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Sample records for circumstellar habitable zones

  1. Circumstellar habitable zones for deep terrestrial biospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMahon, Sean; O'Malley-James, Jack; Parnell, John

    2013-09-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is conventionally the thin shell of space around a star within which liquid water is thermally stable on the surface of an Earth-like planet (Kasting et al., 1993). However, life on Earth is not restricted to the surface and includes a “deep biosphere” reaching several km in depth. Similarly, subsurface liquid water maintained by internal planetary heat could potentially support life well outside conventional HZs. We introduce a new term,subsurface-habitability zone (SSHZ) to denote the range of distances from a star within which rocky planets are habitable at any depth below their surfaces up to a stipulated maximum, and show how SSHZs can be estimated from a model relating temperature, depth and orbital distance. We present results for Earth-like, Mars-like and selected extrasolar terrestrial planets, and conclude that SSHZs are several times wider and include many more planets than conventional surface-based habitable zones.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Trojans in habitable zones.

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-01

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

  6. Comparable Habitable Zones of Stars

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  7. Dynamics and habitability in circumstellar planetary systems of known binary stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bazsó, Ákos; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Eggl, Siegfried; Funk, Barbara; Bancelin, David; Rau, Gioia

    2017-04-01

    We present a survey on exoplanetary systems of binary stars with stellar separations less than 100 au. For a sample of 11 binaries that harbour detected circumstellar giant planets, we investigate the frequency of systems with secular resonances (SR) affecting the habitable zone (HZ). SR are connected to dynamically unstable or chaotic regions by enforcing highly eccentric motion. We apply a semi-analytical method to determine the locations of linear SR, which is based on finding the apsidal precession frequencies of the massive bodies. For configurations where the giant planet is located exterior to the HZ, we find that there is always an SR interior to its orbit; the exact location of the SR strongly depends on the system's architecture. In systems with the giant planet interior to the HZ, no SR can occur in the Newtonian framework. Taking into account the general relativistic precession of the perihelion, which increases the precession frequencies, planets with a < 0.1 au can cause SR in the HZ. We find two cases where the SR is located inside the HZ and some more where it is close to the HZ. Generally, giant planets interior to the HZ are more favourable than exterior planets to avoid SR in the HZ. Around the location of the SR weaker mean-motion resonances are excited and resonance overlap is possible. Existing analytical models are not as accurate as the semi-analytical method in locating the SR and deviate by ∼0.1 au or more.

  8. UV Habitable Zones Further Constrain Possible Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-02-01

    Where should we search for life in the universe? Habitable zones are traditionallydetermined based on the possibility of liquid water existing on a planet but ultraviolet (UV) radiation also plays a key role.The UV Habitable ZoneSchematic showing how the traditional habitable zones location and width changes around different types of stars. The UV habitable zone also hasdifferent locations and widths depending on the mass and metallicity of the star. [NASA/Kepler Mission/Dana Berry]Besides the presence of liquid water, there are other things life may need to persist. For life as we know it, one important elementis moderate UV radiation: if a planet receives too little UV flux, many biological compounds cant be synthesized. If it receives too much, however, then terrestrial biological systems (e.g. DNA) can be damaged.To determinethe most likely place to findpersistent life, we should therefore look for the region where a stars traditional habitable zone, within which liquid water is possible, overlaps with its UV habitable zone, within which the UV flux is at the right level to support life.Relationship between the stellar mass and location of the boundaries of the traditional and UV habitable zones for a solar-metallicity star. din and dout denote inner and outer boundaries, respectively. ZAMS and TMS denote when the star joins and leaves the main sequence, respectively. The traditional and UV habitable zones overlap only for stars of 11.5 solar masses. [Adapted from Oishi and Kamaya 2016]Looking for OverlapIn a recent study, two scientists from the National Defense Academy of Japan, Midori Oishi and Hideyuki Kamaya, explored howthe location of this UV habitable zone and that of its overlap with the traditional habitable zone might be affected by a stars mass and metallicity.Oishi and Kamaya developed a simple evolutional model of the UV habitable zone in stars in the mass range of 0.084 solar masses with metallicities of roughly solar metallicity (Z=0.02), a

  9. The Galactic Habitable Zone: Galactic Chemical Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, Guillermo; Brownlee, Donald; Ward, Peter

    2001-07-01

    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 40K, 235,238U, and 232Th 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. As a result of the radial Galactic metallicity gradient, the outer limit of the GHZ is set primarily by the minimum required metallicity to build large terrestrial planets. Regions of the Milky Way least likely to contain Earth-mass planets are the halo (including globular clusters), the thick disk, and the outer thin disk. The bulge should contain Earth

  10. A Volcanic Hydrogen Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2017-03-01

    The classical habitable zone (HZ) is the circular region around a star in which liquid water could exist on the surface of a rocky planet. The outer edge of the traditional N2–CO2–H2O HZ extends out to nearly ∼1.7 au in our solar system, beyond which condensation and scattering by CO2 outstrips its greenhouse capacity. Here, we show that volcanic outgassing of atmospheric H2 can extend the outer edge of the HZ to ∼2.4 au in our solar system. This wider volcanic-hydrogen HZ (N2–CO2–H2O–H2) can be sustained as long as volcanic H2 output offsets its escape from the top of the atmosphere. We use a single-column radiative-convective climate model to compute the HZ limits of this volcanic hydrogen HZ for hydrogen concentrations between 1% and 50%, assuming diffusion-limited atmospheric escape. At a hydrogen concentration of 50%, the effective stellar flux required to support the outer edge decreases by ∼35%–60% for M–A stars. The corresponding orbital distances increase by ∼30%–60%. The inner edge of this HZ only moves out ∼0.1%–4% relative to the classical HZ because H2 warming is reduced in dense H2O atmospheres. The atmospheric scale heights of such volcanic H2 atmospheres near the outer edge of the HZ also increase, facilitating remote detection of atmospheric signatures.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Cellular Automation of Galactic Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vukotic, B.; Cirkovic, M. M.

    2010-09-01

    We present a preliminary results of our Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ) 2D probabilistic cellular automata models. The relevant time-scales (emergence of life, it's diversification and evolution influenced with the global risk function) are modeled as the probability matrix elements and are chosen in accordance with the Copernican principle to be well-represented by the data inferred from the Earth's fossil record. With Fermi's paradox as a main boundary condition the resulting histories of astrobiological landscape are discussed.

  17. 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.

  18. Atmospheric Habitable Zones in Y Dwarf Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yates, Jack S.; Palmer, Paul I.; Biller, Beth; Cockell, Charles S.

    2017-02-01

    We use a simple organism lifecycle model to explore the viability of an atmospheric habitable zone (AHZ), with temperatures that could support Earth-centric life, which sits above an environment that does not support life. To illustrate our model, we use a cool Y dwarf atmosphere, such as WISE J085510.83–0714442.5, whose 4.5–5.2 μm spectrum shows absorption features consistent with water vapor and clouds. We allow organisms to adapt to their atmospheric environment (described by temperature, convection, and gravity) by adopting different growth strategies that maximize their chance of survival and proliferation. We assume a constant upward vertical velocity through the AHZ. We found that the organism growth strategy is most sensitive to the magnitude of the atmospheric convection. Stronger convection supports the evolution of more massive organisms. For a purely radiative environment, we find that evolved organisms have a mass that is an order of magnitude smaller than terrestrial microbes, thereby defining a dynamical constraint on the dimensions of life that an AHZ can support. Based on a previously defined statistical approach, we infer that there are of the order of 109 cool Y brown dwarfs in the Milky Way, and likely a few tens of these objects are within 10 pc from Earth. Our work also has implications for exploring life in the atmospheres of temperate gas giants. Consideration of the habitable volumes in planetary atmospheres significantly increases the volume of habitable space in the galaxy.

  19. 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.

  20. Observations of Kepler Habitable Zone Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, W. F.; Orosz, J. A.

    2014-03-01

    Kepler has recently revealed nine transiting circumbinary planets (CBPs) and a few more candidates are currently being worked on. While few in number, the sample exhibits some interesting trends: i) The Kepler CBPs are not seen in the shortest-period binary systems. ii) The CBPs tend to orbit very close to their host stars. If the planets were much closer, they would experience instabilities due to dynamical interactions with the binary. Excluding the outer planets of the three-planet Kepler-47 system, 9 of 12 systems have semi-major axes within a factor of two of the critical minimum orbit for stability. This tendency to reside near the instability limit is an unsolved problem. iii) As a consequence of their close-in orbits and the spectral types of their host stars, a surprisingly large fraction, roughly ~25%, of the Kepler CBPs lie within the habitable zone. In my talk I will review the observations of Kepler CBPs and will share the latest candidate planet discoveries. I will discuss the highly variable insolation the planets receive due to the binary nature of their host stars, with emphasis on their locations within the habitable zone.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Habitable Zone of Inhabited Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuluaga, J. I.; Salazar, J. F.; Cuartas-Restrepo, P.; Poveda, G.

    2014-06-01

    In this paper we discuss and illustrate the hypothesis that life substantially alters the state of a planetary environment and therefore, modifies the limits of the HZ as estimated for an uninhabited planet. This hypothesis lead to the introduction of the Habitable Zone for Inhabited Planets (hereafter InHZ), defined here as the region where the complex interaction between life and its abiotic environment is able to produce plausible equilibrium states with the necessary physical conditions for the existence and persistence of life itself. We support our hypothesis of an InHZ with three theoretical arguments, multiple evidences coming from observations of the Earth system, several conceptual experiments and illustrative numerical simulations. Conceptually the diference between the InHZ and the Abiotic HZ (AHZ) depends on unique and robust properties of life as an emergent physical phenomenon and not necesarily on the particular life forms bearing in the planet. Our aim here is to provide conceptual basis for the development of InHZ models incorporating consistently life-environment interactions. Although previous authors have explored the effects of life on habitability there is a gap in research developing the reasons why life should be systematically included at determining the HZ limits. We do not provide here definitive limits to the InHZ but we show through simple numerical models (as a parable of an inhabited planet) how the limits of the AHZ could be modified by including plausible interactions between biota and its environment. These examples aim also at posing the question that if limits of the HZ could be modified by the presence of life in those simple dynamical systems how will those limits change if life is included in established models of the AHZ.

  5. 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

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

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. The Habitable Zone of the Binary System Kepler-16

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moorman, Sarah; Cuntz, Manfred

    2017-01-01

    We report on the current results and envisioned future work from our study of the binary star system Kepler-16, which consists of a K-type main-sequence star and an M dwarf as well as a circumbinary Saturnian planet, Kepler-16b. We focus on the calculation of the location and extent of the habitable zone while considering several criteria for both the inner and outer boundaries previously given in the literature. In particular, we investigate the impact of the two stellar components (especially Kepler-16A) as well as of the system’s binarity regarding the provision of circumbinary habitability. Another aspect of our work consists in a careful assessment of how the extent of the system’s habitable zone is impacted by the relative uncertainties of the stellar and system parameters. Finally, we comment on the likelihood of habitable objects in the system by taking into account both radiative criteria and the need of orbital stability.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Reynolds, R T; McKay, C P; Kasting, J 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. In our own solar system, Europa, one of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, could have a liquid ocean which may occasionally receive sunlight through cracks in the overlying ice shell. In such 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 Aeons and in which life could perhaps evolve. We define a zone around a giant planet 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 our solar system, this radiatively-heated habitable zone contains the Earth.

  15. The Habitable Zones of Pre-main-sequence Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2014-12-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Toward the Minimum Inner Edge Distance of the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    We explore the minimum distance from a host star where an exoplanet could potentially be habitable in order not to discard close-in rocky exoplanets for follow-up observations. We find that the inner edge of the Habitable Zone for hot desert worlds can be as close as 0.38 AU around a solar-like star, if the greenhouse effect is reduced (~1% relative humidity) and the surface albedo is increased. We consider a wide range of atmospheric and planetary parameters such as the mixing ratios of greenhouse gases (water vapor and CO2), 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 CO2 level, because it indirectly influences the stratospheric water mixing ratio. If the CO2 mixing ratio of dry planets at the inner edge is smaller than 10-4, the water loss timescale is ~1 billion years, which is considered here too short for life to evolve. We also show that the expected transmission spectra of hot desert worlds are similar to an Earth-like planet. Therefore, an instrument designed to identify biosignature gases in an Earth-like atmosphere can also identify similarly abundant gases in the atmospheres of dry planets. Our inner edge limit is closer to the host star than previous estimates. As a consequence, the occurrence rate of potentially habitable planets is larger than previously thought.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-01

    We explore the minimum distance from a host star where an exoplanet could potentially be habitable in order not to discard close-in rocky exoplanets for follow-up observations. We find that the inner edge of the Habitable Zone for hot desert worlds can be as close as 0.38 AU around a solar-like star, if the greenhouse effect is reduced (∼1% relative humidity) and the surface albedo is increased. We consider a wide range of atmospheric and planetary parameters such as the mixing ratios of greenhouse gases (water vapor and CO{sub 2}), surface albedo, pressure, and gravity. Intermediate surface pressure (∼1-10 bars) is necessary to limit water loss and to simultaneously sustain an active water cycle. We additionally find that the water loss timescale is influenced by the atmospheric CO{sub 2} level, because it indirectly influences the stratospheric water mixing ratio. If the CO{sub 2} mixing ratio of dry planets at the inner edge is smaller than 10{sup –4}, the water loss timescale is ∼1 billion years, which is considered here too short for life to evolve. We also show that the expected transmission spectra of hot desert worlds are similar to an Earth-like planet. Therefore, an instrument designed to identify biosignature gases in an Earth-like atmosphere can also identify similarly abundant gases in the atmospheres of dry planets. Our inner edge limit is closer to the host star than previous estimates. As a consequence, the occurrence rate of potentially habitable planets is larger than previously thought.

