boutwell, Brian B.; Gibson, Chris L.

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral genetic research shows that variation in eating habits and food consumption is due to genetic and environmental factors. The current study extends this line of research by examining the genetic contribution to adolescent eating habits. Analysis of sibling pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health)…

  8. The Leisure Reading Habits of Urban Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes-Hassell, Sandra; Rodge, Pradnya

    2007-01-01

    Research indicates that there is a strong relationship between leisure reading and school achievement, but the leisure reading habits of urban adolescents have rarely been studied. From their investigation of the leisure reading habits of 584 urban minority middle school students, the authors identify these key findings: (1) More than two-thirds…

  9. [Stability of changeability of food habits].

    PubMed

    Lewerenz, G

    1989-01-01

    Theoretic reflections were made about the relation between turning points in individual life and food habits. Interviews of 439 people indicate a flexible-exploratory attitude of young adults concerning problems of nutrition, while food habits become more stable with increasing age. PMID:2716807

  10. Food Habits of Deer in the

    E-print Network

    Habits Summer Food Habits Diets of Mule and White-Tailed Deer Summary and Conclusions _ literature Cited;utmcnt of GJIlIC, Fi)h ;and I'lrk~ Introduction The white-tailed deer (Odocoil- ells virgillilllllls) and mule a eut- b.lel.: of the population during the 1953·58 hunting seasons, deer numbers ugain increased

  11. Cosmological Aspects of Habitability of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    Habitable zone (HZ) defines the region around a start within which planets may support liquid water at their surfaces, which is supposed to be the necessary factor for origination and development of life on the planet. Currently we know about 30 planets inside HZ. The most interesting question is that of possibility of existence of complex life on the planets. As several space-based project aimed at searching of traces of life at exoplanets are presently being worked out, the problem of elaboration of criteria for selection out of the list of planets inside HZ those which most probably host life acquires supreme importance. It is usually implicitly assumed that planets inside HZ may host life, not taking into consideration such an important factor as the planet age. On the other hand the crucial importance of the factor meets the eye immediately. In fact, if we consider a life similar to that on the Earth, it is obvious, that planets younger than 1 Gyr can hardly bear even primitive life-forms because life needs time to originate and develop. Moreover, as a part of biochemical and metabolic processes are endothermic, and, therefore, threshold, the process of life origination may prove extremely sensitive even to tiny HZ parameter variations. Still a most of the discovered planets are known to orbit young stars (stellar population I), no older than several mullions of years. So a considerable number of planets sure HZ inhabitants may prove too young to be really inhabitable. On the other hand, 12-13 Gyr old planetary systems (population II) may happen to be more probable bearers of life. In spite of the fact that such systems are, in the average more distant from us that the population I stars, estimations of possibility of direct detection of traces of metabolism on those systems are quite optimistic, if we bear in mind planetary systems of old law-mass K-stars.

  12. The Habitability of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herczeg, Tibor

    Following the vague guesswork of some writers in antiquity, early telescopic astronomy was strongly preoccupied with the ``World in the Moone.'' About the same time, as Kepler's charming ``Dream'' appeared posthumously, Wilkins set out to prove that there was no contradiction ``with reason or faith'' if we assumed the habitability of the Moon. For about two hundred years, this hypothesis remained quite popular (Cyrano, Fontenelle, Huygens) particularly among the wider public. That in spite of the reverberations, for instance, of the Whewell-Brewster controversy over the habitability of planets, now largely forgotten. On this background, the success of the famous ``Moon hoax of 1835'' seems more understandable. It was only in the middle of the 19th century that this idea began to slowly fade as the lack of lunar atmosphere became more and more obvious. The scientific evidence was mainly in connection with the lunar occultations (Bessel, John Herschel, and others), and also with the well-observed total solar eclipse of 1842. Yet, even later, rather fanciful assumptions about the lunar atmosphere collecting on the invisible far side of the Moon kept a modicum of believability alive for some years. Ultimately, however, the ``Selenites'' wandered over into the domain of science fiction -- the best representative being perhaps Wells' utopia in the ``First Men on the Moon'' exploring the inside of the Moon. The scientific studies concentrated more on the rather frustrating topic of lunar surface variations such as the disappearance of the crater Linnae. Nevertheless, as late as the 1960's, a possibly overly cautious NASA was ready to quarantine the returning Apollo astronauts, paying homage, perhaps, to the panspermia hypothesis.

  13. Target Selection for SETI 1. A Catalog of Nearby Habitable Stellar Systems

    E-print Network

    Turnbull, M C; Turnbull, Margaret C.; Tarter, Jill C.

    2002-01-01

    In preparation for the advent of the Allen Telescope Array, the SETI Institute has the need to greatly expand its former list of ~2000 targets compiled for Project Phoenix, a search for extraterrestrial technological signals. In this paper we present a catalog of stellar systems that are potentially habitable to complex life forms (including intelligent life), which comprises the largest portion of the new SETI target list. The Catalog of Nearby Habitable Systems (HabCat) was created from the Hipparcos Catalogue by examining the information on distances, stellar variability, multiplicity, kinematics and spectral classification for the 118,218 stars contained therein. We also make use of information from several other catalogs containing data for Hipparcos stars on X-ray luminosity, CaII H&K activity, rotation, spectral types, kinematics, metallicity, and Stroemgren photometry. Combined with theoretical studies on habitable zones, evolutionary tracks and third body orbital stability, these data were used t...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belikov, R.; Bendek, E.; Thomas, S.; Black, D.

    2014-12-01

    More than 1,700 exoplanets have been discovered to date, including a handful of potentially habitable ones. There is on average more than one planet per star, and estimates of occurrence rates for potentially habitable planets (eta_Earth) from the Kepler mission range between 5 and 50%. Several mission concepts have been studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. Direct imaging enables spectroscopic detection of biomarkers such as atmospheric oxygen and methane, which would be highly suggestive of extraterrestrial life. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet requires telescopes with apertures of at least 1m, costing at least $1B, and launching no earlier than the 2020s. A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri. The system contains two Sun-like stars with a wide separation that allows dynamically stable habitable zones around either star. Habitable zones span about 0.5-1" in stellocentric angle, 3x wider than around any other FGKM star. A 30cm visible light space telescope is sufficient to resolve the habitable zone and detect a potentially habitable planet in minutes with ideal components, or days with realistic ones. We are developing a mission concept called ACEND (Alpha Centauri Direct Imager) consisting of a 30cm primary, a Phase-Induced Amplitude Apodization coronagraph, and a wavefront control system. It is designed to suppress the light leak from both stars and directly image their planetary systems in 3 color channels, including the capability to detect potentially habitable planets. Color imaging is sufficient to differentiate Venus-like, Earth-like, and Mars-like planets from each other and establish the presence of Earth-pressure atmosphere through Rayleigh scattering. Two factors make it possible to realize the requirements of ACEND (most notably 10^10 contrast) on a small budget and fast schedule: (a) ACEND will collect a long continuous sequence of images on Alpha Centauri A and B for 2 years, enabling much better speckle subtraction than missions that have many targets, thus greatly relaxing the requirements on the raw contrast of the coronagraph; (b) the small scale regime implies greater rigidity and stability, as well as smaller optics with better wavefronts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  16. Circumstellar Emission from Type Ib and Ic Supernovae

    E-print Network

    Roger A. Chevalier; Claes Fransson

    2006-07-12

    The presumed Wolf-Rayet star progenitors of Type Ib/c supernovae have fast, low density winds and the shock waves generated by the supernova interaction with the wind are not expected to be radiative at typical times of observation. The injected energy spectrum of radio emitting electrons typically has an observed index p=3, which is suggestive of acceleration in cosmic ray dominated shocks. The early, absorbed part of the radio light curves can be attributed to synchrotron self-absorption, which leads to constraints on the magnetic field in the emitting region and on the circumstellar density. The range of circumstellar densities inferred from the radio emission is somewhat broader than that for Galactic Wolf-Rayet stars, if similar efficiencies of synchrotron emission are assumed in the extragalactic supernovae. For the observed and expected ranges of circumstellar densities to roughly overlap, a high efficiency of magnetic field production in the shocked region is required (epsilon_B ~ 0.1). For the expected densities around a Wolf-Rayet star, a nonthermal mechanism is generally required to explain the observed X-ray luminosities of Type Ib/c supernovae. Although the inverse Compton mechanism can explain the observed X-ray emission from SN 2002ap if the wind parameters are taken from the radio model, the mechanism is not promising for other supernovae unless the postshock magnetic energy density is much smaller than the electron energy density. In some cases another mechanism is definitely needed and we suggest that it is X-ray synchrotron emission in a case where the shock wave is cosmic ray dominated so that the electron energy spectrum flattens at high energy. More comprehensive X-ray observations of a Type Ib/c supernova are needed to determine whether this suggestion is correct.

  17. Cepheids at high angular resolution: circumstellar envelope and pulsation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallenne, Alexandre

    2011-12-01

    In 2005, interferometric observations with VLTI/VINCI and CHARA/FLUOR revealed the existence of a circumstellar envelope (CSE) around some Cepheids. This surrounding material is particularly interesting for two reasons: it could have an impact on the distance estimates and could be linked to a past or on-going mass loss. The use of Baade-Wesselink methods for independent distance determinations could be significantly biased by the presence of these envelopes. Although their observations are difficult because of the high contrast between the photosphere of the star and the CSE, several observation techniques have the potential to improve our knowledge about their physical properties. In this thesis, I discuss in particular high angular resolution techniques that I applied to the study of several bright Galactic Cepheids. First, I used adaptive optic observations with NACO of the Cepheid RS Puppis, in order to deduce the flux ratio between the CSE and the photosphere of the star. In addition, I could carry out a statistical study of the speckle noise and inspect a possible asymmetry. Secondly, I analysed VISIR data to study the spectral energy distribution of a sample of Cepheids. These diffraction-limited images enabled me to carry out an accurate photometry in the N band and to detect an IR excess linked to the presence of a circumstellar component. On the other hand, applying a Fourier analysis I showed that some components are resolved. I then explored the K' band with the recombination instrument FLUOR for some bright Cepheids. Thanks to new set of data of Y Oph, I improved the study of its circumstellar envelope, using a ring-like model for the CSE. For two other Cepheids, U Vul and S Sge, I applied the interferometric Baade-Wesselink method in order to estimate their distance.

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

    PubMed Central

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Origins of Water in the Solar System Leading to Habitable Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meech, Karen J.

    2015-08-01

    Life on Earth depends on an aqueous biochemistry, and water is a key component of habitability on Earth and for likely other habitable environments in the solar system. While water is ubiquitous in the interstellar medium, and plays a key role in protoplanetary disk chemistry, the inner solar system is relatively dry. We now have evidence for potentially thousands of extrasolar planets, dozens of which may be located in their host star’s habitable zones. Understanding how planets in the habitable zone accrete their water, is key to understanding the likelihood for habitability. Given that many disk models show that Earth formed inside the water-ice snow line of our solar system, understanding how the inner solar system received its water is important for understanding the potential for other planetary systems to host habitable worlds. Boundaries for the timing of the water delivery are constrained by cosmochemistry and geochemistry. Possible scenarios for the delivery of water to the inner solar system include adsorption on dust from protoplanetary disk gas, chemical reactions on the early earth, and delivery from planetesimals forming outside the water-ice snow line. This talk will set the stage for understanding the isotopic and geochemical markers along with the dynamical delivery mechanisms that will help uncover the origins of Earths water. This introduction will provide an overview for understanding the distribution of water in the solar system, in particular for the inner solar system and terrestrial planets—and the details will be developed in the subsequent talks. Additionally information will be presented regarding new inner solar system reservoirs of water that can shed light on origins (the main belt comets), and new research about water in the Earth.

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

    E-print Network

    Belikov, Ruslan; Thomas, Sandrine; Males, Jared; Lozi, Julien

    2015-01-01

    Several mission concepts are being studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet around a Sun-like star requires space telescopes with apertures of at least 1m. A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri (A and B), which is an extreme outlier among FGKM stars in terms of apparent habitable zone size: the habitable zones are ~3x wider in apparent size than around any other FGKM star. This enables a ~30-45cm visible light space telescope equipped with a modern high performance coronagraph or starshade to resolve the habitable zone at high contrast and directly image any potentially habitable planet that may exist in the system. We presents a brief analysis of the astrophysical and technical challenges involved with direct imaging of Alpha Centauri with a small telescope and describe two new technologies that address some of the key technical challenges. In particular, the raw contrast requirements for such an instrument c...

  1. On the Inner Circumstellar Envelopes of R Coronae Borealis Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leão, I. C.; Bright, S. N.; Chesneau, O.

    2015-12-01

    We present different analyses of Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) data to interpret the inner circumstellar envelope (CSE) morphology of R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars. Three objects were considered: RY Sgr, V CrA, and V854 Cen. Chi-squared maps of different geometrical models allow to identify a reasonable description of these CSEs, which can be further studied in radiative transfer codes. Overall, the inner CSE morphology of these RCB stars are consistent with a central star surrounded by a dusty shell with at least a bright clump (or a dust cluster).

  2. Circumstellar Environments of MYSOs Revealed by IFU Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarete, F.; Damineli, A.; Barbosa, C. L.; Blum, R. D.

    2015-01-01

    Formation of massive stars (M > 8 M ?) is still not well understood and lacks of observational constraints. We observed 7 MYSO candidates using the NIFS spectrometer at Gemini North Telescope to study the accretion process at high angular resolution (~ 50 mas) and very closer to the central star. Preliminary results for 2 sources have revealed circumstellar structures traced by Brackett-Gamma, CO lines and extended H2 emission. Both sources present kinematics in the CO absorption lines, suggesting rotating structures. The next step will derive the central mass of each source by applying a keplerian model for these CO features.

  3. Habitability of the Goldilocks Planet Gliese 581g: Results from Geodynamic Models

    E-print Network

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

    2011-01-01

    Aims: In 2010, detailed observations have been published that seem to indicate another super-Earth planet in the system of Gliese 581 located in the midst of the stellar climatological habitable zone. The mass of the planet, known as Gl 581g, has been estimated as between 3.1 and 4.3 Earth masses. In this study, we investigate the habitability of Gl 581g based on a previously used concept that explores its long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production, which has already been used to gauge the principal possibility of life regarding the super-Earths Gl 581c and Gl 581d. Methods: A thermal evolution model for super-Earths is used to calculate the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The habitable zone is determined by the limits of photosynthetic biological productivity on the planetary surface. Models with different ratios of land / ocean coverage are pursued. Results: The maximum time span for habitable conditions is attained for water worlds at a position of about 0.14+/-0.015 AU, wh...

  4. Attenuation of supersoft X-ray sources by circumstellar material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, M. T. B.; Gilfanov, M.

    2015-11-01

    Recent studies have suggested the possibility of significantly obscuring supersoft X-ray sources in relatively modest amounts of local matter lost from the binaries themselves. If correct, then this would have explained the paucity of observed supersoft X-ray sources and would have significance for the search for single-degenerate Type Ia supernova progenitors. We point out that earlier studies of circumbinary obscuration ignored photoionizations of the gas by the emission from the supersoft X-ray source. We revisit the problem using a full, self-consistent calculation of the ionization state of the circumbinary material photoionized by the radiation of the central source. Our results show that the circumstellar mass-loss rates required for obscuration of supersoft X-ray sources is about an order of magnitude larger than those reported in earlier studies, for comparable model parameters. While this does not entirely rule out the possibility of circumstellar material obscuring supersoft X-ray sources, it makes it unlikely that this effect alone can account for the majority of the missing supersoft X-ray sources. We discuss the observational appearance of hypothetical obscured nuclear-burning white dwarfs and show that they have signatures making them distinct from photoionized nebulae around supersoft X-ray sources imbedded in the low-density interstellar medium.

  5. Archival legacy investigations of circumstellar environments: overview and first results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choquet, Élodie; Pueyo, Laurent; Hagan, J. Brendan; Gofas-Salas, Elena; Rajan, Abhijith; Chen, Christine; Perrin, Marshall D.; Debes, John; Golimowski, David; Hines, Dean C.; N'Diaye, Mamadou; Schneider, Glenn; Mawet, Dimitri; Marois, Christian; Soummer, Rémi

    2014-08-01

    We are currently conducting a comprehensive and consistent re-processing of archival HST-NICMOS coronagraphic surveys using advanced PSF subtraction methods, entitled the Archival Legacy Investigations of Circumstellar Environments program (ALICE, HST/AR 12652). This virtual campaign of about 400 targets has already produced numerous new detections of previously unidentified point sources and circumstellar structures. We present five newly spatially resolved debris disks revealed in scattered light by our analysis of the archival data. These images provide new views of material around young solar-type stars at ages corresponding to the period of terrestrial planet formation in our solar system. We have also detected several new candidate substellar companions, for which there are ongoing followup campaigns (HST/WFC3 and VLT/SINFONI in ADI mode). Since the methods developed as part of ALICE are directly applicable to future missions (JWST, AFTA coronagraph) we emphasize the importance of devising optimal PSF subtraction methods for upcoming coronagraphic imaging missions. We describe efforts in defining direct imaging high-level science products (HLSP) standards that can be applicable to other coronagraphic campaigns, including ground-based (e.g., Gemini Planet Imager), and future space instruments (e.g., JWST). ALICE will deliver a first release of HLSPs to the community through the MAST archive at STScI in 2014.

  6. Carbon stars with oxygen-rich circumstellar material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, Michael; Hawkins, I.

    1991-01-01

    The IUE satellite was used to search for companions to two carbon-rich stars with oxygen-rich circumstellar envelopes, EU And and V778 Cyg. Depending upon the amount of interstellar extinction and distances (probably between 1 and 2 kpc from the Sun) to these two stars, upper limits were placed between approx. 1.5 and 6 solar mass to the mass of any main sequence companions. For the 'near' distance of 1 kpc, it seems unlikely that there are white dwarf companions because the detection would be expected of ultraviolet emission from accretion of red giant wind material onto the white dwarf. A new model is proposed to explain the oxygen-rich envelopes. If these stars have a high nitrogen abundance, the carbon that is in excess of the oxygen may be carried in the circumstellar envelopes in HCN rather than C2H2 which is a likely key seed molecule for the formation of carbon grains. Consequently, carbon particles may not form; instead, oxygen-rich silicate dust may nucleate from the SiO present in the outflow.

  7. Hot Gas in the Circumstellar Bubble S308

    E-print Network

    Y. -H. Chu; M. A. Guerrero; R. A. Gruendl; G. Garcia-Segura; H. J. Wendker

    2003-09-05

    S308 is a circumstellar bubble blown by the WN4 star HD50896. It is one of the only two single-star bubbles that show detectable diffuse X-ray emission. We have obtained XMM-Newton EPIC observations of the northwest quadrant of S308. The diffuse X-ray emission shows a limb-brightened morphology, with a clear gap extending from the outer edge of the diffuse X-ray emission to the outer rim of the nebular shell. The X-ray spectrum of the diffuse emission is very soft, and is well fitted by an optically thin plasma model for a N-enriched plasma at temperatures of ~1.1x10^6 K. A hotter gas component may exist but its temperature is not well constrained as it contributes less than 6% of the observed X-ray flux. The total X-ray luminosity of S308, extrapolated from the bright northwest quadrant, is <=(1.2+-0.5)x10^{34} ergs/s. We have used the observed bubble dynamics and the physical parameters of the hot interior gas of S308 in conjunction with the circumstellar bubble model of Garcia-Segura & Mac Low (1995) to demonstrate that the X-ray-emitting gas must be dominated by mixed-in nebular material.

  8. Extreme Carbon Overabundance in the 49 Ceti Circumstellar Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberge, Aki; Welsh, Barry; Kamp, Inga; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Grady, Carol A.

    2015-01-01

    We present analysis of C and O absorption in high-resolution HST-STIS FUV spectra of the nearby A1V star 49 Ceti. This disk system is one of the few showing the dust properties of a debris disk, but harboring relatively abundant molecular gas more characteristic of a low-mass protoplanetary disk. Since the disk is nearly edge-on, the line-of-sight to the central star passes through the disk, permitting sensitive probes of the circumstellar gas with absorption spectroscopy.Our FUV spectra show many narrow circumstellar gas lines arising from several atomic species, including neutral carbon (a gas not seen in the local ISM) and neutral oxygen. We present an estimate of the total carbon column density in the line-of-sight gas and limits on the oxygen column density. Comparing the carbon abundance to a previous measurement of the line-of-sight iron abundance, we see that the carbon is extremely overabundant relative to the solar abundance. A similar overabundance is seen in the Beta Pic disk gas, where the carbon brakes other gases from being rapidly blown out by radiation pressure. The carbon in the 49 Cet gas may play a similar role.