  19. 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.

  20. Habitable Zones of Post-Main Sequence Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2016-05-01

    Once a star leaves the main sequence and becomes a red giant, its Habitable Zone (HZ) moves outward, promoting detectable habitable conditions at larger orbital distances. We use a one-dimensional radiative-convective climate and stellar evolutionary models to calculate post-MS HZ distances for a grid of stars from 3700 to 10,000 K (˜M1 to A5 stellar types) for different stellar metallicities. The post-MS HZ limits are comparable to the distances of known directly imaged planets. We model the stellar as well as planetary atmospheric mass loss during the Red Giant Branch (RGB) and Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) phases for super-Moons to super-Earths. A planet can stay between 200 million years up to 9 Gyr in the post-MS HZ for our hottest and coldest grid stars, respectively, assuming solar metallicity. These numbers increase for increased stellar metallicity. Total atmospheric erosion only occurs for planets in close-in orbits. The post-MS HZ orbital distances are within detection capabilities of direct imaging techniques.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Assessing circumbinary habitable zones using latitudinal energy balance modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forgan, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    Previous attempts to describe circumbinary habitable zones (HZs) have been concerned with the spatial extent of the zone, calculated analytically according to the combined radiation field of both stars. By contrast to these `spatial HZs', we present a numerical analysis of the `orbital HZ', an HZ defined as a function of planet orbital elements. This orbital HZ is better equipped to handle (for example) eccentric planet orbits, and is more directly connected to the data returned by exoplanet observations. Producing an orbital HZ requires a large number of climate simulations to be run to investigate the parameter space - we achieve this using latitudinal energy balance models, which handle the insolation of the planet by both stars (including mutual eclipses), as well as the planetary atmosphere's ability to absorb, transfer and lose heat. We present orbital HZs for several known circumbinary planetary systems: Kepler-16, Kepler-34, Kepler-35, Kepler-47 and PH-1. Generally, the orbital HZs at zero eccentricity are consistent with spatial HZs derived by other authors, although we detect some signatures of variability that coincide with resonances between the binary and planet orbital periods. We confirm that Earth-like planets around Kepler-47 with Kepler-47c's orbital parameters could possess liquid water, despite current uncertainties regarding its eccentricity. Kepler-16b is found to be outside the HZ, as well as the other circumbinary planets investigated.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbot, D. S.; Yang, J.; Cowan, N. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Habitable Zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to show that due to a stabilizing cloud feedback, tidally locked planets can be habitable at twice the stellar flux found by previous studies. This dramatically expands the HZ and roughly doubles the frequency of habitable planets orbiting red dwarf stars. At high stellar flux, strong convection produces thick water clouds near the substellar location that greatly increase the planetary albedo and reduce surface temperatures. Higher insolation produces stronger substellar convection and therefore higher albedo, making this phenomenon a stabilizing climate feedback. Substellar clouds also effectively block outgoing radiation from the surface, reducing or even completely reversing the thermal emission contrast between dayside and nightside. The presence of substellar water clouds and the resulting clement surface conditions will therefore be detectable with the James Webb Space Telescope. Climates of tidally locked and non-tidally locked terrestrial planets. (a) global-mean surface temperature (K), (b) stratospheric H2O volume mixing ratio at the substellar point, (c) planetary albedo and (d) global-mean greenhouse effect (K). The upper horizontal axis is the corresponding semimajor axis between an M-star with 2.3% solar luminosity and the planet. 1:1 denotes a tidally locked state, and 2:1 and 6:1 denote 2 or 6 rotations per orbit, respectively. For "no cloud" cases, all clouds are set to zero. The stellar spectrum is for an M-star or a K-star. Results for HD85512b are represented by

  6. A Catalog of Kepler Habitable Zone Exoplanet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Hill, Michelle L.; Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Quintana, Elisa V.; Barclay, Thomas; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Ciardi, David R.; Haghighipour, Nader; Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Selsis, Franck; Torres, Guillermo

    2016-10-01

    The NASA Kepler mission ha s discovered thousands of new planetary candidates, many of which have been confirmed through follow-up observations. A primary goal of the mission is to determine the occurrence rate of terrestrial-size planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars. Here we provide a list of HZ exoplanet candidates from the Kepler Q1-Q17 Data Release 24 data-vetting process. This work was undertaken as part of the Kepler HZ Working Group. We use a variety of criteria regarding HZ boundaries and planetary sizes to produce complete lists of HZ candidates, including a catalog of 104 candidates within the optimistic HZ and 20 candidates with radii less than two Earth radii within the conservative HZ. We cross-match our HZ candidates with the stellar properties and confirmed planet properties from Data Release 25 to provide robust stellar parameters and candidate dispositions. We also include false-positive probabilities recently calculated by Morton et al. for each of the candidates within our catalogs to aid in their validation. Finally, we performed dynamical analysis simulations for multi-planet systems that contain candidates with radii less than two Earth radii as a step toward validation of those systems.

  7. 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.

  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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Evolution of galaxy habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobat, R.; Hong, S. E.

    2016-08-01

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

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Habitable zone code (Valle+, 2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valle, G.; Dell'Omodarme, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Degl'Innocenti, S.

    2014-06-01

    A C computation code that provide in output the distance dm (i for which the duration of habitability is longest, the corresponding duration tm (in Gyr), the width W (in AU) of the zone for which the habitability lasts tm/2, the inner (Ri) and outer (Ro) boundaries of the 4Gyr continuously habitable zone. The code read the input file HZ-input.dat, containing in each row the mass of the host star (range: 0.70-1.10M⊙), its metallicity (either Z (range: 0.005-0.004) or [Fe/H]), the helium-to-metal enrichment ratio (range: 1-3, standard value = 2), the equilibrium temperature for habitable zone outer boundary computation (range: 169-203K) and the planet Bond Albedo (range: 0.0-1.0, Earth = 0.3). The output is printed on-screen. Compilation: just use your favorite C compiler: gcc hz.c -lm -o HZ (2 data files).

  14. Characterizing the Habitable Zone Planets of Kepler Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Debra

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lineweaver, C.

    2014-03-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Effect of Carbon Dioxide (CO 2) Ice Cloud Condensation on the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lincowski, Andrew; Meadows, Victoria; Robinson, Tyler D.; Crisp, David

    2016-10-01

    The currently accepted outer limit of the habitable zone (OHZ) is defined by the "maximum greenhouse" limit, where Rayleigh scattering from additional CO2 gas overwhelms greenhouse warming. However, this long-standing definition neglects the radiative effects of CO2 clouds (Kopparapu, 2013); this omission was justified based on studies using the two-stream approximation, which found CO2 clouds to be highly likely to produce a net warming. However, recent comparisons of the radiative effect of CO2 clouds using both a two-stream and multi-stream radiative transfer model (Kitzmann et al, 2013; Kitzmann, 2016) found that the warming effect was reduced when the more sophisticated multi-stream models were used. In many cases CO2 clouds caused a cooling effect, meaning that their impact on climate could not be neglected when calculating the outer edge of the habitable zone. To better understand the impact of CO2 ice clouds on the OHZ, we have integrated CO2 cloud condensation into a versatile 1-D climate model for terrestrial planets (Robinson et al, 2012) that uses the validated multi-stream SMART radiative transfer code (Meadows & Crisp, 1996; Crisp, 1997) with a simple microphysical model. We present preliminary results on the habitable zone with self-consistent CO2 clouds for a range of atmospheric masses, compositions and host star spectra, and the subsequent effect on surface temperature. In particular, we evaluate the habitable zone for TRAPPIST-1d (Gillon et al, 2016) with a variety of atmospheric compositions and masses. We present reflectance and transit spectra of these cold terrestrial planets. We identify any consequences for the OHZ in general and TRAPPIST-1d in particular. This more comprehensive treatment of the OHZ could impact our understanding of the distribution of habitable planets in the universe, and provide better constraints for statistical target selection techniques, such as the habitability index (Barnes et al, 2015), for missions like JWST

  3. The evolution of the Stellar Habitable Zone. (Spanish Title: Evolución de la Zona de Habitabilidad Estelar)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poffo, D.; Gómez, M.

    The Stellar Habitable Zone is defined as the distance at which water can exist in liquid form on the surface of a planet. In this contribution we apply a simple single-temperature model to calculate the boundaries of the Stellar Habitable Zone. We analyze the variation of the so-called habitable zone as function of the evolution of the central star. In particular we study how the habitable zone changes for 3, 1.5, 1, and 0.6 solar-mass stars with solar metallicity. For stars in this range, we identify evolutionary stages long enough to allow the development of life on the surface of a planet in the Stellar Habitable Zone. These stars define the group of the "Astrobiologically Interesting Stars." The stellar stability is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for the development of life.

  4. 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.

  5. Impacts of stellar evolution and dynamics on the habitable zone: The role of rotation and magnetic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, F.; Charbonnel, C.; Amard, L.; Brun, S.; Palacios, A.; Mathis, S.

    2017-01-01

    Context. With the ever growing number of detected and confirmed exoplanets, the probability of finding a planet that looks like the Earth increases continuously. While it is clear that the presence of a planet in the habitable zone does not imply the planet is habitable, a systematic study of the evolution of the habitable zone is required to account for its dependence on stellar parameters. Aims: In this article, we aim to provide the community with the dependence of the habitable zone upon the stellar mass, metallicity, rotation, and for various prescriptions of the limits of the habitable zone. Methods: We use stellar evolution models computed with the code STAREVOL, which includes the most current physical mechanisms of internal transport of angular momentum and external wind braking, to study the evolution of the habitable zone and the continuously habitable zone limits. Results: The stellar parameters mass and metallicity affect the habitable zone limits most dramatically. Conversely, for a given stellar mass and metallicity, stellar rotation has only a marginal effect on these limits and does not modify the width of the habitable zone. Moreover, and as expected in the main-sequence phase and for a given stellar mass and metallicity, the habitable zone limits remain almost constant, and this confirms the usual assumptions of a relative constancy of these limits during that phase. The evolution of the habitable zone limits is also correlated to the evolution of the stellar activity (through the Rossby number), which depends on the stellar mass considered. While the magnetic activity has negligible consequence in the case of more massive stars, these effects may have a strong impact on the habitability of a planet around M-dwarf stars. Thus, stellar activity cannot be neglected and may have a strong impact on the development of life during the early stage of the continuously habitable zone phase of low-mass stars. Using observed trends of stellar magnetic field

  6. Habitable zones around low mass stars and the search for extraterrestrial life.

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F

    1997-06-01

    Habitable planets are likely to exist around stars not too different from the Sun if current theories about terrestrial climate evolution are correct. Some of these planets may have evolved life, and some of the inhabited planets may have evolved O2-rich atmospheres. Such atmospheres could be detected spectroscopically on planets around nearby stars using a space-based interferometer to search for the 9.6 micron band of O3. Planets with O2-rich atmospheres that lie within the habitable zone around their parent star are, in all probability, inhabited.

  7. Can Life Develop in the Expanded Habitable Zones around Red Giant Stars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Bruno; Schneider, Jean; Danchi, William C.

    2005-07-01

    We present some new ideas about the possibility of life developing around subgiant 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. Currently there is no clear evidence as to when life actually formed on the Earth, but recent isotopic data suggest life existed at least as early as 7×108 yr after the Earth was formed. Thus, if life could form and evolve over time intervals from 5×108 to 109 yr, then there could be habitable planets with life around red giant stars. For a 1 Msolar star at the first stages of its post-main-sequence evolution, the temporal transit of the habitable zone is estimated to be several times 109 yr at 2 AU and around 108 yr at 9 AU. Under these circumstances life could develop at distances in the range 2-9 AU in the environment of subgiant 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 Msolar star there is an additional 109 yr 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, that focus on searches for signatures of life on extrasolar planets, should also consider the environments of subgiants and red giant stars as potentially interesting sites for understanding the development of life. We performed a preliminary evaluation of the difficulty of interferometric observations of planets around red giant stars

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Evolution of the habitable zone of low-mass stars. Detailed stellar models and analytical relationships for different masses and chemical compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valle, G.; Dell'Omodarme, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Degl'Innocenti, S.

    2014-07-01

    Context. The habitability of an exoplanet is assessed by determining the times at which its orbit lies in the circumstellar habitable zone (HZ). This zone evolves with time following the stellar luminosity variation, which means that the time spent in the HZ depends on the evolution of the host star. Aims: We study the temporal evolution of the HZ of low-mass stars - only due to stellar evolution - and evaluate the related uncertainties. These uncertainties are then compared with those due to the adoption of different climate models. Methods: We computed stellar evolutionary tracks from the pre-main sequence phase to the helium flash at the red-giant branch tip for stars with masses in the range [0.70-1.10] M⊙, metallicity Z in the range [0.005-0.04], and various initial helium contents. By adopting a reference scenario for the HZ computations, we evaluated several characteristics of the HZ, such as the distance from the host star at which the habitability is longest, the duration of this habitability, the width of the zone for which the habitability lasts one half of the maximum, and the boundaries of the continuously habitable zone (CHZ) for which the habitability lasts at least 4 Gyr. We developed analytical models, accurate to the percent level or lower, which allowed to obtain these characteristics in dependence on the mass and the chemical composition of the host star. Results: The metallicity of the host star plays a relevant role in determining the HZ. The importance of the initial helium content is evaluated here for the first time; it accounts for a variation of the CHZ boundaries as large as 30% and 10% in the inner and outer border. The computed analytical models allow the first systematic study of the variability of the CHZ boundaries that is caused by the uncertainty in the estimated values of mass and metallicity of the host star. An uncertainty range of about 30% in the inner boundary and 15% in the outer one were found. We also verified that

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The generalized runaway greenhouse and the outer limit of habitable zones (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierrehumbert, R.

    2009-12-01

    The inner limit of the habitable zone is determined by atmospheric blowoff and the water vapor runaway greenhouse, but it is not immediately apparent that there should be an outer limit to the habitable zone, as one could simply contemplate pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere until the temperature rises into the habitable range. Silicate/carbonate rocky planets offer a nearly inexhaustible reservoir of materials that can support CO2 outgassing. In reality, however, an outer limit is imposed by albedo increase associated with Raleigh scattering, and (more severely) by condensation of the greenhouse gas once a threshold surface pressure is exceeded. Early Mars is in this regime, as is Gliese 581d, though the latter offers some novel features associated with high surface gravity and the redder spectrum of the M-dwarf it orbits. Modest changes in the radiation balance, such as the additional greenhouse effect of dry ice clouds, have the potential to edge either planet into the habitable zone. In this talk, it will be pointed out that the sensitivity of the habitability conditions in these two cases is assocated with a generalized version of the runaway greenhouse phenomenon, associated with a reservoir of CO2 in place of a reservoir of water vapor. Both planets sit very close to the CO2 equivalent of the Kombayashi-Ingersoll Limit. The generalization also applies to the collisional continuum of N2 or CH4 in conjunction with condensation of either of these species, unifying the phenomenon with previous speculations concerning the climate evolution of Titan and super-Titans, though in that case the temperature range involved makes the phenomenon less related to the habitability question. Another novel feature of Gliese 581d, likely to be shared by many other Super-Earths,is its highly eccentric orbit and potentially quasisynchronous spin state. We will discuss the nature of the seasonal cycle for such planets, based on GCM simulations, and the possible

  15. 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.

  16. 3D Model Uncertainty in Estimating the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbot, D. S.; Yang, J.; Wolf, E. T.; Leconte, J.; Merlis, T. M.; Koll, D. D. B.; Goldblatt, C.; Ding, F.; Forget, F.; Toon, B.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate estimates of the width of the habitable zone are critical for determining which exoplanets are potentially habitable and estimating the frequency of Earth-like planets in the galaxy. Recently, the inner edge of the habitable zone has been calculated using 3D atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) that include the effects of subsaturation and clouds, but different models obtain different results. We study potential sources of differences in five GCMs through a series of comparisons of radiative transfer, clouds, and dynamical cores for a rapidly rotating planet around the Sun and a synchronously rotating planet around an M star. We find that: (1) Cloud parameterization leads to the largest differences among the models; (2) Differences in water vapor longwave radiative transfer are moderate as long as the surface temperature is lower than 360 K; (3) Differences in shortwave absorption influences atmospheric humidity of synchronously rotating planet through a positive feedback; (4) Differences in atmospheric dynamical core have a very small effect on the surface temperature; and (5) Rayleigh scattering leads to very small differences among models. These comparisons suggest that future model development should focus on clouds and water vapor radiative transfer.

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-03-01

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

  19. A New Method for the Quick Determination of S-Type and P-Type Habitable Zones in Binary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhaopeng; Cuntz, Manfred

    2017-01-01

    More than 3500 exoplanets have been confirmed nowadays, including a very large number of planets discovered by the Kepler mission. Additional exoplanets are expected to be found by ongoing missions as, e.g., K2 as well as future missions such as TESS. Exoplanets, especially terrestrial planets, located in stellar habitable zones are drawing great attention from the community and the public at large due to their potential for hosting alien life - a prospect that makes the adequate determination of stellar habitable zones an important goal of exoplanetary research. In the local Galactic neighborhood, binary systems occur relatively frequently. Thus, it is the aim of my presentation to offer a method for the quick determination for the existence of habitable zones in binaries. Therefore, fitting formulas for binary habitable zones regarding both S-type and P-type star-planet configurations are provided. Based on previous work in the literature, a joint constraint regarding radiative habitable zones and planetary orbital stability limits is used. Models of stellar habitable zones utilize updated computations for planetary climate models as given by Kopparapu et al. (2013, 2014) [ApJ 765, 131; ApJL 787, L29]. Cases studies showing the quality of the fit formulas, as well as applications to observed systems, are presented as well.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbot, Dorian S.

    2016-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of Initial Stellar Metallicity on the Evolution of the Habitable Zone and the Search for Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danchi, William C.; Lopez, B.

    2014-01-01

    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 Msun 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 Msun star with near solar metallicity, Z = 0.017, the duration of the habitable zone is > 10 Gyr at distances 1.2-2.0AU from the star, whereas the duration is > 20 Gyr for high-metallicity stars (Z = 0.070) at distances of 0.7-1.8AU, and ˜ 4 Gyr at distances of 1.8-3.3AU for low-metallicity stars (Z = 0.0001). Corresponding results have been obtained for stars of 1.5 and 2.0 solar masses. We discuss the implications of these results from the standpoint of the evolution of life.

  7. 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

  8. How Hospitable Are Space Weather Affected Habitable Zones? The Role of Ion Escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Airapetian, Vladimir S.; Glocer, Alex; Khazanov, George V.; Loyd, R. O. P.; France, Kevin; Sojka, Jan; Danchi, William C.; Liemohn, Michael W.

    2017-02-01

    Atmospheres of exoplanets in the habitable zones around active young G-K-M stars are subject to extreme X-ray and EUV (XUV) fluxes from their host stars that can initiate atmospheric erosion. Atmospheric loss affects exoplanetary habitability in terms of surface water inventory, atmospheric pressure, the efficiency of greenhouse warming, and the dosage of the UV surface irradiation. Thermal escape models suggest that exoplanetary atmospheres around active K-M stars should undergo massive hydrogen escape, while heavier species including oxygen will accumulate forming an oxidizing atmosphere. Here, we show that non-thermal oxygen ion escape could be as important as thermal, hydrodynamic H escape in removing the constituents of water from exoplanetary atmospheres under supersolar XUV irradiation. Our models suggest that the atmospheres of a significant fraction of Earth-like exoplanets around M dwarfs and active K stars exposed to high XUV fluxes will incur a significant atmospheric loss rate of oxygen and nitrogen, which will make them uninhabitable within a few tens to hundreds of Myr, given a low replenishment rate from volcanism or cometary bombardment. Our non-thermal escape models have important implications for the habitability of the Proxima Centauri’s terrestrial planet.

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

    PubMed

    Morrison, Ian S; Gowanlock, Michael G

    2015-08-01

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

  10. The Inner Boundary of the Habitable Zone: Loss Processes of Liquid Water from Terrestrial Planet Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stracke, B.; Godolt, M.; Grenfell, J. L.; von Paris, P.; Patzer, B.; Rauer, H.

    2012-04-01

    The question of habitability is very important in the context of terrestrial extrasolar planets. Generally, the Habitable Zone (HZ) is defined as the orbital region around a star, in which life-supporting (habitable) planets can exist. Taking into account that liquid water is a commonly accepted, fundamental requirement for the development of life - as we know it - the habitable region around a star is mainly determined by the stellar insolation of radiation, which is sufficient to maintain liquid water at the planetary surface. This study focuses on different processes that can lead to the complete loss of a liquid water reservoir from the surface of a terrestrial planet to determine the inner boundary of the HZ. The investigated criteria are, for example, reaching the temperature of the critical point of water at the planetary surface, the runaway greenhouse effect and the diffusion-limited escape of water from the atmosphere, which could lead to the loss of the complete water reservoir within the lifetime of a planet. We investigate these criteria, which determine the inner boundary of the HZ, with a one-dimensional radiative-convective model of a planetary atmosphere, which extends from the surface to the mid-mesosphere. Our modelling approach involves the step-by-step increase of the incoming stellar flux and the subsequent iterative calculation of resulting changes in the temperature profiles, the atmospheric water vapour content and the radiative properties. Therefore, this climate model had to be adapted to account for high temperatures and water mixing ratios. For example, the infrared radiative transfer scheme was improved to be suitable for such high temperature and pressure conditions. Modelling results are presented determining the inner boundary of the HZ affected by these processes, which can result in no liquid water on the planetary surface. In this context, especially the role of the runaway greenhouse effect is discussed in detail.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 +}.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The ultraviolet radiation environment in the habitable zones around low-mass exoplanet host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Parke Loyd, R. O.

    2014-11-01

    The EUV (200-911 Å), FUV (912-1750 Å), and NUV (1750-3200 Å) spectral energy distribution of exoplanet host stars has a profound influence on the atmospheres of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. The stellar EUV radiation drives atmospheric heating, while the FUV (in particular, Ly α) and NUV radiation fields regulate the atmospheric chemistry: the dissociation of H2O and CO2, the production of O2 and O3, and may determine the ultimate habitability of these worlds. Despite the importance of this information for atmospheric modeling of exoplanetary systems, the EUV/FUV/NUV radiation fields of cool (K and M dwarf) exoplanet host stars are almost completely unconstrained by observation or theory. We present observational results from a Hubble Space Telescope survey of M dwarf exoplanet host stars, highlighting the importance of realistic UV radiation fields for the formation of potential biomarker molecules, O2 and O3. We conclude by describing preliminary results on the characterization of the UV time variability of these sources.

  17. 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.

  18. Stability Analysis of Single-planet Systems and Their Habitable Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Barnes, Rory

    2010-06-01

    We study the dynamical stability of planetary systems consisting of one hypothetical terrestrial-mass planet (1 or 10 M ⊕) and one massive planet (10 M ⊕-10 M 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 ρ 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-02

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Space Telescope Design to Directly Image the Habitable Zone of Alpha Centauri

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

    The scientific interest in directly imaging and identifying Earth-like planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) around nearby stars is driving the design of specialized direct imaging missions such as ACESAT, EXO-C, EXO-S and AFTA-C. The inner edge of Alpha Cen A&B Habitable Zone is found at exceptionally large angular separations of 0.7" and 0.4" respectively. This enables direct imaging of the system with a 0.3m class telescope. Contrast ratios on the order of 10(exp 10) are needed to image Earth-brightness planets. Low-resolution (5-band) spectra of all planets may allow establishing the presence and amount of an atmosphere. This star system configuration is optimal for a specialized small, and stable space telescope that can achieve high-contrast but has limited resolution. This paper describes an innovative instrument design and a mission concept based on a full Silicon Carbide off-axis telescope, which has a Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization coronagraph embedded in the telescope. This architecture maximizes stability and throughput. A Multi-Star Wave Front algorithm is implemented to drive a deformable mirror controlling simultaneously diffracted light from the on-axis and binary companion star. The instrument has a Focal Plane Occulter to reject starlight into a high precision pointing control camera. Finally we utilize a Orbital Differential Imaging (ODI) post-processing method that takes advantage of a highly stable environment (Earth-trailing orbit) and a continuous sequence of images spanning 2 years, to reduce the final noise floor in post processing to approximately 2e-11 levels, enabling high confidence and at least 90% completeness detections of Earth-like planets.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Context. In recent years, several potentially habitable, probably terrestrial exoplanets and exoplanet candidates have been discovered. The amount of CO2 in their atmosphere is of great importance for surface conditions and habitability. In the absence of detailed information on the geochemistry of the planet, this amount could be considered as a free parameter. Aims: Up to now, CO2 partial pressures for terrestrial planets have been obtained assuming an available volatile reservoir and outgassing scenarios. This study aims at calculating the allowed maximum CO2 pressure at the surface of terrestrial exoplanets orbiting near the outer boundary of the habitable zone by coupling the radiative effects of the CO2 and its condensation at the surface. These constraints might limit the permitted amount of atmospheric CO2, independent of the planetary reservoir. Methods: A 1D radiative-convective cloud-free atmospheric model was used to calculate surface conditions for hypothetical terrestrial exoplanets. CO2 partial pressures are fixed according to surface temperature and vapor pressure curve. Considered scenarios cover a wide range of parameters, such as gravity, central star type and orbital distance, atmospheric N2 content and surface albedo. Results: Results show that for planets in the habitable zone around K-, G-, and F-type stars the allowed CO2 pressure is limited by the vapor pressure curve and not by the planetary reservoir. The maximum CO2 pressure lies below the CO2 vapor pressure at the critical point of pcrit = 73.8 bar. For M-type stars, due to the stellar spectrum being shifted to the near-IR, CO2 pressures above pcrit are possible for almost all scenarios considered across the habitable zone. This implies that determining CO2 partial pressures for terrestrial planets by using only geological models is probably too simplified and might over-estimate atmospheric CO2 towards the outer edge of the habitable zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-02-20

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

  11. 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

  12. Metastable non-runaway states near the inner edge of the habitable zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierrehumbert, R.