  9. An energetic stellar outburst accompanied by circumstellar light echoes.

    PubMed

    Bond, Howard E; Henden, Arne; Levay, Zoltan G; Panagia, Nino; Sparks, William B; Starrfield, Sumner; Wagner, R Mark; Corradi, R L M; Munari, U

    2003-03-27

    Some classes of stars, including novae and supernovae, undergo explosive outbursts that eject stellar material into space. In 2002, the previously unknown variable star V838 Monocerotis brightened suddenly by a factor of approximately 10(4). Unlike a supernova or nova, it did not explosively eject its outer layers; rather, it simply expanded to become a cool supergiant with a moderate-velocity stellar wind. Superluminal light echoes were discovered as light from the outburst propagated into the surrounding, pre-existing circumstellar dust. Here we report high-resolution imaging and polarimetry of those light echoes, which allow us to set direct geometric distance limits to the object. At a distance of >6 kpc, V838 Mon at its maximum brightness was temporarily the brightest star in the Milky Way. The presence of the circumstellar dust implies that previous eruptions have occurred, and spectra show it to be a binary system. When combined with the high luminosity and unusual outburst behaviour, these characteristics indicate that V838 Mon represents a hitherto unknown type of stellar outburst, for which we have no completely satisfactory physical explanation. PMID:12660776

  10. THE PROGENITOR OF SN 2011ja: CLUES FROM CIRCUMSTELLAR INTERACTION

    SciTech Connect

    Chakraborti, Sayan; Ray, Alak; Yadav, Naveen; Smith, Randall; Ryder, Stuart; Sutaria, Firoza; Dwarkadas, Vikram V.; Chandra, Poonam; Pooley, David; Roy, Rupak

    2013-09-01

    Massive stars, possibly red supergiants, which retain extended hydrogen envelopes until core collapse, produce Type II plateau (IIP) supernovae. The ejecta from these explosions shocks the circumstellar matter originating from the mass loss of the progenitor during the final phases of its life. This interaction accelerates particles to relativistic energies which then lose energy via synchrotron radiation in the shock-amplified magnetic fields and inverse Compton scattering against optical photons from the supernova. These processes produce different signatures in the radio and X-ray parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Observed together, they allow us to break the degeneracy between shock acceleration and magnetic field amplification. In this work, we use X-rays observations from the Chandra and radio observations from the Australia Telescope Compact Array to study the relative importance of processes which accelerate particles and those which amplify magnetic fields in producing the non-thermal radiation from SN 2011ja. We use radio observations to constrain the explosion date. Multiple Chandra observations allow us to probe the history of variable mass loss from the progenitor. The ejecta expands into a low-density bubble followed by interaction with a higher density wind from a red supergiant consistent with M{sub ZAMS} {approx}> 12 M{sub Sun }. Our results suggest that a fraction of Type IIP supernovae may interact with circumstellar media set up by non-steady winds.

  11. A circumstellar molecular gas structure associated with the massive young star Cepheus A-HW 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Torrelles, Jose M.; Rodriguez, Luis F.; Canto, Jorge; Ho, Paul T. P.

    1993-01-01

    We report the detection via VLA-D observations of ammonia of a circumstellar high-density molecular gas structure toward the massive young star related to the object Cepheus A-HW 2, a firm candidate for the powering source of the high-velocity molecular outflow in the region. We suggest that the circumstellar molecular gas structure could be related to the circumstellar disk previously suggested from infrared, H2O, and OH maser observations. We consider as a plausible scenario that the double radio continuum source of HW 2 could represent the ionized inner part of the circumstellar disk, in the same way as proposed to explain the double radio source in L1551. The observed motions in the circumstellar molecular gas can be produced by bound motions (e.g., infall or rotation) around a central mass of about 10-20 solar masses (B0.5 V star or earlier).

  12. [Smoking habits in chronic schizophrenics].

    PubMed

    Fukui, K; Kobayashi, T; Hayakawa, S; Koga, E; Okazaki, S; Kawashima, Y; Kawakami, F; Fukui, Y; Tani, N; Kato, A

    1995-12-01

    The smoking habits of 48 chronic schizophrenics who were inpatients of private psychiatric were examined. Subjects were divided into three groups; non-smokers, moderate smokers and heavy smokers, and tested by Fagerstrom's Tolerance Questionnaire (FTQ) as a tobacco dependence evaluation, and Bender Gestalt Test (BGT) and Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT) as a neuropsychological battery. In addition, we used the Scales for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) to evaluate the degree of schizophrenic negative symptoms, confirming the correlation between SANS score and the amount of nicotine intake or FTQ item. From the results of FTQ scores and their correlation with SANS scores, the amount of nicotine intake was significantly related to the severity of schizophrenic negative symptoms including affective blunting, poverty of thinking and attention impairment. BGT and BVRT showed disturbances in visual-motor gestalt function, and attention and memory, in chronic schizophrenics who smoked, especially in heavy smokers. These results suggest that smoking behavior in chronic schizophrenics might increase the individual vigilance against negative symptoms, from the perspective of self-medication. PMID:8588752

  13. Diapering habits: a global perspective.

    PubMed

    Thaman, Lauren A; Eichenfield, Lawrence F

    2014-11-01

    There are tremendous variations in diapering practices, reflecting varying cultural practices and regional difference. Around the world, more than 134 million babies are born each year, a rate of 255 births per minute or 4.3 births each second. While global population growth has been steadily declining from its peak in 1963, several regions, including the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, continue to maintain high birth rates. Though the essential needs of infants are largely similar, family habits and practices during early years of life vary dramatically. This article surveys data documenting variations in diaper frequency, types, and duration of use internationally, including age of toilet training. These factors may influence diaper rash and skin health of infants and young children. Much of this data was collected as part of analysis of the international commercial diaper market, evaluated and organized as part of an international initiative on Global Infant Skin Care, and presented to a panel of experts for critique and commentary in a symposium held in December, 2013. PMID:25403934

  14. Procrastination You Can Change Your Habits

    E-print Network

    Kunkle, Tom

    Procrastination You Can Change Your Habits When I hear myself saying... I can make a change by the Center for Student Learning and making a study skills appointment Realizing that I procrastinate.__________________________________________________________________________________ 2.__________________________________________________________________________________ Procrastination

  15. Setting the stage for habitable planets.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Development of the Eating Habits Questionnaire 

    E-print Network

    Graham, Erin Collins

    2005-02-17

    The purpose of the studies presented was to develop and examine the psychometric properties of the Eating Habits Questionnaire (EHQ). The author designed the 21-item self-report inventory to assess cognitions, behaviors, and feelings related...

  17. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Genetic influences on adolescent eating habits.

    PubMed

    Beaver, Kevin M; Flores, Tori; Boutwell, Brian B; Gibson, Chris L

    2012-04-01

    Behavioral genetic research shows that variation in eating habits and food consumption is due to genetic and environmental factors. The current study extends this line of research by examining the genetic contribution to adolescent eating habits. Analysis of sibling pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) revealed significant genetic influences on variance in an unhealthy eating habits scale (h(2) = .42), a healthy eating habits scale (h(2) = .51), the number of meals eaten at a fast-food restaurant (h(2) = .33), and the total number of meals eaten per week (h(2) = .26). Most of the remaining variance was due to nonshared environmental factors. Additional analyses conducted separately for males and females revealed a similar pattern of findings. The authors note the limitations of the study and offer suggestions for future research. PMID:21750320

  19. Teaching Your Child Healthy Hair Care Habits

    MedlinePLUS

    ... hair-care habits. Wet hair and scalp with warm water. Shampoo works best on wet heads and hair. ... leading to unhealthy looking hair. Rinse well with warm water until the hair is suds-free. Rinsing well ...

  20. An evaluation of Skylab habitability hardware

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stokes, J.

    1974-01-01

    For effective mission performance, participants in space missions lasting 30-60 days or longer must be provided with hardware to accommodate their personal needs. Such habitability hardware was provided on Skylab. Equipment defined as habitability hardware was that equipment composing the food system, water system, sleep system, waste management system, personal hygiene system, trash management system, and entertainment equipment. Equipment not specifically defined as habitability hardware but which served that function were the Wardroom window, the exercise equipment, and the intercom system, which was occasionally used for private communications. All Skylab habitability hardware generally functioned as intended for the three missions, and most items could be considered as adequate concepts for future flights of similar duration. Specific components were criticized for their shortcomings.

  1. Investigating habits: strategies, technologies and models

    E-print Network

    Smith, Kyle S.

    Understanding habits at a biological level requires a combination of behavioral observations and measures of ongoing neural activity. Theoretical frameworks as well as definitions of habitual behaviors emerging from classic ...

  2. Habitable piers : an alternative for urban expansion

    E-print Network

    Lin, Chin Yuan, M. Arch. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    1990-01-01

    This thesis is an investigation into an alternative way of urban expansion for a seaside community. This thesis proposes a habitable urban environment on the water by creating for an exchange between the built urban landscape ...

  3. Make the High School Library a "Habit" for Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowling, Barbara L.

    2012-01-01

    How long does it take to form a habit? Recent research done at the University College London by Phillippa Lally and colleagues suggest it takes an average of sixty-six days to form a new habit. Other research indicates that rewards make habits easier to form, but it takes repetition to form a habit. A literature review conducted for Pearson…

  4. Dynamics of exoplanetary systems, links to their habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolmont, E.; Raymond, S. N.; Selsis, F.

    2014-12-01

    Our knowledge of planets' orbital dynamics, which was based on Solar System studies, has been challenged by the diversity of exoplanetary systems. Around cool and ultra cool dwarfs, the influence of tides on the orbital and spin evolution of planets can strongly affect their climate and their capacity to host surface liquid water. We illustrate the role of tides and dynamics with the extreme case of planets orbiting around brown dwarfs. In multiple planet systems, the eccentricity is excited by planet-planet interactions. Planets are therefore heated up from the inside by the tidally-induced friction. This process can heat a habitable zone planet to such a level that surface liquid water cannot exist. We also talk about the newly discovered potentially habitable Earth-sized planet Kepler-186f. Given the poorly estimated age of the system, the planet could still be evolving towards synchronization and have a high obliquity or be pseudo-synchronized with a zero obliquity. These two configurations would have a different effect on the climate of this planet.

  5. A Model of Habitability Within the Milky Way Galaxy

    E-print Network

    Gowanlock, Michael G; McConnell, Sabine M

    2011-01-01

    We present a model of the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ), described in terms of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the Galaxy that may favour the development of complex life. The Milky Way galaxy is modelled using a computational approach by populating stars and their planetary systems on an individual basis using Monte-Carlo methods. We begin with well-established properties of the disk of the Milky Way, such as the stellar number density distribution, the initial mass function, the star formation history, and the metallicity gradient as a function of radial position and time. We vary some of these properties, creating four models to test the sensitivity of our assumptions. To assess habitability on the Galactic scale, we model supernova rates, planet formation, and the time required for complex life to evolve. Our study improves on other literature on the GHZ by populating stars on an individual basis and by modelling SNII and SNIa sterilizations by selecting their progenitors from within this preexistin...

  6. Investigating habits: strategies, technologies and models

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kyle S.; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding habits at a biological level requires a combination of behavioral observations and measures of ongoing neural activity. Theoretical frameworks as well as definitions of habitual behaviors emerging from classic behavioral research have been enriched by new approaches taking account of the identification of brain regions and circuits related to habitual behavior. Together, this combination of experimental and theoretical work has provided key insights into how brain circuits underlying action-learning and action-selection are organized, and how a balance between behavioral flexibility and fixity is achieved. New methods to monitor and manipulate neural activity in real time are allowing us to have a first look “under the hood” of a habit as it is formed and expressed. Here we discuss ideas emerging from such approaches. We pay special attention to the unexpected findings that have arisen from our own experiments suggesting that habitual behaviors likely require the simultaneous activity of multiple distinct components, or operators, seen as responsible for the contrasting dynamics of neural activity in both cortico-limbic and sensorimotor circuits recorded concurrently during different stages of habit learning. The neural dynamics identified thus far do not fully meet expectations derived from traditional models of the structure of habits, and the behavioral measures of habits that we have made also are not fully aligned with these models. We explore these new clues as opportunities to refine an understanding of habits. PMID:24574988

  7. Habitable worlds with no signs of life

    PubMed Central

    Cockell, Charles S.