    2012-12-01

    habitable zone, but similar considerations apply with regard to the CO2 runaway which governs the outer edge of the conventional habitable zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    In the early, disk-embedded phase of evolution of terrestrial planets, a protoplanetary core can accumulate gas from the circumstellar disk into a planetary envelope. In order to relate the accumulation and structure of this primordial atmosphere to the thermal evolution of the planetary core, we calculated atmosphere models characterized by the surface temperature of the core. We considered cores with masses between 0.1 and 5 M ⊕ situated in the habitable zone around a solar-like star. The time-dependent simulations in 1D-spherical symmetry include the hydrodynamics equations, gray radiative transport, and convective energy transport. Using an implicit time integration scheme, we can use large time steps and and thus efficiently cover evolutionary timescales. Our results show that planetary atmospheres, when considered with reference to a fixed core temperature, are not necessarily stable, and multiple solutions may exist for one core temperature. As the structure and properties of nebula-embedded planetary atmospheres are an inherently time-dependent problem, we calculated estimates for the amount of primordial atmosphere by simulating the accretion process of disk gas onto planetary cores and the subsequent evolution of the embedded atmospheres. The temperature of the planetary core is thereby determined from the computation of the internal energy budget of the core. For cores more massive than about one Earth mass, we obtain that a comparatively short duration of the disk-embedded phase (˜105 years) is sufficient for the accumulation of significant amounts of hydrogen atmosphere that are unlikely to be removed by later atmospheric escape processes.

  14. Estimates of dynamic parameters and boundaries of habitable zones of selected stars of the Pulkovo program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakht, N. A.; Romanenko, L. G.; Gorshanov, D. L.; Vasilkova, O. O.

    2016-01-01

    A list of selected binary stars is presented that have been observed for several decades using a 26-inch refractor at the Pulkovo Observatory. These stars are at a distance from 3.5 to 25 pc from the Sun. They belong to spectral classes F, G, K, and M. Their masses range from 0.3 to 1.5 solar masses. We have analyzed them as possible parent stars for exoplanets taking into account the physical characteristics of these stars. In view of dynamic parameters and orbital elements that we have obtained by Pulkovo observations, ephemerides of positions for the coming years are calculated. The boundaries of the habitable zones around these stars are calculated. The astrometric signal that depends on the gravitational influence of hypothetical planets is estimated. Space telescopes for astrometric observations with microsecond accuracy can be used to detect Earth-like planets near the closest stars of this program. This paper presents an overview of astrometric programs of searches for exoplanets.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, Christopher J.

    2014-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The instrument control software package for the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bender, Chad F.; Robertson, Paul; Stefansson, Gudmundur Kari; Monson, Andrew; Anderson, Tyler; Halverson, Samuel; Hearty, Frederick; Levi, Eric; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Nelson, Matthew; Ramsey, Larry; Roy, Arpita; Schwab, Christian; Shetrone, Matthew; Terrien, Ryan

    2016-08-01

    We describe the Instrument Control Software (ICS) package that we have built for The Habitable-Zone Planet Finder (HPF) spectrometer. The ICS controls and monitors instrument subsystems, facilitates communication with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope facility, and provides user interfaces for observers and telescope operators. The backend is built around the asynchronous network software stack provided by the Python Twisted engine, and is linked to a suite of custom hardware communication protocols. This backend is accessed through Python-based command-line and PyQt graphical frontends. In this paper we describe several of the customized subsystem communication protocols that provide access to and help maintain the hardware systems that comprise HPF, and show how asynchronous communication benefits the numerous hardware components. We also discuss our Detector Control Subsystem, built as a set of custom Python wrappers around a C-library that provides native Linux access to the SIDECAR ASIC and Hawaii-2RG detector system used by HPF. HPF will be one of the first astronomical instruments on sky to utilize this native Linux capability through the SIDECAR Acquisition Module (SAM) electronics. The ICS we have created is very flexible, and we are adapting it for NEID, NASA's Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrometer for the WIYN telescope; we will describe this adaptation, and describe the potential for use in other astronomical instruments.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Arthur D.; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  1. Poster: Water transport into circumprimary habitable zones in binary star systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    So far, multiple stellar systems harbor more than 100 extra solar planets. 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 embryos-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 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. 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 to the HZ and for any planets or embryos moving in this area. We also discuss how mass loss mechanisms can alter the water content on asteroids' surface.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. ‘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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Haghighipour, Nader

    2013-11-10

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2015-02-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-25

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Water transport to circumprimary habitable zones from icy planetesimal disks in binary star systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bancelin, D.; Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Maindl, T. I.; Bazsó, Á.

    2017-03-01

    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 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 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 aim to show how efficient they are at moving icy asteroids from beyond the snow line into orbits crossing the HZ. We also analyze the influence of secular and mean motion resonances on the water transport towards the HZ. Our study shows 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 favors a faster depletion of our disk of planetesimals, but can also bring 4-5 times more water into the whole HZ. However, due to the secular resonance located either inside the HZ or inside the asteroid belt, impacts between icy planetesimals from the disk and big objects in the HZ can occur at high impact speed. Therefore, real collision modeling using a GPU 3D-SPH code show that in reality, the water content of the projectile is greatly reduced and therefore, also the water transported to planets or embryos initially inside the HZ.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Torres, Guillermo; Kipping, David M.; Fressin, Francois; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Twicken, Joseph D.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Henze, Christopher E.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J.; Ciardi, David R.; Muirhead, Philip S.; Crepp, Justin R.; Everett, Mark E.; and others

    2015-02-20

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The New Worlds Observer: Direct Detection and Study of Exoplanets from the Habitable Zone Outward

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cash, Webster C.; New Worlds Study Team

    2009-01-01

    Direct detection and spectroscopic study of the planets around the nearby stars is generally recognized as a prime goal of astronomy. The New Worlds Observer mission concept is being studied as an Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Study for this purpose. NWO features two spacecraft: a general purpose 4m telescope that operates from the UV to the Near IR, and a starshade, a flower-shaped occulter about 50m in diameter flying in alignment about 70,000km away. Our study shows this is the most effective way to map nearby planetary systems. Images will show dust and debris down to a fraction of our zodiacal light level. Planets fainter than the Earth can be seen from the Habitable Zone outward, at distances up to 20pc. High throughput and low noise enable immediate follow-up spectroscopy of discovered planets. NWO can discover many more Earth-like planets than all competing approaches including astrometric, interferometric, and internal coronagraphic. Within hours of discovery, a high quality spectrum can determine the true nature of the exoplanet and open the search for biomarkers and life. Over half of the time will be spent with the starshade in transit to the next target. During those times the telescope will be available to for general astrophysics purposes. Operating from the ultraviolet to the near infrared, this will be a true HST follow-on. The study shows all needed technologies already exist. The cost scales primarily with telescope size. The mission is definitely within the financial and technical reach of NASA for the coming decade.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oishi, Midori; Kamaya, Hideyuki

    2016-02-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Bistability of the climate around the habitable zone: A thermodynamic investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boschi, Robert; Lucarini, Valerio; Pascale, Salvatore

    2013-11-01

    The goal of this paper is to explore the potential multistability of the climate for a planet around the habitable zone. We apply our methodology to the Earth system, but our investigation has more general relevance. A thorough investigation of the thermodynamics of the climate system is performed for very diverse conditions of energy input and infrared atmosphere opacity. Using PlaSim, an Earth-like general circulation model, the solar constant S∗ is modulated between 1160 and 1510 W m-2 and the CO2 concentration, [CO2], between 90 and 2880 ppm. It is observed that in such a parameter range the climate is bistable, i.e. there are two coexisting attractors, one characterised by warm, moist climates (W) and one by completely frozen sea surface (Snowball Earth, SB). The tipping points of both the transitions (W → SB and SB →W) are located along straight lines in the (S∗, log[CO2]) space. The dynamical and thermodynamical properties - energy fluxes, Lorenz energy cycle, Carnot efficiency, material entropy production - of the W and SB states are very different: W states are dominated by the hydrological cycle and latent heat is prominent in the material entropy production; the SB states are eminently dry climates where heat transport is realised through sensible heat fluxes and entropy mostly generated by dissipation of kinetic energy. We also show that the Carnot efficiency regularly increases towards each transition between W and SB, with a large discontinuous decrease at the point of each transition. Finally, we propose well-defined empirical functions allowing for expressing the global non-equilibrium thermodynamical properties of the system in terms of either the mean surface temperature or the mean planetary emission temperature. While the specific results presented in this paper depend on some characteristics of the Earth system (e.g. rotation rate, position of the continents), this paves the way for the possibility of proposing efficient

  6. Fitting Formulas For Determining The Existence Of S-Type And P-Type Habitable Zones In Binary Systems: First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhaopeng; Cuntz, Manfred

    2016-09-01

    We present initial work about attaining fitting formulas for the quick determination of the existence of S-type and P-type habitable zones in binary systems. Following previous work, we calculate the limits of the climatological habitable zone in binary systems (which sensitively depend on the system parameters) based on a joint constraint encompassing planetary orbital stability and a habitable region for a possible system planet. We also consider updated results on planetary climate models previously obtained by Kopparapu and collaborators. Fitting equations based on our work are presented for selected cases.

  7. 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danchi, William C.; Lopez, Bruno

    2013-05-01

    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 ⊙ 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 ⊙ 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 ~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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  11. A relook on using the Earth Similarity Index for searching habitable zones around solar and extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, S.; Shome, A.; Raha, B.; Bhattacharya, A. B.

    2017-01-01

    To study the distribution of Earth-like planets and to locate the habitable zone around extrasolar planets and their known satellites, we have emphasized in this paper the consideration of Earth similarity index (ESI) as a multi parameter quick assessment of Earth-likeness with a value between zero and one. Weight exponent values for four planetary properties have been taken into account to determine the ESI. A plot of surface ESI against the interior ESI exhibits some interesting results which provide further information when confirmed planets are examined. From the analysis of the available catalog and existing theory, none of the solar planets achieves an ESI value greater than 0.8. Though the planet Mercury has a value of 0.6, Mars exhibits a value between 0.6 and 0.8 and the planet Venus shows a value near 0.5. Finally, the locations of the habitable zone around different type of stars are critically examined and discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  14. DIAGNOSING CIRCUMSTELLAR DEBRIS DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, Joseph M.

    2010-08-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldblatt, C.

    2015-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Expanding the Catalog: Considering the Importance of Carbon, Magnesium, and Neon in the Evolution of Stars and Habitable Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truitt, Amanda; Young, Patrick A.

    2017-01-01

    Building on previous work, we have expanded our catalog of evolutionary models for stars with variable composition; here we present models for stars of mass 0.5–1.2 M⊙, at scaled metallicities of 0.1–1.5 Z⊙, and specific C/Fe, Mg/Fe, and Ne/Fe values of 0.58–1.72 C/Fe⊙, 0.54–1.84 Mg/Fe⊙, and 0.5–2.0 Ne/Fe⊙, respectively. We include a spread in abundance values for carbon and magnesium based on observations of their variability in nearby stars; we choose an arbitrary spread in neon abundance values commensurate with the range seen in other low Z elements due to the difficult nature of obtaining precise measurements of neon abundances in stars. As indicated by the results of Truitt et al., it is essential that we understand how differences in individual elemental abundances, and not just the total scaled metallicity, can measurably impact a star’s evolutionary lifetime and other physical characteristics. In that work, we found that oxygen abundances significantly impacted the stellar evolution; carbon, magnesium, and neon are potentially important elements to individually consider due to their relatively high (but also variable) abundances in stars. We present 528 new stellar main-sequence models, and we calculate the time-dependent evolution of the associated habitable zone boundaries for each based on mass, temperature, and luminosity. We also reintroduce the 2 Gyr “Continuously Habitable Zone” (CHZ2) as a useful tool to help gauge the habitability potential for a given planetary system.

  18. Planet Hunters Update: Many New Planet Candidates Identified by Citizen Scientists from Kepler Data, Including Several in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Joseph; Wang, Ji

    2013-07-01

    Since December, 2010, more than 250,000 public volunteers have searched through more than 19 million Kepler light curves hunting for transiting planets. The Kepler light curves are shown in 30 day sections, and with ~160,000 Kepler target stars, the users have contributed the equivalent of 180 years of work hours. This vetting process has resulted in over 40 new planet candidates and two new confirmed planets, including several not identified through the Kepler pipeline. Many of our candidate planets lie within their host star's habitable zone. We review the recent large release of new PH candidates in Wang et al. (2013), including one confirmed planet, and give preliminary results for our next PH candidate release.

  19. Determining the amount of dust in the habitable zone: a Keck Nuller survey of 26 nearby main sequence stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mennesson, B.

    2010-10-01

    Because of contrast limitations at high angular resolution, direct observations of debris disks have so far been restricted to the outer (> 10AU) parts of nearby solar systems. The Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN) was specifically designed to push this limit, and constrain exo-zodiacal emission originating from the "rocky planet forming region", i.e. from ∼0.1 AU to a few AUs. The characterization of exo-zodiacal light at these spatial scales is very revealing as it reflects the host system's specific distribution of planets, dust sources and sinks. Strong exo-zodi emission in the habitable zone is also important to identify, as it can be a hindrance to direct imaging of Earth-like exoplanets. We discuss here the results of a Keck Nuller exo-zodi program targeting 26 nearby main sequence stars, most of which with no previously known infrared excess.

  20. Spitzer Observations Confirm and Rescue the Habitable-zone Super-Earth K2-18b for Future Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benneke, Björn; Werner, Michael; Petigura, Erik; Knutson, Heather; Dressing, Courtney; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Livingston, John; Beichman, Charles; Christiansen, Jessie; Krick, Jessica; Gorjian, Varoujan; Howard, Andrew W.; Sinukoff, Evan; Ciardi, David R.; Akeson, Rachel L.

    2017-01-01

    The recent detections of two transit events attributed to the super-Earth candidate K2-18b have provided the unprecedented prospect of spectroscopically studying a habitable-zone planet outside the solar system. Orbiting a nearby M2.5 dwarf and receiving virtually the same stellar insolation as Earth, K2-18b would be a prime candidate for the first detailed atmospheric characterization of a habitable-zone exoplanet using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)and James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Here, we report the detection of a third transit of K2-18b near the predicted transit time using the Spitzer Space Telescope. The Spitzer detection demonstrates the periodic nature of the two transit events discovered by K2, confirming that K2-18 is indeed orbited by a super-Earth in a 33 day orbit, ruling out the alternative scenario of two similarly sized, long-period planets transiting only once within the 75 day Kepler Space Telescope (K2) observation. We also find, however, that the transit event detected by Spitzer occurred 1.85 hr (7σ ) before the predicted transit time. Our joint analysis of the Spitzer and K2 photometry reveals that this early occurrence of the transit is not caused by transit timing variations, but the result of an inaccurate ephemeris due to a previously undetected data anomaly in the K2 photometry. We refit the ephemeris and find that K2-18b would have been lost for future atmospheric characterizations with HST and JWST if we had not secured its ephemeris shortly after the discovery. We caution that immediate follow-up observations as presented here will also be critical for confirming and securing future planets discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), in particular if only two transit events are covered by the relatively short 27-day TESS campaigns.

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldblatt, C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2014-12-01

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

  5. High-resolution Speckle Imaging of Kepler Exoplanet Host Stars - Validation of Earth-size, Habitable Zone Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Horch, Elliott; Everett, Mark; Ciardi, David

    2013-08-01

    We propose to utilize our speckle imaging instrument on the Gemini- North 8-m telescope to obtain high spatial resolution imaging of Kepler planetary candidate systems that host planets smaller than 1.5 R_earth. The high contrast images afforded by the speckle camera on Gemini-North, resolution to 0.02 arc-sec and (Delta)mag to 10, in conjunction with the Kepler data, will allow us to fully validate ~100 Kepler systems with earth-sized planets or smaller in or near the habitable zone independently of any other follow-up data. Additionally, we will provide unique information on the binary fraction of solar-like stars due to our speckle images reaching to ~10 AU separations, the RV determined peak of solar-type binary separations. Our speckle+Gemini-N observations will serve to not only validate the many Earth-like exoplanets in long period orbits and assess the binary fraction of the Kepler planet host stars, we will also re-determine the planetary radii in some cases after taking into account blending by physically associated or co-aligned stars. Gemini-N speckle imaging will detect possible blends that, if unaccounted for, can affect the measured planet sizes or could suggest a false positive in the form of a faint eclipsing binary blended with the target star.

  6. Stability of Liquid Water on a Land Planet: Wider Habitable Zone for a Less Water Planet than an Aqua Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, Y.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2009-12-01

    Most of the previous studies on the habitable zone implicitly assume an ocean-covered 'aqua' planet that has a large amount of liquid water like the present Earth. However, there is a possibility of a habitable 'land' planet that is covered by vast dry desert but has locally abundant water. The land planet state is expected when the fraction of water covered areas is less than about half of surface. Ancient Mars might be in such a state. The conditions for the existence of liquid water can be different for a less water land planet from that of an aqua planet, because both the ice-albedo feedback, which causes the complete freezing, and the runaway greenhouse, which causes the complete evaporation, are enhanced by abundant water. Here, we investigated the condition for the solar flux that cause the complete freezing or evaporation of liquid water on a land planet using a general circulation model. We use a general circulation model, CCSR/NIES AGCM5.4g, which have been developed for the Earth’s climate modeling by the Centre for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo and the National Institute for Environmental Research. To compare a land planet with an aqua planet, we consider an Earth-sized planet without topography with 1 bar air atmosphere on a circular orbit. The distribution of water on a land planet is completely determined by the atmospheric circulation. On a land planet, complete freezing and complete evaporation of water occurred at the 77% and 170% of the present Earth's solar flux, respectively. On the other hand, complete freezing and evaporation of an aqua planet occurs at 90% and about 130%, respectively. Thus, a land planet shows stronger resistance to both the complete freezing and evaporation of liquid water than an aqua planet. The stability field of liquid water is quite wide on a land planet compared with that of an aqua planet. In addition, escape flux of water from a land planet is very small because of dry upper atmosphere. It suggests

  7. Stability of Liquid Water on a Land Planet: Wider Habitable Zone for a Less Water Planet than an Aqua Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, Y.; Abe-Ouchi, A.

    2005-12-01

    Most of the previous studies on the habitable zone implicitly assume an ocean-covered 'aqua' planet that has a large amount of liquid water like the present Earth. However, there is a possibility of a habitable 'land' planet that is covered by vast dry desert but has locally abundant water. Ancient Mars might be in such a state. The conditions for the stability of liquid water can be different for a less water land planet from that of an aqua planet, because both the ice-albedo feedback, which causes the complete freezing, and the runaway greenhouse, which causes the complete evaporation, are enhanced by abundant water. Here, we investigated the condition for the solar flux that cause the complete freezing or evaporation of liquid water on a land planet using a general circulation model. We use a general circulation model, CCSR/NIES AGCM5.4g, which have been developed for the Earth's climate modeling by the Centre for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo and the National Institute for Environmental Research. To compare a land planet with an aqua planet, we consider an Earth-sized planet without topography with 1 bar air atmosphere on a circular orbit. The distribution of water on a land planet is completely determined by the atmospheric circulation. On a land planet, complete freezing and complete evaporation of water occurred at the 77% and 170% of the present Earth's solar flux, respectively. On the other hand, complete freezing and evaporation of an aqua planet occurs at 90% and about 130%, respectively. The absolute values of the criteria depends on the abundance of the greenhouse gases. However, the relative values between the land and aqua planets would not be changed. Thus, a land planet shows stronger resistance to both the complete freezing and evaporation of liquid water than an aqua planet. The stability field of liquid water is quite wide on a land planet compared with that of an aqua planet. It suggests that a water rich aqua planet may not be

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

    centered on the only island of stability left in the six-planet solution. Habitability assessments accounting for the stellar flux, as well as tidal dissipation effects, indicate that three (maybe four) planets are potentially habitable. Doppler and space-based transit surveys indicate that 1) dynamically packed systems of super-Earths are relatively abundant and 2) M-dwarfs have more small planets than earlier-type stars. These two trends together suggest that GJ 667C is one of the first members of an emerging population of M-stars with multiple low-mass planets in their habitable zones. Based on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility under request number ANGLADA36104. Such data had been previously obtained with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope under the programs 183.C-0437, 072.C-0488 and 088.C-0662, and with the UVES spectrograph at the Very Large Telescopes under the program 087.D-0069. This study also contains observations obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory - which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology - and observations obtained with the Magellan Telescopes, operated by the Carnegie Institution, Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of Arizona, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Time-series (Table C.2) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/556/A126Appendices except Table C.2 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  9. Composite circumstellar dust grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Ranjan; Vaidya, Dipak B.; Dutta, Rajeshwari

    2016-10-01

    We calculate the absorption efficiencies of composite silicate grains with inclusions of graphite and silicon carbide in the spectral range 5-25 μm. We study the variation in absorption profiles with volume fractions of inclusions. In particular we study the variation in the wavelength of peak absorption at 10 and 18 μm. We also study the variation of the absorption of porous silicate grains. We use the absorption efficiencies to calculate the infrared flux at various dust temperatures and compare with the observed infrared emission flux from the circumstellar dust around some M-type and asymptotic giant branch stars obtained from IRAS and a few stars from Spitzer satellite. We interpret the observed data in terms of the circumstellar dust grain sizes, shape, composition and dust temperature.

  10. 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.

  11. Ground-based Transit Observation of the Habitable-zone Super-Earth K2-3d

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukui, Akihiko; Livingston, John; Narita, Norio; Hirano, Teruyuki; Onitsuka, Masahiro; Ryu, Tsuguru; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2016-12-01

    We report the first ground-based transit observation of K2-3d, a 1.5 R ⊕ planet supposedly within the habitable zone around a bright M-dwarf host star, using the Okayama 188 cm telescope and the multi(grz)-band imager MuSCAT. Although the depth of the transit (0.7 mmag) is smaller than the photometric precisions (1.2, 0.9, and 1.2 mmag per 60 s for the g, r, and z bands, respectively), we marginally but consistently identify the transit signal in all three bands, by taking advantage of the transit parameters from K2, and by introducing a novel technique that leverages multi-band information to reduce the systematics caused by second-order extinction. We also revisit previously analyzed Spitzer transit observations of K2-3d to investigate the possibility of systematic offsets in transit timing, and find that all the timing data can be explained well by a linear ephemeris. We revise the orbital period of K2-3d to be 44.55612 ± 0.00021 days, which corrects the predicted transit times for 2019, i.e., the era of the James Webb Space Telescope, by ∼80 minutes. Our observation demonstrates that (1) even ground-based, 2 m class telescopes can play an important role in refining the transit ephemeris of small-sized, long-period planets, and (2) a multi-band imager is useful to reduce the systematics of atmospheric origin, in particular for bluer bands and for observations conducted at low-altitude observatories.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  13. 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 1σ 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.

  14. 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.

  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. Circumstellar disks and planetary formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huélamo, N.

    2017-03-01

    Circumstellar disks are very common around young intermediate-, low-mass stars, and brown dwarfs. They are the cradle of planetary systems, although the mechanism to form planets is still unknown. In this text I review some advances in the field of circumstellar disks and planetary formation coming from observations.

  17. 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.

  18. Planet Hunters. V. A Confirmed Jupiter-size Planet in the Habitable Zone and 42 Planet Candidates from the Kepler Archive Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

    We report the latest Planet Hunter results, including PH2 b, a Jupiter-size (R PL = 10.12 ± 0.56 R ⊕) 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. .

  19. 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

  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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A 3.1 M ⊕ Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M3V Star Gliese 581

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; 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 ~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 ⊕ planet orbiting in a 0.758 AU orbit of period 433 days, and a sixth planet, GJ 581g, a minimum-mass 3.1 M ⊕ 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 η⊕, 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 η⊕ 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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 μm, combined with M stars emitting a significant fraction of their radiation at these same longer wavelengths, means that the albedos of ice and snow on planets orbiting M stars are much lower than their values on Earth. Our results imply that the ice/snow albedo climate feedback is significantly weaker for planets orbiting M stars than for planets orbiting G-type stars such as the Sun. In addition, planets with significant ice and snow cover will have significantly higher surface temperatures for a given stellar flux if the spectral variation of cryospheric albedo is considered, which in turn implies that the outer edge of the habitable zone around M stars may be 10-30% farther away from the parent star than previously thought.

  7. 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

    2013-05-03

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

  8. A Simple Evolutional Model of the UV Habitable Zone and the Possibility of the Persistent Life Existence: The Effects of Mass and Metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oishi, Midori; Kamaya, Hideyuki

    2016-12-01

    In addition to the habitable zone (HZ), the UV habitable zone (UV-HZ) is important when considering the existence of persistent life in the universe. The UV-HZ is defined as the area where the UV radiation field from a host star is moderate for persistent life existence. This is because UV is necessary for the synthesis of biochemical compounds. The UV-HZ must overlap the HZ when life appears and evolves. In this paper, following our previous study of the HZ, we examine the UV-HZ in cases with a stellar mass range from 0.08 to 4.00 M ⊙ with various metallicities during the main sequence phase. This mass range was chosen because we are interested in an environment similar to that of Earth. The effect of metallicity is reflected in the spectrum of the host stars, and we reexamine it in the context of the UV-HZ. The present work shows the effect of metallicity when that in the UV-HZ is less than that in the HZ. Furthermore, we find that the chance of persistent life existence declines as the metallicity decreases, as long as the UV radiation is not protected and/or boosted by any mechanisms. This is because the overlapped region of a persistent HZ and UV-HZ decreases. We find that the most appropriate stellar mass for the persistence of life existence is from 1.0 to 1.5 M ⊙ with metallicity Z = 0.02, and only about 1.2 M ⊙ with Z = 0.002. When Z = 0.0002, the chance of persistent life existence is very low, assuming that the ocean does not protect the life from UV radiation.

  9. The structure of circumstellar shells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fix, John D.; Cobb, Michael L.

    1988-01-01

    Speckle-interferometric measurements are reported for the brightness distributions of the OH/IR stars OH 26.5 + 0.6 and IRC + 10420 at wavelengths which are near the center of and just outside the 10-micron absorption/emission feature produced by circumstellar dust. For OH 26.5 + 0.6, the angular size within the absorption feature is 0.50 + or - 0.02 arcsec, while the angular size outside the feature is less than 0.2 arcsec. For IRC + 10420, the angular sizes inside and outside the emission feature are both 0.42 + or - 0.02 arcsec. Simple models of the circumstellar shells are calculated which can account for the measured angular sizes and flux distributions of the objects. The models give the wavelength dependence of the opacity of the circumstellar material, which is quite different for the two objects.