    2014-01-01

    ‘Most habitable worlds in the cosmos will have no remotely detectable signs of life’ is proposed as a biological hypothesis to be tested in the study of exoplanets. Habitable planets could be discovered elsewhere in the Universe, yet there are many hypothetical scenarios whereby the search for life on them could yield negative results. Scenarios for habitable worlds with no remotely detectable signatures of life include: planets that are habitable, but have no biosphere (Uninhabited Habitable Worlds); planets with life, but lacking any detectable surface signatures of that life (laboratory examples are provided); and planets with life, where the concentrations of atmospheric gases produced or removed by biota are impossible to disentangle from abiotic processes because of the lack of detailed knowledge of planetary conditions (the ‘problem of exoplanet thermodynamic uncertainty’). A rejection of the hypothesis would require that the origin of life usually occurs on habitable planets, that spectrally detectable pigments and/or metabolisms that produce unequivocal biosignature gases (e.g. oxygenic photosynthesis) usually evolve and that the organisms that harbour them usually achieve a sufficient biomass to produce biosignatures detectable to alien astronomers. PMID:24664917

  8. Habitable worlds with no signs of life.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-04-28

    'Most habitable worlds in the cosmos will have no remotely detectable signs of life' is proposed as a biological hypothesis to be tested in the study of exoplanets. Habitable planets could be discovered elsewhere in the Universe, yet there are many hypothetical scenarios whereby the search for life on them could yield negative results. Scenarios for habitable worlds with no remotely detectable signatures of life include: planets that are habitable, but have no biosphere (Uninhabited Habitable Worlds); planets with life, but lacking any detectable surface signatures of that life (laboratory examples are provided); and planets with life, where the concentrations of atmospheric gases produced or removed by biota are impossible to disentangle from abiotic processes because of the lack of detailed knowledge of planetary conditions (the 'problem of exoplanet thermodynamic uncertainty'). A rejection of the hypothesis would require that the origin of life usually occurs on habitable planets, that spectrally detectable pigments and/or metabolisms that produce unequivocal biosignature gases (e.g. oxygenic photosynthesis) usually evolve and that the organisms that harbour them usually achieve a sufficient biomass to produce biosignatures detectable to alien astronomers. PMID:24664917

  9. Design Considerations: Falcon M Dwarf Habitable Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polsgrove, Daniel; Novotny, Steven; Della-Rose, Devin J.; Chun, Francis; Tippets, Roger; O'Shea, Patrick; Miller, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is an assemblage of twelve automated 20-inch telescopes positioned around the globe, controlled from the Cadet Space Operations Center (CSOC) at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Five of the 12 sites are currently installed, with full operational capability expected by the end of 2016. Though optimized for studying near-earth objects to accomplish its primary mission of Space Situational Awareness (SSA), the Falcon telescopes are in many ways similar to those used by ongoing and planned exoplanet transit surveys targeting individual M dwarf stars (e.g., MEarth, APACHE, SPECULOOS). The network's worldwide geographic distribution provides additional potential advantages. We have performed analytical and empirical studies exploring the viability of employing the FTN for a future survey of nearby late-type M dwarfs tailored to detect transits of 1-2REarth exoplanets in habitable-zone orbits . We present empirical results on photometric precision derived from data collected with multiple Falcon telescopes on a set of nearby (< 25 pc) M dwarfs using infrared filters and a range of exposure times, as well as sample light curves created from images gathered during known transits of varying transit depths. An investigation of survey design parameters is also described, including an analysis of site-specific weather data, anticipated telescope time allocation and the percentage of nearby M dwarfs with sufficient check stars within the Falcons' 11' x 11' field-of-view required to perform effective differential photometry. The results of this ongoing effort will inform the likelihood of discovering one (or more) habitable-zone exoplanets given current occurrence rate estimates over a nominal five-year campaign, and will dictate specific survey design features in preparation for initiating project execution when the FTN begins full-scale automated operations.

  10. The Mineralogy of Circumstellar Silicates Preserved in Cometary Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, L. P.; Messenger, S.

    2010-01-01

    Interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) contain a record of the building blocks of the solar system including presolar grains, molecular cloud material, and materials formed in the early solar nebula. Cometary IDPs have remained relatively unaltered since their accretion because of the lack of parent body thermal and aqueous alteration. We are using coordinated transmission electron microscope (TEM) and ion microprobe studies to establish the origins of the various components within cometary IDPs. Of particular interest is the nature and abundance of presolar silicates in these particles because astronomical observations suggest that crystalline and amorphous silicates are the dominant grain types produced in young main sequence stars and evolved O-rich stars. Five circumstellar grains have been identified including three amorphous silicate grains and two polycrystalline aggregates. All of these grains are between 0.2 and 0.5 micrometers in size. The isotopic compositions of all five presolar silicate grains fall within the range of presolar oxides and silicates, having large (17)O-enrichments and normal (18)O/(16)O ratios (Group 1 grains from AGB and RG stars). The amorphous silicates are chemically heterogeneous and contain nanophase FeNi metal and FeS grains in a Mg-silicate matrix. Two of the amorphous silicate grains are aggregates with subgrains showing variable Mg/Si ratios in chemical maps. The polycrystalline grains show annealed textures (equilibrium grains boundaries, uniform Mg/Fe ratios), and consist of 50-100 nm enstatite and pyrrhotite grains with lesser forsterite. One of the polycrystalline aggregates contains a subgrain of diopside. The polycrystalline aggregates form by subsolidus annealing of amorphous precursors. The bulk compositions of the five grains span a wide range in Mg/Si ratios from 0.4 to 1.2 (avg. 0.86). The average Fe/Si (0.40) and S/Si (0.21) ratios show a much narrower range of values and are approximately 50% of their solar abundances. The latter observation may indicate a decoupling of the silicate and sulfide components in grains that condense in stellar outflows. The amorphous silicate grains described here were not extensively affected by irradiation, sputtering, or thermal processing and may represent relatively pristine circumstellar grains. They are strong candidates for the "dirty silicates" in astronomical observations of circumstellar dust shells. The polycrystalline grains were originally amorphous silicate grains that were likely annealed in the early solar nebula but the processing was not sufficient to erase their anomalous oxygen isotopic compositions.

  11. Accessing Surface and Subsurface Habitable Environments of Ancient Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustard, J. F.

    2014-12-01

    The martian Curiosity rover has characterized the Yellowknife Bay region as habitable based on the presence of sedimentary rocks, the array of elements essential to supporting life (CHNOPS), and indications of hydrologic activity either as a shallow stream bed or intermittently wet lake bed. However as an ancient site this surface was challenging for sustained habitability due to the radiation environment and unknown persistence of water. In contrast the shallow subsurface was potentially a longer lived environment sheltered from the harsh surface conditions. Yet our knowledge of subsurface environments is limited. Did the ancient subsurface of Mars encompass the full range of factors needed for habitability, what is the evidence for this, and was this preserved in the geologic record? Syntheses of global 0.4-5.0 ?m spectroscopic observations from high (19 m/pixel CRISM) to moderate (1 km/pixel OMEGA) resolution VNIR data show diverse assemblages of aqueous minerals. The most common environment observed from orbit is a subsurface hydrothermal-type environment accounting for more than 70% of observed sites with hydrated silicates. The dominant hydrated mineral phase is smectite clay, implying a moderate pH environment and a thermal environmental <350°C. The heat source to drive hydrothermal systems could be crustal cooling following planet formation, conductive heat flow from the mantle, impact generated heat pulses, deuteric alteration and magmatism. Evidence of relatively rapid cooling of the crust after formation perhaps by hydrothermal circulation is provided by ancient topography preserved by a rigid crust. Exhumation of Noachian-aged phyllosilicate-rich terrains reveal abundant linear ridges resistant to erosion interpreted to be mineralized fraction zones in regional hydrothermal systems. The proposed landing site in Northeast Syrtis provides excellent access to both surface (Late Noachian fluvial systems with standing bodies of water) and subsurface (mineralized fracture zones) environments in an energy-rich setting (olivine-serpentine-magnesite mineral assemblages) I will synthesize these and new observations to assess the knowledge of subsurface environments and the relationship to surface environments in the Nili Fossae region and its prospects a landing site for Mars 2020.

  12. Hydrocarbon anions in interstellar clouds and circumstellar envelopes

    E-print Network

    T. J. Millar; C. Walsh; M. A. Cordiner; R. Ní Chuimín; Eric Herbst

    2007-05-07

    The recent detection of the hydrocarbon anion C6H- in the interstellar medium has led us to investigate the synthesis of hydrocarbon anions in a variety of interstellar and circumstellar environments. We find that the anion/neutral abundance ratio can be quite large, on the order of at least a few percent, once the neutral has more than five carbon atoms. Detailed modeling shows that the column densities of C6H- observed in IRC+10216 and TMC-1 can be reproduced. Our calculations also predict that other hydrocarbon anions, such as C4H- and C8H-, are viable candidates for detection in IRC+10216, TMC-1 and photon-dominated regions such as the Horsehead Nebula.

  13. Circumstellar and Circumbinary Disks in Eccentric Stellar Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguilar, L. A.; Pichardo, B. S.; Sparke, L. S.

    2008-12-01

    We study the existence of stable trajectories, where gas could accumulate to form accretion discs, around stars that form binary systems in eccentric orbits. Since the potential is time dependent, no fixed, periodic, close orbits exist. Instead, we search for invariant loops: closed curves that change shape in synchronism with the binary orbital phase. Non-intersecting loops can provide the scaffolding for circumstellar and circumbinary discs in these systems. We investigate the range of regions in phase space where these non-intersecting loops can exist and find this to depend on both, the mass ratio of the stars and their orbital eccentricity, with a strong dependence on the latter. The recent discovery of planets within close binary systems makes this work very relevant.

  14. Archival Legacy Investigation of Circumstellar Environments (ALICE). Survey results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soummer, Remi; Choquet, Elodie; Pueyo, Laurent; Brendan Hagan, J.; Gofas-Salas, Elena; Rajan, Abhijith; Chen, Christine; Perrin, Marshall D.; Debes, John H.; Golimowski, David A.; Hines, Dean C.; N'Diaye, Mamadou; Schneider, Glenn; Mawet, Dimitri; Marois, Christian

    2016-01-01

    We report on the status of the ALICE project (Archival Legacy Investigation of Circumstellar Environments. HST/AR-12652), which consists in a consistent reanalysis of the entire HST-NICMOS coronagraphic archive with advanced post-processing techniques. Over the last two years, we have developed a sophisticated pipeline able to handle the data of the 400 stars of the archive. We present the results of the overall reduction campaign and discuss the first statistical analysis of the candidate detections. As we will deliver high-level science products to the STScI MAST archive, we are defining a new standard format for high-contrast science products, which will be compatible with every new high-contrast imaging instrument and used by the JWST coronagraphs. We present here an update and overview of the specifications of this standard.