  10. Submillimeter observations of circumstellar dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Caroline R.; Leahy, Denis A.; Kwok, Sun

    1992-06-01

    Five late-type stars with circumstellar envelopes were observed with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) on 1988 February 7-8. The stars IK Tauri, Alpha Orionis, VY Canis Majoris, CW Leonis, and RW Leonis Minoris were observed in the 450, 800, and 1100 micron wavebands. These data were combined with existing measurements at shorter wavelengths for each star. The combined data were fitted to a circumstellar-dust-shell model based on the computer code by Leung (1975). Derived parameters, including mass-loss rates, are presented for the observed stars.

  11. Understanding habitability on the pathways to habitable planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forget, Francois

    2015-07-01

    While we develop the observation tools that will, someday, characterize habitable planets, the concept of habitability is regularly challenged. It not easy to define life and what is needed for it, so drawing a line between "habitable" and "not-habitable" is di cult. We usually postulate that "habitable = liquid water available" because liquid water seems required for life as we can imagine it. However, worlds with liquid water can be seen as more or less habitable, depending on 1) the available molecules and energy sources (notably light), 2) the time available for life to emerge and evolve. Different class of habitability can be defined, ranging, from worlds with liquid water only in the deep interior, to Earth-like cases with surface liquid water enabling photosynthetic life to modify the atmosphere in a detectable way. Within that context, we can agree to define the "Habitable zone" as the region outside which it is impossible for a rocky planet to maintain liquid water on its surface. Even this is not without ambiguity, since "exotic" configuration (e.g. a thick H2-rich atmosphere) can ex- tend the habitable zone beyond what could be estimated assuming an "expected" terrestrial atmosphere composition. But what atmospheres can we expect? Which processes control their evolution? These are the key questions. Our solar system experience is too limited and observations are needed. Much can be learned even by characterizing atmospheres outside the habitable zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuntz, Manfred

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Habit formation

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kyle S.; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Habit formation.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kyle S; Graybiel, Ann M

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

    Context. In 2009 we started an intense radial-velocity monitoring of a few nearby, slowly-rotating and quiet solar-type stars within the dedicated HARPS-Upgrade GTO program. Aims: The goal of this campaign is to gather very-precise radial-velocity data with high cadence and continuity to detect tiny signatures of very-low-mass stars that are potentially present in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Methods: Ten stars were selected among the most stable stars of the original HARPS high-precision program that are uniformly spread in hour angle, such that three to four of them are observable at any time of the year. For each star we recorded 50 data points spread over the observing season. The data points consist of three nightly observations with a total integration time of 10 min each and are separated by two hours. This is an observational strategy adopted to minimize stellar pulsation and granulation noise. Results: We present the first results of this ambitious program. The radial-velocity data and the orbital parameters of five new and one confirmed low-mass planets around the stars HD 20794, HD 85512, and HD 192310 are reported and discussed, among which is a system of three super-Earths and one that harbors a 3.6 M⊕-planet at the inner edge of the habitable zone. Conclusions: This result already confirms previous indications that low-mass planets seem to be very frequent around solar-type stars and that this may occur with a frequency higher than 30%. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on ESO's 3.6 m telescope at the La Silla Observatory in the frame of the HARPS-Upgrade GTO program ID 086.C-0230.Tables 7-9 (RV data) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/534/A58

  17. Habitability in Binary Systems: The Role of UV Reduction and Magnetic Protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Joni; Mason, P. A.; Zuluaga, J. I.; Cuartas, P. A.; Bustamonte, S.

    2013-06-01

    The number of planets found in binary systems is growing rapidly and the discovery of many more planets in binary systems appears inevitable. We use the newly refined and more restrictive, single star habitable zone (HZ) models of Kopparapu et al. (2013) and include planetary magnetic protection calculations in order to investigate binary star habitability. Here we present results on circumstellar or S-type planets, which are planets orbiting a single star member of a binary. P-type planets, on the other hand, orbit the center of mass of the binary. Stable planetary orbits exist in HZs for both types of binaries as long as the semi-major axis of the planet is either greater than (P-type) or less than (S-type) a few times the semi-major axis of the binary. We define two types of S-type binaries for this investigation. The SA-type is a circumstellar planet orbiting the binary’s primary star. In this case, the limits of habitability are dominated by the primary being only slightly affected by the presence of the lower mass companion. Thus, the SA-type planets have habitability characteristics, including magnetic protection, similar to single stars of the same type. The SB-type is a circumstellar planet orbiting the secondary star in a wide binary. An SB-type planet needs to orbit slightly outside the secondary’s single star HZ and remain within the primary’s single star HZ at all times. We explore the parameter space for which this is possible. We have found that planets lying in the combined HZ of SB binaries can be magnetically protected against the effects of stellar winds from both primary and secondary stars in a limited number of cases. We conclude that habitable conditions exist for a subset of SA-type, and a smaller subset of SB-type binaries. However, circumbinary planets (P-types) provide the most intriguing possibilities for the existence of complex life due to the effect of synchronization of binaries with periods in the 20-30 day range which allows

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Age aspects of habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Observational constraints on circumstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.

    1986-01-01

    There is an enormous range in the properties of stars that are losing mass. The red giants responsible for injecting roughly half or more of the material into the interstellar medium are reviewed. The physical properties are described for the out flowing gases. Broadband observation constaints on the dust are described by use of spectrum analysis. Circumstellar dust is identified by carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen bonds.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Measuring the structure and composition of circumstellar debris disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballering, Nicholas Paul

    In this dissertation, I measure the structure and composition of circumstellar debris disks to probe the underlying planetary systems. In Chapter 1, I provide an introduction to the field of debris disks. I highlight our current observational and theoretical understanding of the field, rather than providing a detailed history. This is intended to give the reader context and motivation for the subsequent chapters. I also describe important developments in debris disk science that are not the focus of this dissertation, but are nevertheless vital for a complete overview. In Chapter 2, I describe my analysis of a large sample of cold (<130 K) debris disks seen in Spitzer/IRS data. Previous work had suggested a common temperature for these disk components, regardless of spectral type. I find that there is trend with spectral type and argue that the locations of cold disks are not set by snow lines, but more likely by the formation/evolution of planets. This work was published in Ballering et al. (2013). In Chapter 3, I turn my focus to the warm (˜190 K) debris components identified in Chapter 2--specifically those exhibiting silicate emission features. I show that these features arise from exozodiacal dust in the habitable zones around these stars. This was published in Ballering et al. (2014). In Chapter 4, I examine the remainder of the warm disks to investigate what mechanism sets their location. I find that for many systems, the locations trace the water snow line in the primordial protoplanetary disk, rather than the current snow line. This favors the interpretation that warm debris components arise from asteroid belts in these systems. This study will be published soon. In Chapter 5, I analyze images of the debris disk around beta Pictoris at five different wavelengths, including in thermal emission and scattered light. I find that matching the disk brightness at all wavelengths constrains the composition of the dust, with a mixture of astronomical silicates and

  5. Where to Look for Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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, 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.

  9. 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

    2014-09-02

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    We report the discovery of three new substellar companions to solar-type stars, HD 191806, HD 214823, and HD 221585, based on radial velocity measurements obtained at the Haute-Provence Observatory. Data from the SOPHIE spectrograph are combined with observations acquired with its predecessor, ELODIE, to detect and characterise the orbital parameters of three new gaseous giant and brown dwarf candidates. Additionally, we combine SOPHIE data with velocities obtained at the Lick Observatory to improve the parameters of an already known giant planet companion, HD 16175 b. Thanks to the use of different instruments, the data sets of all four targets span more than ten years. Zero-point offsets between instruments are dealt with using Bayesian priors to incorporate the information we possess on the SOPHIE/ELODIE offset based on previous studies. The reported companions have orbital periods between three and five years and minimum masses between 1.6 MJup and 19 MJup. Additionally, we find that the star HD 191806 is experiencing a secular acceleration of over 11 m s-1 per year, potentially due to an additional stellar or substellar companion. A search for the astrometric signature of these companions was carried out using Hipparcos data. No orbit was detected, but a significant upper limit to the companion mass can be set for HD 221585, whose companion must be substellar. With the exception of HD 191806 b, the companions are located within the habitable zone of their host star. Therefore, satellites orbiting these objects could be a propitious place for life to develop. Based on observations collected with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France by the SOPHIE Consortium (programme 07A.PNP.CONS to 15A.PNP.CONS).

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borucki, W. J.; Kaltenegger, L.; Doyle, L.

    2012-12-01

    Nearly 3000 planetary candidates have been found with an enormous range of sizes, densities, semi-major axes, and types of stellar hosts. In particular, exoplanets near the size of Earth's moon to those larger than Jupiter have been found orbiting stars much cooler and smaller than the Sun as well to stars hotter and often larger than the Sun. Orbital periods range from 0.84 days to over 1000 days and orbital distances range from 0.01 AU to many AU. In addition to the photometric determination of the sizes of planets, masses can be determined for those planets with large masses and/or short orbital-periods from radial velocity and transit timing measurements. By combining these results, densities of these planets are calculated. The results are indicative of planetary compositions that range from mostly gas, to water planets, and to iron-rich rocky planets. Surprisingly wide ranges of densities have been found for closely-packed planets orbiting the same star. This result implies that contrary to what is observed in our Solar System, the composition (whether rocky, water-rich, or gas) cannot be deduced from its semi-major axis or insolation. For planets with an atmosphere, the surface temperature will be higher than equilibrium temperature Teq and will depend on the amount and spectral characteristics of the insolation as well as atmospheric properties such as mass, composition, and albedo. Unfortunately, the latter are unknown and there are substantial uncertainties in the former because the stellar size is often poorly known. Variations of insolation can be very large for planets orbiting binary stars as well as for those planets with high eccentricity. Thus the associated climatic conditions vary over a very wide range. Because it is much more difficult to find small planets in the HZ compared to finding large planets in short period orbits, only a few dozen planetary candidates and confirmed planets have been discovered in the HZ. Therefore the estimate of the distributions of planetary characteristics and climatic conditions in the HZ benefits from the knowledge of the wider distributions. A summary of the known characteristics of exoplanets, especially small planets and those in the HZ will be presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  16. The Habitable Exoplanet (HabEx) Imaging Mission: preliminary science drivers and technical requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mennesson, Bertrand; Gaudi, Scott; Seager, Sara; Cahoy, Kerri; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Feinberg, Lee; Guyon, Olivier; Kasdin, Jeremy; Marois, Christian; Mawet, Dimitri; Tamura, Motohide; Mouillet, David; Prusti, Timo; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Robinson, Tyler; Rogers, Leslie; Scowen, Paul; Somerville, Rachel; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Stern, Daniel; Still, Martin; Turnbull, Margaret; Booth, Jeffrey; Kiessling, Alina; Kuan, Gary; Warfield, Keith

    2016-07-01

    HabEx is one of four candidate flagship missions being studied in detail by NASA, to be submitted for consideration to the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics for possible launch in the 2030s. It will be optimized for direct imaging and spectroscopy of potentially habitable exoplanets, and will also enable a wide range of general astrophysics science. HabEx aims to fully characterize planetary systems around nearby solar-type stars for the first time, including rocky planets, possible water worlds, gas giants, ice giants, and faint circumstellar debris disks. In particular, it will explore our nearest neighbors and search for signs of habitability and biosignatures in the atmospheres of rocky planets in the habitable zones of their parent stars. Such high spatial resolution, high contrast observations require a large (roughly greater than 3.5m), stable, and diffraction-limited optical space telescope. Such a telescope also opens up unique capabilities for studying the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. We present some preliminary science objectives identified for HabEx by our Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT), together with a first look at the key challenges and design trades ahead.

  17. The Habitable Exoplanet (HabEx) Imaging Mission: Preliminary Science Drivers and Technical Requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudi, B. Scott; Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission Science and Technology Definition Team

    2017-01-01

    HabEx is one of four candidate flagship missions being studied in detail by NASA, to be submitted for consideration to the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics for possible launch in the 2030s. It will be optimized for direct imaging and spectroscopy of potentially habitable exoplanets, and will also enable a wide range of general astrophysics science. HabEx aims to fully characterize planetary systems around nearby solar-type stars for the first time, including rocky planets, possible water worlds, gas giants, ice giants, and faint circumstellar debris disks. In particular, it will explore our nearest neighbors and search for signs of habitability and biosignatures in the atmospheres of rocky planets in the habitable zones of their parent stars. Such high spatial resolution, high contrast observations require a large (roughly greater than 3.5m), stable, and diffraction-limited optical space telescope. Such a telescope also opens up unique capabilities for studying the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. We present some preliminary science objectives identified for HabEx by our Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT), together with a first look at the key challenges and design trades ahead.

  18. 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.

  19. Planetary Habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissauer, J. J.; Quarles, B.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Quarles, B.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Atmospheric escape, redox evolution, and planetary habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Infrared Interferometry and Circumstellar Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coudé du Foresto, Vincent

    2009-08-01

    Exozodiacal dust plays an important role for the feasibility and dimensioning of future space missions dedicated to the spectroscopic analysis of the atmosphere of Earth-like planets. Thus, a survey of dust clouds around potential targets is called for in order to reduce the need for such observations using space-based missions and not waste time on sources where exo-Earths cannot be detected. Aladdin is an infrared (L band) nulling interferometer optimized for this objective. Although relatively modest in size (two 1-meter class telescopes on a maximum baseline of 32 meters), it takes advantage of the favorable atmospheric conditions of the Antarctic plateau to achieve a sensitivity better than what can be obtained with a pair of 8-meter-class telescopes at a more temperate site. Beyond its main mission, the science potential of Aladdin extends to the study of all kinds of faint circumstellar material (dust and/or molecules) around young, old or main-sequence stars.