  15. The Observation of Circumstellar Disks: Dust and Gas Components

    E-print Network

    Anne Dutrey; Alain Lecavelier des Etangs; Jean-Charles Augereau

    2004-04-08

    Since the 1990's, protoplanetary disks and planetary disks have been intensively observed from the optical to the millimetre wavelength and many models have been developed to investigate their gas and dust properties and dynamics. These studies remain empirical and rely on poor statistics with only a few well known objects. However, the late phases of the stellar formation are among the most critical for the formation of planetary systems. Therefore, we believe it is timely to tentatively summarize the observed properties of circumstellar disks around young stars from the protoplanetary to the planetary phases. Our main concern is to present the physical properties considered as observationally robust and to show their main physical differences associated to an evolutionary scheme. We also describe areas still poorly understood such as how protoplanetary disks disappear to lead to planetary disks and eventually planets.

  16. The Circumstellar Disk of HD 141569 Imaged with NICMOS.

    PubMed

    Weinberger; Becklin; Schneider; Smith; Lowrance; Silverstone; Zuckerman; Terrile

    1999-11-01

    Coronagraphic imaging with the Near-Infrared Camera and Multiobject Spectrometer on the Hubble Space Telescope reveals a large, approximately 400 AU (4&arcsec;) radius, circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 141569. A reflected light image at 1.1 µm shows the disk oriented at a position angle of 356&j0;+/-5&j0; and inclined to our line of sight by 51&j0;+/-3&j0;; the intrinsic scattering function of the dust in the disk makes the side inclined toward us, the eastern side, brighter. The disk flux density peaks 185 AU (1&farcs;85) from the star and falls off to both larger and smaller radii. A region of depleted material, or a gap, in the disk is centered 250 AU from the star. The dynamical effect of one or more planets may be necessary to explain this morphology. PMID:10511512

  17. Infrared observations of circumstellar ammonia in OH/IR supergiants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

    Ammonia has been detected in the circumstellar envelopes of VY Canis Majoris, VX Sagittarii, and IRC +10420 by means of several absorption lines in the nu-2 vibration-rotation band near 950 kaysers. The line profiles are well resolved (0.2 km/sec resolution) and show the gas being accelerated to terminal expansion velocities near 30 km/sec. The observations reveal a method for determining the position of the central star on VLBI maps of OH maser emission to an accuracy of approximately 0.2 arcsec. A firm lower limit of 2 x 10 to the 15th/sq cm is obtained for the NH3 column density in VY Canis Majoris.

  18. Low R_v from circumstellar dust around supernovae

    E-print Network

    Goobar, Ariel

    2008-01-01

    The effective extinction law for supernovae surrounded by circumstellar dust is examined by Monte-Carlo simulations. Grains with light scattering properties as for interstellar dust in the Milky-Way (MW) or the Large Magellanic Clouds (LMC), but surrounding the explosion site would cause a semi-diffusive propagation of light up to the edge of the dust shell. Multiple scattering of photons predominantly attenuates photons with shorter wavelengths, thus steepening the effective extinction law as compared to the case of single scattering in the interstellar medium. Our simulations yield typical values for the total to selective extinction ratio $R_V\\sim 1.5-2.5$, as seen in recent studies of Type Ia supernova colors, with further stiffening differential extinction toward the near-UV.

  19. An interferometric view on binarity and circumstellar envelopes of Cepheids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallenne, A.; Kervella, P.; Mérand, A.; Monnier, J. D.; Breitfleder, J.; Pietrzy?ski, G.; Gieren, W.

    2014-02-01

    Optical interferometry is the only technique giving access to milli-arcsecond (mas) resolution at infrared wavelengths. For Cepheids, this is a powerful and unique tool to detect the orbiting companions and the circumstellar envelopes (CSE). CSEs are interesting because they might be used to trace the Cepheid evolution history, and more particularly they could impact the distance scale. Cepheids belonging to binary systems offer an unique opportunity to make progress in resolving the Cepheid mass discrepancy. The combination of spectroscopic and interferometric measurements will allow us to derive the orbital elements, distances, and dynamical masses. Here we focus on recent results using 2- to 6-telescopes beam combiners for the Cepheids X Sgr, T Mon and V1334 Cyg.

  20. Molecular ions in the circumstellar envelope of IRC + 10216

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glassgold, A. E.; Lucas, R.; Omont, A.

    1986-01-01

    Assuming a steady and spherically symmetric mass loss, the spatial distribution of the ionization in a C-rich circumstellar envelope (CSE) is calculated, and it is shown that molecular ions dominate the ionization and chemistry of a large part of the CSE. Cosmic ray ionization of molecular hydrogen yields H3(+), and the photoionization of acetylene and neutral carbon yields C2H2(+) and C(+). In the system, the primary ions generate a series of heavier molecular ions by reactions with neutral molecules before being destroyed by dissociative recombination. The most promising candidate for mm-wavelength detection is found to be HCO(+), and IRC + 10216 antenna temperatures are calculated for different telescope sizes. Photoproduced C2H2(+), the most abundant intermediate distance CSE ion, may be responsible for the synthesis of various heavy hydrocarbon molecules at levels observed in IRC + 10216.

  1. Omicron Aquarii: Numerical Analysis of the Circumstellar Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, Brian; Tycner, C.; Sigut, T. A.; Lembryk, L.; Zavala, R. T.

    2014-01-01

    We present the results of a study of the circumstellar disk surrounding the star Omicron Aquarii, where numerical disk models are compared to the spectroscopic and the interferometric data collected using the Solar Stellar Spectrograph at the Lowell Observatory’s John S. Hall telescope and the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer, respectively. The numerical analysis is based on a quantitative comparison between the Fourier Transform of the synthetic images computed with BEDISK code of Sigut and Jones (2007, ApJ, 668, 481) and the squared visibility data obtained at the NPOI. We also demonstrate how the model dependent synthetic spectrum can be directly constrained by the observed spectrum of the H-alpha emission line. The complementary spectroscopic and interferometric constraints allow for more accurate determination of the density and temperature structure of the disk, including an inclination angle of the disk with respect to the line-of-sight.

  2. A New Look at Habits and the Habit-Goal Interface

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Wendy; Neal, David T.

    2007-01-01

    The present model outlines the mechanisms underlying habitual control of responding and the ways in which habits interface with goals. Habits emerge from the gradual learning of associations between responses and the features of performance contexts that have historically covaried with them (e.g., physical settings, preceding actions). Once a…

  3. Habitability of the Goldilocks planet Gliese 581g: results from geodynamic models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

    Aims: In 2010, detailed observations have been published that seem to indicate another super-Earth planet in the system of Gliese 581, which is located in the midst of the stellar climatological habitable zone. The mass of the planet, known as Gl 581g, has been estimated to be between 3.1 and 4.3 M?. In this study, we investigate the habitability of Gl 581g based on a previously used concept that explores its long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production, which has already been used to gauge the principal possibility of life regarding the super-Earths Gl 581c and Gl 581d. Methods: A thermal evolution model for super-Earths is used to calculate the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The habitable zone is determined by the limits of photosynthetic biological productivity on the planetary surface. Models with different ratios of land/ocean coverage are pursued. Results: The maximum time span for habitable conditions is attained for water worlds at a position of about 0.14 ± 0.015 AU, which deviates by just a few percent (depending on the adopted stellar luminosity) from the actual position of Gl 581g, an estimate that does however not reflect systematic uncertainties inherent in our model. Therefore, in the framework of our model an almost perfect Goldilock position is realized. The existence of habitability is found to critically depend on the relative planetary continental area, lending a considerable advantage to the possibility of life if Gl 581g's ocean coverage is relatively high. Conclusions: Our results are another step toward identifying the possibility of life beyond the Solar System, especially concerning super-Earth planets, which appear to be more abundant than previously surmised.

  4. Circumstellar disks revealed by H/K flux variation gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozo Nuñez, F.; Haas, M.; Chini, R.; Ramolla, M.; Westhues, C.; Hodapp, K.-W.

    2015-06-01

    The variability of young stellar objects (YSO) changes their brightness and color preventing a proper classification in traditional color-color and color magnitude diagrams. We have explored the feasibility of the flux variation gradient (FVG) method for YSOs, using H and K band monitoring data of the star forming region RCW 38 obtained at the University Observatory Bochum in Chile. Simultaneous multi-epoch flux measurements follow a linear relation FH = ? + ?·FK for almost all YSOs with large variability amplitude. The slope ? gives the mean HK color temperature Tvar of the varying component. Because Tvar is hotter than the dust sublimation temperature, we have tentatively assigned it to stellar variations. If the gradient does not meet the origin of the flux-flux diagram, an additional non- or less-varying component may be required. If the variability amplitude is larger at the shorter wavelength, e.g. ?< 0, this component is cooler than the star (e.g. a circumstellar disk); vice versa, if ?> 0, the component is hotter like a scattering halo or even a companion star. We here present examples of two YSOs, where the HK FVG implies the presence of a circumstellar disk; this finding is consistent with additional data at J and L. One YSO shows a clear K-band excess in the JHK color-color diagram, while the significance of a K-excess in the other YSO depends on the measurement epoch. Disentangling the contributions of star and disk it turns out that the two YSOs have huge variability amplitudes (~3-5 mag). The HK FVG analysis is a powerful complementary tool to analyze the varying components of YSOs and worth further exploration of monitoring data at other wavelengths.

  5. Size distributions of dust in circumstellar debris discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krivov, A. V.; Mann, I.; Krivova, N. A.

    2000-10-01

    The size distribution of particles in a dust disc is determined by, and holds the key to, sources, sinks and dynamics of grains. Here we derive the size distribution in circumstellar debris discs, exemplified by the disc of begin {equation}ta Pictoris, by modelling the dynamical evolution of the circumstellar dust, dominated by collisions. The whole disc is considered as consisting of two dust populations: larger grains moving in bound orbits (alpha -meteoroids) and smaller ones blown away by radiation pressure (begin {equation}ta-meteoroids). Although begin {equation}ta-meteoroids leave the disc in hyperbolic trajectories, they are continuously replenished by collisions, so that at any time the disc contains a substantial population of small particles. As a consequence, the fragmentation of alpha -meteoroids not only by mutual collisions, but also by impacts of begin {equation}ta-meteoroids becomes significant. This flattens the distribution of alpha -meteoroids in the size regime adjacent to the blow-out limit and shifts the cross section-dominating sizes from a few micrometres to ga 10 mum . The overall distribution shows essentially three different slopes: steeper ones for both begin {equation}ta-meteoroids and large alpha -meteoroids and a gentler one for alpha -meteoroids with sizes just above the blow-out limit. This resembles the size distribution of interplanetary dust particles in the Solar system which, however, is shaped by different mechanisms. The basic features of the modelled size distribution (the presence of a substantial population of small hyperbolic particles in the disc, the dominance of grains ~ 10 mum in size) well agree with the observational data available. Although particular calculations were made for the begin {equation}ta Pic disc, our basic qualitative conclusions directly apply to the debris discs around other Vega-type stars with low gas contents and similar or somewhat lower optical depths.

  6. Bimodality of Circumstellar Disk Evolution Induced by the Hall Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsukamoto, Y.; Iwasaki, K.; Okuzumi, S.; Machida, M. N.; Inutsuka, S.