  6. The Circumstellar Environments of Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Christine

    The WFIRST-AFTA mission currently includes the provision for a high contrast imaging instrument with a primary goal of discovering new, low mass exoplanets and characterizing their atmospheres. To date, eight exoplanetary systems have been discovered via direct imaging using the current generation of ground-based high-contrast facilities. Five of those systems, including the iconic beta Pictoris and HR 8799 systems, possess infrared excesses, indicative of the presence of circumstellar dust. Detailed studies of dust and gas morphology in the beta Pictoris disk provided the impetus for searching for, and eventually imaging the planet. These studies further suggest that additional planets orbit the star, but are below current detection thresholds. Such systems will be prime targets for WFIRST-AFTA, which will obtain visual spectroscopy of several spectral features from molecules in the exoplanet atmospheres including CH4, H2O, and CO2. We propose to: (1) model the dust in exoplanetary systems with well characterized planets and infrared excesses to better constrain the dust geometry and particle properties; (2) generate synthetic WFIRST-AFTA images of these disks with embedded known and putative planets using point-spread-functions generated by JPL, and run our simulations though a WFIRST-AFTA pipeline; and (3) evaluate the sensitivity of WFIRST-AFTA to known and putative planets that have a range of masses and distances from their host stars. The proposed simulations will also assist the community in understanding how WFIRST-AFTA will contribute to our knowledge of debris disks and the role that minor bodies play in the delivery of water into the terrestrial planet zone. The proposed project is complementary to the efforts currently being carried out by the Science Definition Team (SDT), which focus on simulating planets embedded in tenuous disks, analogous to the Zodiacal dust system in our Solar System, the Earth s resonant dust ring, and the HR 4796 dust ring

  7. Exoplanet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

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

  9. Interaction of Supernovae with Circumstellar Material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippenko, Alex

    1996-07-01

    The interaction of supernova {SN} ejecta with circumstellar material supplied by the wind of the evolved progenitor star can sometimes provide enough energy to sustain the SN luminosity for several decades. Existing observations of certain Type II SNe strongly favor such an interpretation over other possible late-time energy sources. Some peculiar SNe II have such dense circumstellar winds that interaction with the ejecta substantially alters their observed properties even at early times. The UV spectrum is a powerful diagnostic for probing the conditions in the shocked outer ejecta and circumstellar gas. We propose to observe two old SNs {1979C and 1980K} whose optical and radio characteristics reveal them to be especially well suited for an investigation of the interaction between ejecta and circumstellar gas. We will also observe a more recent SN II {1995N} showing strong evidence for early interaction with circumstellar gas. The fluxes and intensity ratios of UV emission lines will be used to test theoretical models of the interaction. In addition, we will obtain UBVRI and HAlpha images of SN 1979C to obtain a precise offset from an offset star {for the subsequent FOS spectroscopy}, to determine background contamination corrections for previous photometry, to measure accurate current magnitudes, to search for light echoes, and to investigate the stellar population and structure of H II regions in its vicinity. The HST observations will shed light on differences among the 3 objects, as well as on the mass-loss histories of their progenitors.

  10. Small carbon chains in circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargreaves, R. J.; Hinkle, K.; Bernath, P. F.

    2014-11-01

    Observations of carbon-rich circumstellar envelopes were made using the Phoenix spectrograph on the Gemini South telescope to determine the abundance of small carbon chain molecules. Vibration-rotation lines of the ν3 antisymmetric stretch of C3 near 2040 cm-1 (4.902 μm) have been used to determine the column density for four carbon-rich circumstellar envelopes: CRL 865, CRL 1922, CRL 2023 and IRC +10216. We additionally calculate the column density of C5 for IRC +10216, and provide an upper limit for five more objects. An upper limit estimate for the C7 column density is also provided for IRC+10216. A comparison of these column densities suggests a revision to current circumstellar chemical models may be needed.

  11. Fullerenes and fulleranes in circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yong; Kwok, Sun; Sadjadi, SeyedAbdolreza

    2016-07-01

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

  12. The photodissociation of CO in circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mamon, G. A.; Glassgold, A. E.; Huggins, P. J.

    1988-01-01

    The CO photodissociation rate for the unshielded ISM is calculated using recent laboratory results which confirm that photodissociation occurs by way of line absorption. A value of 2.0 x 10 to the -10th/s, an order of magnitude higher than the rate used in the past, is obtained. The new rate and a treatment of the radiative transfer and shielding are used to develop a theory for the CO abundance in the circumstellar envelopes of cool, evolved stars, and results are presented on the spatial variation of CO, C, and C(+). It is shown that these distributions play important roles in determining the observational properties of circumstellar envelopes.

  13. Lifestyle Habits

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis

    2016-11-01

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

  18. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability.

    PubMed

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis

    2016-11-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Planetary accretion in circumstellar disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Stewart, Glen R.

    1993-01-01

    The formation of terrestrial planets and the cores of Jovian planets is reviewed in the framework of the planetesimal hypothesis, wherein planets are assumed to grow via the pairwise accumulation of small solid bodies. Emphasis is placed on the dynamics of solid body accretion from kilometer size planetesimals to terrestrial type planets. This stage of planetary growth is least dependent on the characteristics of the evolutionary state of the central star. It is concluded that the evolution of the planetesimal size distribution is determined by the gravitationally enhanced collision cross-section, which favors collisions between planetesimals with smaller velocities. Runaway growth of the largest planetesimal in each accretion zone appears to be a likely outcome. The subsequent accumulation of the resulting protoplanets leads to a large degree of radial mixing in the terrestrial planet region, and giant impacts are probable.

  5. Habitable planet finder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditto, Thomas D.

    2012-09-01

    A notional space telescope configuration is presented that addresses issues of angular resolution, spectral bandwidth and rejection of host star glare by means of a double dispersion architecture. The telescope resolves angle by wavelength. In an earlier embodiment for surveys, a primary objective grating telescope architecture was shown to acquire millions of objects in one observation cycle, one wave length at a time. The proposed HPF can detect exquisite spectral signatures out of millions of wavelengths in albedos - one exoplanetary system at a time. Like its predecessor, the new HPF telescope has a ribbon-shaped flat gossamer membrane primary objective that lends itself to space deployment, but the preferred embodiment uses a holographic optical element rather than a plane grating. The HOE provides an improvement in efficiency at select wavelength bands. The considerable length of the membrane can be in the 100 meter class providing angular resolution sufficient to resolve planets in the habitable zone and also spectral resolution sufficient to earmark habitability. A novel interferometric secondary spectrograph rejects host star glare. However, the architecture cannot disambiguate multiple stellar sources and may require unprecedented focal lengths in the primary objective to isolate one system at a time.

  6. The Possibility of Multiple Habitable Worlds Orbiting Binary Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, P. A.

    2014-03-01

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

  7. Herschel Views on Stellar and Circumstellar Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waelkens, Christoffel

    2010-05-01

    We review the first results of Herschel on stellar and circumstellar evolution. - For main-sequence stars, PACS and SPIRE measurements of the debris disks surrounding Vega and Beta Pictoris are presented, revealing the disks with unprecedented spatial resolution at the peaks of their spectral energy distribution. - Through imaging and spectroscopic studies, the mass loss mechanisms and histories during the final stages of stellar evolution are investigated. Imaging of the circumstellar environments of AGB stars enables a detailed discussion of the discontinuous nature of the mass loss processes which induce the final evolution. With their moderately high spectral resolution, PACS and SPIRE reveal spectacularly rich molecular diagnostics on the dynamics of and the chemistry in the environments of objects such as CW Leo and VY CMa.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. Modeling sgB[e] Circumstellar Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurfürst, P.; Feldmeier, A.; Krtička, J.

    2017-02-01

    During their evolution, massive stars are characterized by a significant loss of mass either via spherically symmetric stellar winds or by aspherical mass-loss mechanisms, namely outflowing equatorial disks. However, the scenario that leads to the formation of a disk or rings of gas and dust around these objects is still under debate. Is it a viscous disk or an ouftlowing disk-forming wind or some other mechanism? It is also unclear how various physical mechanisms that act on the circumstellar environment of the stars affect its shape, density, kinematic, and thermal structure. We assume that the disk-forming mechanism is a viscous transport within an equatorial outflowing disk of a rapidly or even critically rotating star. We study the hydrodynamic and thermal structure of optically thick dense parts of outflowing circumstellar disks that may form around, e.g., Be stars, sgB[e] stars, or Pop III stars. We calculate self-consistent time-dependent models of the inner dense region of the disk that is strongly affected either by irradiation from the central star and by contributions of viscous heating effects. We also simulate the dynamic effects of collision between expanding ejecta of supernovae and circumstellar disks that may be form in sgB[e] stars and, e.g., LBVs or Pop III stars.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Living with an Old Red Dwarf: X-ray-UV Emissions of Kapteyn’s Star - Effects of X-UV radiation on Habitable Zone Planets hosted by old Red Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guinan, Edward F.; Durbin, Allyn J.; Engle, Scott G.

    2015-01-01

    Red dwarfs (dM) stars make up over 75% of the local stellar population and a significant fraction (~40-50%) are older than the Sun. Because of the high frequency of red dwarfs and their longevity (> 50 Gyr), there is a greater possibility of more advanced life in red dwarf-exoplanet systems. MEarths, UVES, SDSS-III, and the upcoming TESS mission are some surveys that are targeting red dwarfs in the search for hosted potentially habitalble planets. As part of Villanova's 'Living with a Red Dwarf' program, we have obtained HST-COS Ultraviolet spectra (1150-3000A) and Chandra X-ray observations of Kapteyn's star (GJ 191; M1 V, V = 8.85 mag , d = 12.76 +/- 0.05 ly). Kapyteyn's Star is important for the study of old red dwarfs because it is the nearest (Pop II) halo star with a radial velocity of +245.2 km/s and an estimated age of 11.2 +/-0.9 Gyrs. Recently Kapteyn's Star was found to host two super-Earth mass planets - one of these is orbiting inside the star's Habitable Zone (Anglada-Escude' 2014: MNRAS 443, L89). In our program, Kapteyn's star is the oldest red dwarf and as such serves as an anchor for our age, rotation, and activity relations. The spectra obtained from HST/COS provide one of the cleanest measurements of the important HI Lyman-alpha 1215.6 A emission flux for red dwarfs. This is due to the large Doppler shift from the high radial velocity, separating the stellar Ly-alpha emission from by the Ly-alpha ISM and local geo-coronal sources. These observations further provide calibrations at the old age/low rotation/low activity extremes for our relations. As the nearest and brightest old red dwarf star, Kapteyn's Star also provides insights into its magnetic properties to investigae coronal x-ray and UV emission for the large population of old, slowly rotating red dwarf stars. Kapteyn's star also serves as a proxy for the numerous metal-poor old disk - Pop II M dwarfs by providing information about X-UV emissions. This information is crucial for

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    examples of application of our EBMs to studies of habitability of terrestrial planets. In the first part we focus on the primitive Earth, taking into account the effects of the higher speed of Earth rotation and reduced solar luminosity at the epoch of life formation. In the second part we provide examples of habitability studies of planetary systems discovered in surveys of exoplanets. These examples allow us to critically discuss the concept of circumstellar habitable zone.

  15. The Circumstellar Envelope of IRC +10216.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keady, John Joseph

    1982-03-01

    Using recently obtained spatial and spectral line data on the circumstellar envelope of IRC +10216, we have attempted to semi-empirically probe the conditions in this envelope. The computational techniques utilized in our analysis accurately incorporate the effects of geometrical extension and velocity fields on the radiative transfer. We have also attempted to account for the non-equilibrium expected in the vibrational level populations of the gas phase species. Our modelling of the spatial distribution of the dust-produced circumstellar radiation field at 5 (mu)m and 11 (mu)m indicates that dust may be condensing in the circumstellar envelope. The dominant opacity source in our calculations, amorphous carbon, also seems to provide sufficient far-infrared flux. Modelling of the SiC emission feature confirms previous results that suggest a nonuniform particle-shape distribution for the SiC. We can produce multi-component absorption lines, very similar to the 2 (mu)m CO first overtone lines seen in IRC +10216, with continuous distributions of material. The requirement is regions of relatively low acceleration. Modelling of our high resolution, high signal-to-noise observations of the CO fundamental and first overtone indicates a mass -loss rate of 1.5(10('-4)) M(,(CIRCLE))/yr. Our calculations to date indicate that the gas reaches terminal velocity between 10 and 20 R(,*). The envelope mass within 100 R(,*) is 3(10('-2)) M(,(CIRCLE)), with the ratio (by mass) of dust to gas being 10('-3). The assumption of a constant mass-loss rate implies an envelope mass of (TURN)1 M(,(CIRCLE)) within 5000 R(,*). The computational techniques utilized are sufficiently adaptable and economical so that considerable future refinement of the modelling is possible.

  16. Infrared heterodyne spectroscopy of circumstellar molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  17. Habitability in the Local Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Paul A.