    2015-09-01

    The formation process of circumstellar disks is still controversial because of the interplay of complex physical processes that occurs during the gravitational collapse of prestellar cores. In this study, we investigate the effect of the Hall current term on the formation of the circumstellar disk using three-dimensional simulations. In our simulations, all non-ideal effects, as well as the radiation transfer, are considered. The size of the disk is significantly affected by a simple difference in the inherent properties of the prestellar core, namely whether the rotation vector and the magnetic field are parallel or anti-parallel. In the former case, only a very small disk (\\lt 1 {AU}) is formed. On the other hand, in the latter case, a massive and large (\\gt 20 {AU}) disk is formed in the early phase of protostar formation. Since the parallel and anti-parallel properties do not readily change, we expect that the parallel and anti-parallel properties are also important in the subsequent disk evolution and the difference between the two cases is maintained or enhanced. This result suggests that the disk size distribution of the Class 0 young stellar objects is bimodal. Thus, the disk evolution can be categorized into two cases and we may call the parallel and anti-parallel systems Ortho-disk and Para-disk, respectively. We also show that the anti-rotating envelopes against the disk rotation appear with a size of ? 200 {AU}. We predict that the anti-rotating envelope will be found in the future observations.

  7. TIDALLY INDUCED BROWN DWARF AND PLANET FORMATION IN CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Thies, Ingo; Kroupa, Pavel; Goodwin, Simon P.; Stamatellos, Dimitrios; Whitworth, Anthony P.

    2010-07-01

    Most stars are born in clusters and the resulting gravitational interactions between cluster members may significantly affect the evolution of circumstellar disks and therefore the formation of planets and brown dwarfs (BDs). Recent findings suggest that tidal perturbations of typical circumstellar disks due to close encounters may inhibit rather than trigger disk fragmentation and so would seem to rule out planet formation by external tidal stimuli. However, the disk models in these calculations were restricted to disk radii of 40 AU and disk masses below 0.1 M{sub sun}. Here, we show that even modest encounters can trigger fragmentation around 100 AU in the sorts of massive ({approx}0.5 M{sub sun}), extended ({>=}100 AU) disks that are observed around young stars. Tidal perturbation alone can do this; no disk-disk collision is required. We also show that very low mass binary systems can form through the interaction of objects in the disk. In our computations, otherwise non-fragmenting massive disks, once perturbed, fragment into several objects between about 0.01 and 0.1 M{sub sun}, i.e., over the whole BD mass range. Typically, these orbit on highly eccentric orbits or are even ejected. While probably not suitable for the formation of Jupiter- or Neptune-type planets, our scenario provides a possible formation mechanism for BDs and very massive planets which, interestingly, leads to a mass distribution consistent with the canonical substellar initial mass function. As a minor outcome, a possible explanation for the origin of misaligned extrasolar planetary systems is discussed.

  8. The Search for Habitable Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latham, David W.

    2013-06-01

    We live at a very special time in the history of astronomy. We are poised to discover and characterizes exoplanets enough like the Earth that we can imagine life as we know it could arise and be comfortable. We are seeking rocky planets at the right distances from their host stars for water to be liquid on the surface, and with a secondary atmosphere that might even show evidence for biogenic gases. Transiting planets are where the present action is, because they can provide masses and radii for planets, and thus the bulk properties such as density and surface gravity that constrain our models of their interior structure and composition. Are they ice giants like Uranus and Neptune, or rocky worlds like the terrestrial planets, or maybe something in between with lots of water or extended atmospheres of hydrogen and helium? NASA's Kepler mission has provided lots of small planet candidates, but the bottleneck for characterizing them is the ultra-precise radial velocities needed for confirming and characterizing the planets with mass determinations. HARPS-N has recently come into operation at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo on La Palma and is now contributing to the follow up of Kepler candidates, but we need better ways to correct for astrophysical effects that distort the radial velocities, and still better velocity precision if we hope to reach the level of 9 cm/s induced by a true Earth twin in a one-year orbit around a star like the Sun. Kepler looks at only one four hundreth of the sky. We need all-sky surveys for transiting planets to find the nearest and brightest examples for radial-velocity follow up and studies of planetary atmospheres with missions like the James Webb Space Telescope and G-CLEF spectrograph on the Giant Magellan Telescope. Our long-range goal is to see if the atmospheres of any potentially habitable planets actually show evidence for biogenic gases that have been produced in large enough quantities to impact the biosphere and be detected remotely. If we detect spectroscopic biomarkers that can only be present if they are continually replenished by life, then we can point at that star and speculate that we may not be alone in the universe.

  9. Kinematics of the circumstellar gas of HL Tauri and R Monocerotis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sargent, Anneila I.; Beckwith, Steven

    1987-12-01

    The authors present interferometric observations of 13CO emission from HL Tau and R Mon. The data permit quantitative determinations of the column density, mass, and dimensions of the circumstellar gas around each object. Simultaneous measurements of the 2.7 mm continuum emission allow an investigation of the circumstellar dust at high spatial resolution, furnishing a secondary probe of the circumstellar mass. Kinematic analysis of the weak, extended, molecular emission detected around both objects is consistent with the hypothesis that the gas orbits the stars in bound disks.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    The environmental signatures for habitability are not necessarily biosignatures, even though on Earth, they are definitive proof of habitability. It is the constant overprint of the chemical signatures of life that makes it difficult to recognize the chemical and physical properties of a potentially habitable environment as distinct from an inhabited one. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will soon embark on a mission to Mars to assess its past or present habitability, so it is useful to examine how we measure habitability on Earth and prepare for how that approach may differ for Mars. This exercise includes: (a) articulation of fundamental assumptions about habitability, (b) an inventory of factors that affect habitability, (c) development of metrics, measurement approach and implementation, and (d) a new classification scheme for planetary habitability that goes beyond the binary "yes" or "no." There may be dozens of factors that affect habitability and they can be weighted as a function of specific environment. However a robotic, in situ investigation even on Earth has constraints that prevent the measurement of every environmental factor, so metrics must be reduced to the most relevant subset, given available time, cost, technical feasibility and scientific importance. Many of the factors could be measured with a combination of orbital data and the MSL payload. We propose that, at a minimum, a designation of high habitability potential requires the following conditions be met: (a) thermally stable with respect to extremes and frequency of fluctuation, (b) has more than one energy source, (c) sufficient chemical diversity to make compounds with covalent and hydrogen bonding, (d) can moderate ionizing radiation enough to allow a stable or evolving pool of organic molecules, (e) must have water or other high quality polar solvent, (f) must be able to renew chemical resources (e.g., plate tectonics, volcanism or something else we haven't envisioned). A measurement approach we have taken to measure habitability on Earth is : 1. Study remote sensing data, maps, etc. 2. Decide how big an area to measure. 3. Determine the spatial sampling rate. 4. Determine the temporal sampling rate. 5. Determine the order of measurements 6. Decide where to begin measurements 7. Select locations at field site and proceed While science drives each of the steps, there are additional constraints, e.g., technical, time, cost, safety (risk). This approach is also executable on Mars. Measurement of past habitability is more challenging both for Earth and Mars where access to the past means subsurface access and confrontation with unknowns about preservation of the martian past. Some environments preserve evidence of past habitability better than others, and this is where selection of the landing site to maximize the preservation potential of habitability indicators will be key. Mars presents an opportunity to discover transitional states between habitable or not, and we offer a ranking scale for planetary habitability with Mars as the second test subject: CLASS ONE Uninhabitable and likely has never been so CLASS TWO Has a high potential but no confirmed observation of life (as defined above) CLASS THREE Inhabited (we find life) 3-A Globally inhabited 3-B Primitive life; early in its evolution, but not yet globally established 3-C Exists only in refugia -- planet heading toward class four CLASS FOUR Post-habitable (there once was life, but now it's gone) MSL provides an opportunity to carefully investigate the habitability of at least one site on Mars and it will reveal much about the possible states of planetary habitability

  11. Deciphering spectral fingerprints of habitable exoplanets.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    We discuss how to read a planet's spectrum to assess its habitability and search for the signatures of a biosphere. After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have advanced to a level where we now have the capability to find planets of less than 10 Earth masses (M(Earth)) (so-called "super Earths"), which may be habitable. How can we characterize those planets and assess whether they are habitable? This new field of exoplanet search has shown an extraordinary capacity to combine research in astrophysics, chemistry, biology, and geophysics into a new and exciting interdisciplinary approach to understanding our place in the Universe. The results of a first-generation mission will most likely generate an amazing scope of diverse planets that will set planet formation, evolution, and our planet into an overall context. PMID:20307185

  12. How to Directly Image a Habitable Planet Around Alpha Centauri with a ~30cm Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belikov, Ruslan; Acend Team, Acesat Team

    2015-01-01

    Several mission concepts are being studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. Direct imaging enables spectroscopic detection of biomarkers such as atmospheric oxygen and methane, which would be highly suggestive of extraterrestrial life. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet requires telescopes with apertures of at least 1m, costing at least 1B, and launching no earlier than the 2020s.A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri (A and B), which is an extreme outlier among FGKM stars in terms of apparent habitable zone size. Specifically, Alpha Centauri habitable zones span about 0.5-1' in stellocentric angle, ~3x wider than around any other FGKM star. This enables a ~30cm visible light space telescope equipped with a modern high performance coronagraph or starshade to resolve the habitable zone at high contrast and directly image any potentially habitable planet that may exist in the system. Due to the extreme apparent brightness of the stars, exposure times can be as short as minutes with ideal components, or days with realistic ones. This makes it possible to do color photometry on potentially habitable planets sufficient to differentiate Venus-like, Earth-like, and Mars-like planets from each other and establish the presence of Earth-pressure atmosphere through Rayleigh scattering.The raw contrast requirements for such an instrument can be relaxed to 1e-8 if the mission spends 2 years collecting tens of thousands of images on the same target, enabling a factor of 500-1000 speckle suppression in post processing. The light leak from both stars is controllable with a special wavefront control algorithm known as Multi-Star Wavefront Control (MSWC), which independently suppresses diffraction and aberrations from both stars using independent modes on the deformable mirror (see Thomas et al. at this conference).The presentation will describe the general studies and calculations in more detail and briefly present examples of small coronagraphic mission concepts currently being developed to take advantage of this opportunity. (For more detail about one such concept, see Bendek et al. at this conference).

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

    Stable, hydrogen-burning, M dwarf stars make up about 75% of all stars in the Galaxy. They are extremely long-lived, and because they are much smaller in mass than the Sun (between 0.5 and 0.08 M(Sun)), their temperature and stellar luminosity are low and peaked in the red. We have re-examined what is known at present about the potential for a terrestrial planet forming within, or migrating into, the classic liquid-surface-water habitable zone close to an M dwarf star. Observations of protoplanetary disks suggest that planet-building materials are common around M dwarfs, but N-body simulations differ in their estimations of the likelihood of potentially habitable, wet planets that reside within their habitable zones, which are only about one-fifth to 1/50th of the width of that for a G star. Particularly in light of the claimed detection of the planets with masses as small as 5.5 and 7.5 M(Earth) orbiting M stars, there seems no reason to exclude the possibility of terrestrial planets. Tidally locked synchronous rotation within the narrow habitable zone does not necessarily lead to atmospheric collapse, and active stellar flaring may not be as much of an evolutionarily disadvantageous factor as has previously been supposed. We conclude that M dwarf stars may indeed be viable hosts for planets on which the origin and evolution of life can occur. A number of planetary processes such as cessation of geothermal activity or thermal and nonthermal atmospheric loss processes may limit the duration of planetary habitability to periods far shorter than the extreme lifetime of the M dwarf star. Nevertheless, it makes sense to include M dwarf stars in programs that seek to find habitable worlds and evidence of life. This paper presents the summary conclusions of an interdisciplinary workshop (http://mstars.seti.org) sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and convened at the SETI Institute. PMID:17407403

  14. Information systems - Issues in global habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, S. D.; Brass, J. A.; Jones, H.; Morse, D. R.

    1984-01-01

    The present investigation is concerned with fundamental issues, related to information considerations, which arise in an interdisciplinary approach to questions of global habitability. Information system problems and issues are illustrated with the aid of an example involving biochemical cycling and biochemical productivity. The estimation of net primary production (NPP) as an important consideration in the overall global habitability issue is discussed. The NPP model requires three types of data, related to meteorological information, a land surface inventory, and the vegetation structure. Approaches for obtaining and processing these data are discussed. Attention is given to user requirements, information system requirements, workstations, network communications, hardware/software access, and data management.

  15. Influence of habits on masons' blood cholesterol.

    PubMed

    Mallika, R; Prasad, N Rajendra; Pugalendi, K V

    2003-10-01

    Plasma total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, glucose and total protein were estimated in (male) masons without any habits (normal masons) and masons with habits (cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and betel-quid cum tobacco chewing) and compared with normal subjects. Masons had less total cholesterol and more HDL cholesterol when compared with normal subjects, which may be due to their occupational physical activities. Among masons, cigarette-smoking masons alone had more total cholesterol and less HDL cholesterol. Blood glucose also decreased in masons and more so in betel-quid cum tobacco chewing masons when compared with normal subjects while total protein content showed no variation. PMID:15266955

  16. Discovery of a Circumstellar Disk in the Lagoon Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-04-01

    Circumstellar disks of gas and dust play a crucial role in the formation of stars and planets. Until now, high-resolution images of such disks around young stars within the Orion Nebula obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) constituted the most direct proof of their existence. Now, another circumstellar disk has been detected around a star in the Lagoon Nebula - also known as Messier 8 (M8) , a giant complex of interstellar gas and dust with many young stars in the southern constellation of Sagittarius and four times more distant than the Orion Nebula. The observations were carried out by an international team of scientists led by Bringfried Stecklum (Thüringer Landessternwarte, Tautenburg, Germany) [1] who used telescopes located at the ESO La Silla observatory and also observations from the HST archive. These new results are paving the road towards exciting research programmes on star formation which will become possible with the ESO Very Large Telescope. The harsh environment of circumstellar disks The existence of circumstellar disks has been inferred from indirect measurements of young stellar objects, such as the spectral energy distribution, the analysis of the profiles of individual spectral lines and measurements of the polarisation of the emitted light [2]. Impressive images of such disks in the Orion Nebula, known as proplyds (PROto-PLanetarY DiskS), have been obtained by the HST during the recent years. They have confirmed the interpretation of previous ground-based emission-line observations and mapping by radio telescopes. Moreover, they demonstrated that those disks which are located close to hot and massive stars are subject to heating caused by the intense radiation from these stars. Subsequently, the disks evaporate releasing neutral gas which streams off. During this process, shock fronts (regions with increased density) with tails of ionised gas result at a certain distance between the disk and the hot star. These objects appear on photos as tear-drop shaped, bright-rimmed areas with the cusps of the ionised regions aligned towards the exciting star. Such a region is also a very compact source of radio emission. Clearly, the harsh environment in which these disks reside does not favour planet formation. These findings were facilitated by the fact that, at a distance of `only' 1500 lightyears (about 450 parsec), the Orion Nebula is the closest site of high-mass star formation. Furthermore, many circumstellar disks around stars in this nebula are seen in silhouette against a bright and uniform background and are therefore comparatively easy to detect. The Lagoon Nebula In principle, similar phenomena should occur in any giant molecular cloud that gives rise to the birth of massive stars. However, the detection of such disks in other clouds would be very difficult, first of all because of their much larger distance. The Lagoon Nebula (M8) is located four times further away than the Orion Nebula and it is also a site of recent high-mass star formation. Its brightest part constitutes a conspicuous region of ionised hydrogen gas (an `HII-region') dubbed `The Hourglass' because of the resemblance. The gas in this area is ionised by the action of the nearby, hot star Herschel 36 (Her 36) . High-resolution radio maps show that the emission from the ionised gas peaks at 2.7 arcsec southeast of Her 36. An early explanation was that this emission is due to an unseen, massive star that is deeply embedded in the gas and dust and which is causing an ultra-compact HII-region (UCHR), catalogued as G5.97-1.17 according to its galactic coordinates. High-resolution images from ESO During a detailed investigation of such ultra-compact HII regions, Bringfried Stecklum and his colleagues found that, unlike ordinary UCHRs, this particular object is visible on optical images obtained with the HST Wide-Field Planetary Camera (HST-WFPC). This means that, contrary to the others, it is not deeply embedded in the nebula - its light reaches us directly without suffering a high degree of absorption. They subsequently obtai

  17. Impact of an inhomogeneous density distribution on selected observational characteristics of circumstellar disks

    E-print Network

    Brauer, R

    2015-01-01

    Context. The analysis of observations of circumstellar disks around young stellar objects is often based on models with a smooth and continuous density distribution. However, spatially resolved observations with increasing angular resolution and dynamical models indicate that circumstellar disks are highlystructured. Aims. We investigate the influence of different clumpy density distributions on selected physical properties and observable characteristics of circumstellar disks. Methods. Based on radiative transfer modelling we calculate the temperature structure of the disk and simulate observational quantities in the thermal re-emission and scattering regime. We compare our results to those obtained for a smooth and continuous density distribution to quantify the influence of clumps on physical parameters and observable quantities of circumstellar disks. Results. Within the considered model space, the clumpiness has a significant impact on the disk temperature distribution. For instance, in the transition re...

  18. A decreased probability of habitable planet formation around low-mass stars

    E-print Network

    Sean N. Raymond; John Scalo; Victoria Meadows

    2007-07-11

    Smaller terrestrial planets (habitable" planets can form is the availability of solid planet-forming material. We use dynamical simulations of terrestrial planet formation from planetary embryos and simple scaling arguments to explore the implications of correlations between terrestrial planet mass, disk mass, and the mass of the parent star. We assume that the protoplanetary disk mass scales with stellar mass as Mdisk ~ f Mstar^h, where f measures the relative disk mass, and 1/2 planets, based on current models and observations for M stars. We assume the mass of a planet formed in some annulus of a disk with given parameters is proportional to the disk mass in that annulus, and show with a suite of simulations of late-stage accretion that the adopted prescription is surprisingly accurate. Our results suggest that the fraction of systems with sufficient disk mass to form > 0.3 Earth mass habitable planets decreases for low-mass stars for every realistic combination of parameters. This "habitable fraction" is small for stellar masses below a mass in the interval 0.5 to 0.8 Solar masses, depending on disk parameters, an interval that excludes most M stars. Radial mixing and therefore water delivery are inefficient in lower-mass disks commonly found around low-mass stars, such that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of most low-mass stars are likely to be small and dry.

  19. Habitable Planet Formation in Extreme Planetary Systems: Systems with Multiple Stars and/or Multiple Planets

    E-print Network

    Nader Haghighipour

    2007-12-15

    Understanding the formation and dynamical evolution of habitable planets in extrasolar planetary systems is a challenging task. In this respect, systems with multiple giant planets and/or multiple stars present special complications. The formation of habitable planets in these environments is strongly affected by the dynamics of their giant planets and/or their stellar companions. These objects have profound effects on the structure of the disk of planetesimals and protoplanetary objects in which terrestrial-class planets are formed. To what extent the current theories of planet formation can be applied to such "extreme" planetary systems depends on the dynamical characteristics of their planets and/or their binary stars. In this paper, I present the results of a study of the possibility of the existence of Earth-like objects in systems with multiple giant planets (namely Upsilon Andromedae, 47 UMa, GJ 876, and 55 Cnc) and discuss the dynamics of the newly discovered Neptune-size object in 55 Cnc system. I will also review habitable planet formation in binary systems and present the results of a systematic search of the parameter-space for which Earth-like objects can form and maintain long-term stable orbits in the habitable zones of binary stars.

  20. HABITABILITY OF EARTH-MASS PLANETS AND MOONS IN THE KEPLER-16 SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Quarles, B.; Musielak, Z. E.; Cuntz, M. E-mail: zmusielak@uta.edu

    2012-05-01

    We demonstrate that habitable Earth-mass planets and moons can exist in the Kepler-16 system, known to host a Saturn-mass planet around a stellar binary, by investigating their orbital stability in the standard and extended habitable zone (HZ). We find that Earth-mass planets in satellite-like (S-type) orbits are possible within the standard HZ in direct vicinity of Kepler-16b, thus constituting habitable exomoons. However, Earth-mass planets cannot exist in planetary-like (P-type) orbits around the two stellar components within the standard HZ. Yet, P-type Earth-mass planets can exist superior to the Saturnian planet in the extended HZ pertaining to considerably enhanced back-warming in the planetary atmosphere if facilitated. We briefly discuss the potential detectability of such habitable Earth-mass moons and planets positioned in satellite and planetary orbits, respectively. The range of inferior and superior P-type orbits in the HZ is between 0.657-0.71 AU and 0.95-1.02 AU, respectively.

  1. Target Selection for SETI. I. A Catalog of Nearby Habitable Stellar Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, Margaret C.; Tarter, Jill C.

    2003-03-01

    In preparation for the advent of the Allen Telescope Array, the SETI Institute has the need to greatly expand its former list of ~2000 targets compiled for Project Phoenix, a search for extraterrestrial technological signals. In this paper we present a catalog of stellar systems that are potentially habitable to complex life forms (including intelligent life), which comprises the largest portion of the new SETI target list. The Catalog of Nearby Habitable Systems (HabCat) was created from the Hipparcos Catalogue by examining the information on distances, stellar variability, multiplicity, kinematics, and spectral classification for the 118,218 stars contained therein. We also make use of information from several other catalogs containing data for Hipparcos stars on X-ray luminosity, Ca II H and K activity, rotation, spectral types, kinematics, metallicity, and Strömgren photometry. Combined with theoretical studies on habitable zones, evolutionary tracks, and third-body orbital stability, these data are used to remove unsuitable stars from HabCat, leaving a residue of stars that, to the best of our current knowledge, are potentially habitable hosts for complex life. While this catalog will no doubt need to be modified as we learn more about individual objects, the present analysis results in 17,129 Hipparcos ``habstars'' near the Sun (75% within 140 pc), ~2200 of which are known or suspected to be members of binary or triple star systems.

  2. Target Selection for SETI: 1. A Catalog of Nearby Habitable Stellar Systems

    E-print Network

    Margaret C. Turnbull; Jill C. Tarter

    2002-10-31

    In preparation for the advent of the Allen Telescope Array, the SETI Institute has the need to greatly expand its former list of ~2000 targets compiled for Project Phoenix, a search for extraterrestrial technological signals. In this paper we present a catalog of stellar systems that are potentially habitable to complex life forms (including intelligent life), which comprises the largest portion of the new SETI target list. The Catalog of Nearby Habitable Systems (HabCat) was created from the Hipparcos Catalogue by examining the information on distances, stellar variability, multiplicity, kinematics and spectral classification for the 118,218 stars contained therein. We also make use of information from several other catalogs containing data for Hipparcos stars on X-ray luminosity, CaII H&K activity, rotation, spectral types, kinematics, metallicity, and Stroemgren photometry. Combined with theoretical studies on habitable zones, evolutionary tracks and third body orbital stability, these data were used to remove unsuitable stars from HabCat, leaving a residue of stars that, to the best of our current knowledge, are potentially habitable hosts for complex life. While this Catalog will no doubt need to be modified as we learn more about individual objects, the present analysis results in 17,129 Hipparcos "habstars" near the Sun (75% within 140 pc), ~2200 of which are known or suspected to be members of binary or triple star systems.

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

    PubMed

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

    White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10(-6). Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 10(4) K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. PMID:23537137

  4. An Optical Study of the Circumstellar Environment Around the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesen, Robert A.; Shull, J. Michael; Hurford, Alan P.

    1997-01-01

    Long-slit spectra of two peripheral regions around the Crab Nebula show no H(alpha) emission down to a flux level of 1.5 x 10(exp -7)erg/sq cm s sr (0.63 Rayleigh), corresponding to an emission measure limit of 4.2 cm(sup - 6) pc (3(sigma)) assuming A(sub V)= 1.6(sup m) and T(sub e)=7000 K. This is below the flux levels reported by Murdin & Clark (Nature, 294, 543 (198 1)) for an H(alpha) halo around the Crab. Narrow H(beta) emission as described by Murdin (MNRAS, 269, 89 (1994)) is detected but appears to be Galactic emission unassociated with the remnant. A review of prior searches indicates no convincing observational evidence to support either a high- or low-velocity envelope around the remnant. Spectral scans confirm a well-organized, N-S expansion asymmetry of the filaments with a approx. 500 km/s central velocity constriction as described by MacAlpine et al. (ApJ, 342, 364 (1989)) and Lawrence et (it. (AJ, 109, 2635 (1995)] but questioned by Hester et al. (ApJ, 448, 240 (1995)). The velocity pinching appears to coincide with an cast-west chain of bright [O III] and helium-rich filaments. This expansion asymmetry might be the result of ejecta interaction with a disk of circumstellar matter, but such a model may be inconsistent with H and He filament abundances in the velocity constriction zone. A re-analysis of the remnant's total mass suggests that the filaments contain 4.6 +/- 1.8 M(solar) in ionized and neutral cas, about twice that of earlier estimates. For a 10M(solar) progenitor, this suggests that approx.equals 4M(solar) remains to be detected in an extended halo or wind.

  5. Study of variable extinction of hot stars with circumstellar dust shells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Various projects on the topic of hot stars with circumstellar dust are reported. The surface temperature, wind speed, and interstellar reddening were determined for the variable WC7 star HD 193793. Circumstellar carbon monoxide molecules were detected around a hot star. The dust envelope of the star W90 in the young cluster NGC2264 is discussed, and the spectra of low-redshift and X-ray emitting quasars are mentioned.

  6. The Habitability and Detection of Earth-like Planets Orbiting Cool White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for ~8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 102 (104) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M ? white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F. E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de E-mail: msterzik@eso.org

    2012-09-20

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

  8. Polarimetry as a tool to find and characterise habitable planets orbiting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fossati, Luca; Bagnulo, Stefano; Haswell, Carole A.; Patel, Manish R.; Busuttil, Richard; Kowalski, Piotr M.; Shukyak, Denis V.; Sterzik, Michael F.; Valyavin, Gennady

    2015-10-01

    There are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, hence one can consider the case of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU from the star would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for about 8 Gyr. Polarisation due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 102 (104) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a powerful tool to detect close-in planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow one to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, even providing a first characterisation. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue. Preliminary habitability study show also that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on Earth-like planets orbiting CWDs and that the DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, hence white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life from the perspective of UV irradiation.

  9. The effects of stellar winds on the magnetospheres and potential habitability of exoplanets

    E-print Network

    See, Victor; Vidotto, Aline A; Petit, Pascal; Marsden, Stephen C; Jeffers, Sandra V; Nascimento, José Dias do

    2014-01-01

    Context: The principle definition of habitability for exoplanets is whether they can sustain liquid water on their surfaces, i.e. that they orbit within the habitable zone. However, the planet's magnetosphere should also be considered, since without it, an exoplanet's atmosphere may be eroded away by stellar winds. Aims: The aim of this paper is to investigate magnetospheric protection of a planet from the effects of stellar winds from solar-mass stars. Methods: We study hypothetical Earth-like exoplanets orbiting in the host star's habitable zone for a sample of 124 solar-mass stars. These are targets that have been observed by the Bcool collaboration. Using two wind models, we calculate the magnetospheric extent of each exoplanet. These wind models are computationally inexpensive and allow the community to quickly estimate the magnetospheric size of magnetised Earth-analogues orbiting cool stars. Results: Most of the simulated planets in our sample can maintain a magnetosphere of ~5 Earth radii or larger. T...

  10. Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

    MedlinePLUS

    ... this? Submit Button Past Newsletters Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs Language: English ... her eyes, nose, or mouth. 6. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces ...

  11. The atmospheric evolution of Venus the habitable planet. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Abe, Y.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Sleep, N. H.

    2010-12-01

    Modern theories of planetary accumulation do not build Venus dry and Earth wet save by unlucky chance. If Venus and Earth were built of the same stuff, Venus’s descent into ruin must have been caused by its proximity to the Sun: too much sunlight brought a runaway greenhouse effect, the oceans and seas evaporated, and the hydrogen in the water was irrevocably lost to space. If the story has a moral, Venus would be the earth that lost its water. A complication to the story is that early Venus occupies an ambiguous position with respect to the runaway greenhouse effect. If Venus began as an ocean planet like Earth, both runaway and non-runaway states are plausible at first. In the 50 Myr before the Sun reached the main sequence, the Sun was both bright and faint, with Venus moving in and out of the conventional habitable zone. Once the Sun reached the main sequence it settled to a luminosity 70% of today’s. At this point the critical albedo triggering the runaway greenhouse on Venus was ~0.32, slightly higher than Earth’s today. This means that Earth’s albedo would put an ocean-covered Venus in the runaway greenhouse state, but only just barely, while an albedo of a slightly cloudier planet would have let Venus’s ancient oceans condenses. Early Venus’s indecisive state makes the recovery of liquid water oceans from giant impacts such as Earth’s moon-forming impact questionable. Another interesting plot twist is that dry planets (desert worlds with limited surface water) are expected to have some immunity with respect to the runaway greenhouse effect, because the limited water can be cold trapped at high latitudes. On a hot dry planet the dearth of tropical water vapor has two effects: it stabilizes the greenhouse effect (the tropics can radiate at rates well above the traditional runaway limit because the tropical atmosphere is not saturated) and it creates a dry stratosphere that severely limits hydrogen escape. Young Venus, if dry, would have been well within the dry-planet habitable zone. Here we consider the possibility that an ocean planet can evolve into a dry but habitable planet as the Sun brightens without first passing through an uninhabitable runaway greenhouse phase. This can happen because hydrogen escape in the diffusion limit depends on the wetness of the stratosphere: a warm planet can have a wet stratosphere and fast hydrogen escape while maintaining liquid water at the surface, provided that the atmosphere is not too thick. This requires in particular that most of the CO2 now in Venus’s atmosphere was sequestered as carbonate rock. If these conditions were all met, it is possible that Venus may have been a habitable planet as recently as 1 billion years ago.

  12. Dietary Habits of Greek Primary School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piperakis, S. M.; Papadimitriou, V.; Zafiropoulou, M.; Piperakis, A. S.; Zisis, P.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess Greek primary (1st to 6th grade) school children's dietary habits and the factors influencing them. Our results show that children know the value of different foods. The socio-economic status of father has no effect on the attitude of children towards choosing their diet, however, mothers' educational status…

  13. Habits of Nervous Tension and Suicide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graves, Pirkko Lauslahti; Thomas, Caroline Bedell

    1991-01-01

    In prospective study of 1,046 male medical students, those who later committed suicide (n=13) showed heightened sensitivity in stressful situations as assessed by Habits of Nervous Tension Questionnaire. Revealed two items as strongest suicide predictors: irritability and urinary frequency. No other risk factors for suicide emerged from family…

  14. Newspaper Readership Habits in the Black Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbons, R. Arnold

    This is a report of a survey conducted to determine newspaper readership habits of persons living within the circulation of the "Amsterdam News," a black weekly published in New York City. The survey was conducted with the purpose of increasing advertising revenues and assisting the management of the "Amsterdam News" with changes in the…

  15. PLANET FORMATION Towards Estimating Galactic Habitability

    E-print Network

    Wuchterl, Günther

    PLANET FORMATION Towards Estimating Galactic Habitability G. WUCHTERL Max of the galactic planetary population shows that planets exist outside the Solar System. But the empirical evidence that planets may provide in our galaxy. Detecting planets is still centered around giant planets in orbits

  16. Relationship of Study Habits with Mathematics Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odiri, Onoshakpokaiye E.

    2015-01-01

    The study examined the relationship of study habits of students and their achievement in mathematics. The method used for the study was correlation design. A sample of 500 students were randomly selected from 25 public secondary schools in Delta Central Senatorial District, Delta State, Nigeria. Questionnaires were drawn to gather data on…

  17. Improving Recreational Reading Habits of Elementary Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krug, Marline; Fordonski, Patricia

    A study investigated the effectiveness of a program for improving the recreational reading habits of elementary students through the use of cross-age tutoring in critical reading strategies. The targeted population consisted of a kindergarten and a fourth-grade class in the growing upper-middle-class community of Geneva, Illinois, located…

  18. Folding Corners of the Habits of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiles, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reasoning is central to what Cuoco, Goldenberg, and Mark refer to as mathematical "habits of mind" (1996). "Reasoning is an integral part of doing mathematics. Students should enter the middle grades with the view that mathematics involves examining patterns and noting regularities, making conjectures about possible generalizations,…

  19. Reading Habit Promotion in ASEAN Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sangkaeo, Somsong

    This paper describes the activities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) libraries have undertaken to promote reading by increasing awareness among their people. First, factors limiting reading habits in ASEAN libraries are addressed, including: we are not a reading society, but a chatting society; the management of "3 M's" (man,…

  20. Listening Habits of iPod Users

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Epstein, Michael; Marozeau, Jeremy; Cleveland, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To estimate real-environment iPod listening levels for listeners in 4 environments to gain insight into whether average listeners receive dosages exceeding occupational noise exposure guidelines as a result of their listening habits. Method: The earbud outputs of iPods were connected directly into the inputs of a digital recorder to make…