    2017-01-01

    Long term habitability on the surface of planets has as a prerequisite a minimum availability of elements to build rocky planets, their atmospheres, and for life sustaining water. They must be within the habitable zone and avoid circumstances that cause them to lose their atmospheres and water. However, many astrophysical sources are hazardous to life on the surfaces of planets. Planets in harsh environments may require strong magnetic fields to protect their biospheres from high energy particles from the host star(s). Planets in harsh environments may additionally require a strong astrosphere to be sufficiently able to deflect galactic cosmic-rays. Supernovae (SNe) play a central role in the habitability of planets in the disks of star forming galaxies. Currently, the SNe rate maintains a relativistic galactic wind shielding planets in the disk from extragalactic cosmic rays. However, if the density of SNe in the disk of the galaxy were significantly higher, as it was 6-8 GYA, the frequency of nearby catastrophic events and often prolonged harsh environment may have strongly constrained life in the early history of the Milky Way. Active galactic nuclei (AGN) may remain quiescent for hundreds of millions of years only to activate for some time due extraordinary accretion episode due to for instance a galactic merger. The starburst galaxy M82 is currently undergoing a merger, probably strongly compromising habitability within that galaxy. The giant elliptical M87 resides in the center of the Virgo supercluster and has probably consumed many such spiral galaxies. We show that super-Eddington accretion onto the supermassive black hole in M87, even for a short while, could compromise the habitability for a large portion of the central supercluster. We discuss environments where these effects may be mitigated.

  18. Models for circumstellar nebulae around red and blue supergiants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chita, S. M.

    2011-10-01

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

  19. The role of intrinsic magnetic fields in planetary evolution and habitability: the planetary protection aspect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Lammer, H.; Lichtenegger, H. I. M.; Grießmeier, J.-M.; Holmström, M.; Ekenbäck, A.

    2009-04-01

    The widely used definition of a habitable zone (HZ) for planets as a circumstellar area, where the star's luminosity is sufficiently intense to maintain liquid water at the surface of a planet, is shown to be too simplified. The role of a host star's activity and the intrinsic magnetic field of a planet with respect to their influence on mass loss processes of close-in gas giants and a definition of a HZ for the terrestrial-type exoplanets are discussed. The stellar X-ray/EUV radiation and the stellar wind result in ionization, heating, chemical modification, and slow erosion of the planetary upper atmospheres throughout their lifetime. The closer the planet is to the star, the more efficient are these processes, and therefore, the more important becomes the magnetic protection of a planet as a potential habitat. Different ways for planetary magnetic dipole moment estimation, based on existing magnetic dynamo scaling laws as well as on the recent measurements of hot atomic hydrogen clouds around close-in ‘Hot Jupiters’ are considered, and the predictions of these estimations are compared to each other.

  20. Choosing Stars to Search for Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Hydrogen sulfide in a circumstellar envelope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ukita, N.; Morris, M.

    1983-01-01

    A search for hydrogen sulfide in the cool circumstellar envelopes of 25 stars was made using the 1(10)-1(01) rotational line at 1.8 mm. It was detected in the bipolar nebula/OH maser OH231.8+4.2, an object having a high rate of mass loss. An approximate analysis indicates that 1/60 of the sulfur in this outflowing envelope is in the form of H2S, a fraction which may be similar to that in the atmosphere of the central star. In addition, the shape of the observed line profile is discussed in terms of a possible variation of the outflow velocity with latitude above the system's equatorial plane.

  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. The Circumstellar Material of Socket Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Bruce

    Taking advantage of the IUE's spatial resolution capability, we intend to determine the extent and nature of UV emission associated with socket stars. Socket stars are stars in HII regions surrounded by circumstellar material of an unknown nature. The few good-quality IUE data available suggest that the grains along the line of sight to the socket stars may not be typical interstellar grains. However, it is not clear if the grains suggested by the UV spectra are associated with the socket material or foreground material. Observing time is requested to obtain the UV maps, as well as improved spectra of selected socket stars. New IUE spectra will enable us to determine the presence or absence of UV scattering in the sockets, and to model grain sizes and distributions in the socket material.

  5. Spectroscopic Survey of Circumstellar Disks in Orion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras, Maria; Hernandez, Jesus; Olguin, Lorenzo; Briceno, Cesar

    2013-07-01

    As a second stage of a project focused on characterizing candidate stars bearing a circumstellar disk in Orion, we present a spectroscopic follow-up of a set of about 170 bright stars. The present set of stars was selected by their optical (UBVRI) and infrared behavior in different color-color and color-magnitude diagrams. Observations were carried out at the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional located at the Sierra San Pedro Martir in B.C., Mexico and at the Observatorio Guillermo Haro in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico. Low-resolution spectra were obtained for all candidates in the sample. Using the SPTCLASS code, we have obtained spectral types and equivalent widths of the Li I 6707 and Halpha lines for each one of the stars. This project is a cornerstone of a large scale survey aimed to obtain stellar parameters in a homogeneous way using spectroscopic data. This work was partially supported by UNAM-PAPIIT grant IN-109311.

  6. The interaction of supernovae with circumstellar bubbles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chevalier, Roger A.; Liang, Edison P.

    1989-01-01

    This paper examines the interaction of a massive star supernova with the shell created by the fast wind from a blue supergiant, either in the main-sequence phase or in a late evolutionary phase. Making a number of idealizations, the general features of shell interaction are described by semianalytical solutions. The expected properties of the supernova and its environment are discussed, and the hydrodynamics of the interaction is described. It is found that, typically, the shock traversal occurs before the energy transfer is significant. Applications of the model to observed objects are considered, with special attention given to the interaction of SN 1987A with its circumstellar shell, which is expected to occur within decades.

  7. Discovering metal-poor circumstellar OH masers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  8. Circumstellar dust: From protostars to planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayawardhana, Ray

    2000-11-01

    A combination of theoretical work and observational discoveries over the past three decades has led to significant advances in our understanding of the star and planet formation process. However, many important questions remain to be addressed, especially regarding the earliest phases of protostellar collapse and the transformation of circumstellar disks into planetary systems. In this thesis, I have undertaken a theoretical study of ``Class 0'' protostars and an observational investigation of the evolution of protoplanetary disks, diversity of planetary debris systems, and the kinship between dusty remnants and planets, using a new generation of infrared and sub- millimeter instruments. I present radiative transfer calculations of infalling envelopes surrounding Class 0 sources, compare them to the observed spectral energy distributions and radial intensity profiles, and derive mass infall rates. The rapid infall, probably inevitable given their dense environments, and the relatively flat inferred density distribution, perhaps due to contributions from external cloud material, lead us to suggest that many Class 0 sources could be the protostars of dense regions. It has been suggested that circumstellar disks evolve from massive, optically thick, actively accreting structures to low-mass, optically thin, passive remnants in about 10 Myr. That transition may mark the assembly of grains into planetesimals, or clearing of the disk by planets. I present mid infrared observation of the TW Hydrate Association, a recently identified nearby group of 10-Myr-old stars. The results suggest rapid evolution of inner disks as does our discovery of a spatially- resolved disk with a central cavity around the young A star HR 4796A. I also present the results of mid-infrared imaging of 11 other Vega-like stars, derive global properties of the dust disks, place constraints on their sizes, and discuss several interesting cases in detail. Finally, I report the detection of dust

  9. Habitability: A Review.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Space Station habitability research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clearwater, Y. A.

    1986-01-01

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

  11. Space Station Habitability Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clearwater, Yvonne A.

    1988-01-01

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

  12. Survival of habitable planets in unstable planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. X-ray and Hubble/COS UV Measures of Kapteyn's Star: A Crucial Proxy of X-UV Irradiances for Old Red Dwarf Stars that May Host Habitable Zone Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durbin, Allyn J.; Guinan, E. F.; Engle, S. G.

    2014-01-01

    Red dwarfs (dM) stars make up over 80% of the local stellar population and a significant fraction of them are old (age > 4 Gyr). Because of the high frequency of red dwarfs and their longevity, there is a greater possibility of more advanced life in red dwarf planet systems. MEarths, UVES, SDSS-III, and the upcoming TESS mission are some surveys that are targeting these objects. As part of Villanova’s Living with a Red Dwarf program, we have obtained HST/COS spectra and Chandra X-ray observations of Kapteyn's star (M1V, V = 8.853, d = 12.76 +/- 0.05 ly, P_rot = 195 days). This star is crucial to the study of old red dwarfs as it is the nearest halo star with a radial velocity of +245.2 km/s and an estimated age of 10-12 Gyr. In our program, Kapteyn's star is the oldest red dwarf and as such serves as an anchor for our age, rotation, and activity relations. The spectra obtained from HST/COS provide one of the cleanest measurements of Lyman-alpha emission for red dwarfs. This is due to Doppler shift from the high radial velocity, separating the Lyman-alpha line from emission produced by the ISM and geocoronal sources. These observations further provide calibration at the old age/low rotation/low activity extremes for our relations. They also provide insights into the magnetic properties as investigating coronal x-ray and UV emission in very old, slowly rotating dM stars. Kapteyn’s star also serves as a proxy for metal-poor old disk/Pop II M dwarfs by providing information about X-UV emissions. This information is crucial for determining X-UV irradiances of possible habitable zone planets hosted by old red dwarfs. We gratefully acknowledge the support from NSF/RUI Grant AST-1009903, NASA/Chandra Grants GO1-12124X and GO2-13020X, and HST-GO-13020.

  17. Porous dust grains in circumstellar disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchschlager, Florian; Wolf, Sebastian

    2013-07-01

    We investigate the impact of porous dust grains on the structure and observable appearance of circumstellar disks (Kirchschlager & Wolf 2013). Our study is motivated by observations and laboratory studies which indicate that dust grains in various astrophysical environments are porous. In addition, the modeling of the spatial structure and grain size distribution of debris disks reveals that under the assumption of spherical compact grains the resulting minimum grain size is often significantly larger than the blowout size, which might be a hint for porosity. Using the discrete dipole approximation, we compute the optical properties of spherical, porous grains (Draine & Flatau 1994, 2010). Subsequently, we calculate the blowout sizes for various debris disk systems and grain porosities. We find that the blowout size increases with particle porosity and stellar temperature. In addition, the lower dust equilibrium temperature of porous particles results in a shift of the maximum of the thermal reemission of debris disks towards longer wavelengths. For our studies of the impact of dust grain porosity in protoplanetary disks we use the radiative transfer software MC3D, which is based on the Monte-Carlo method and solves the radiative transfer problem self-consistently (Wolf et al. 1999, Wolf 2003). We find that the spectral energy distribution of protoplanetary disks shows significant differences between the cases of porous and compact grains. In particular, the flux in the optical wavelength range is increased for porous grains. Furthermore, the silicate peak at ~9.8 microns exhibits a strong dependence on the degree of grain porosity. We also investigate the temperature distribution in the disk. In the midplane no influence of porosity is detectable, but in the vertical direction minor changes of a few Kelvin are found. To complete our study we outline the differences between the two grain types in maps of the linear polarization. We detect a polarization reversal in

  18. How many habitable planets can we detect around nearby M dwarfs, and are they really habitable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pegues, Hope; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John A.

    2017-01-01

    M dwarfs offer the best prospects around which to detect and characterize habitable exoplanets because of their small size, abundance and cool surface temperature. We know from previous research that these stars have a large number of planets around them. However, M dwarfs are known to be magnetically active at young ages and they may remain active for billions of years. Because of this, these stars may not be able to host truly habitable planets. We simulated the existence of exoplanets around all known M dwarfs in the northern hemisphere within 20 parsecs of our Sun. We randomly select planet properties according to distributions from derived from the Kepler M dwarf sample. We consider the capabilities of current detection methods in order to predict the number of planets that will be discovered orbiting the habitable zone. We predict that only 1 such planet can be found using the transit method, but that 18 habitable zone exoplanets can be found using the radial velocity method. We then consider the effect of high-energy radiation on planets in the habitable zone. We use stellar rotation periods and rotation-activity relations to estimate the stellar x-ray and UV luminosities, and evaluate the amount of stellar radiation incident on the planets.

  19. TEM studies of a circumstellar rock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernatowicz, Thomas J.; Amari, Sachiko; Lewis, Roy S.

    1992-01-01

    Reported here is the discovery of crystals of titanium carbide in a grain of silicon carbide which formed as a circumstellar dust particle in the atmosphere of a carbon-rich star. Just as in the case of terrestrial rocks, whose assemblage of minerals gives us clues to the composition and conditions of the environment in which they formed, the titanium carbide crystals and their textural relationship to the silicon carbide give us important clues to the nature of the stellar atmosphere in which they formed. From microscopic studies of the relationships between the atomic planes of the silicon carbide and the titanium carbide, we can show that the titanium carbide cannot have existed as already-formed crystals in a gas around which silicon carbide subsequently condensed. An alternative possibility is that both minerals grew quickly and simultaneously from condensing gas in the rapidly cooling and expanding stellar atmosphere. Other microscopic features of the silicon carbide, such as abundant atomic layer disorder and crystal twinning, similarly suggest rapid grain growth. However, another possibility is that the titanium carbide grew inside of the silicon carbide by diffusion of titanium atoms. Our calculations suggest that this scenario is less likely, given the relatively short times (a year or less) for which stellar condensates can be expected to be exposed to temperatures high enough to make diffusion sufficiently rapid.

  20. Circumstellar Hydrodynamics and Spectral Radiation in ALGOLS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrell, Dirk Curtis

    1994-01-01

    Algols are the remnants of binary systems that have undergone large scale mass transfer. This dissertation presents the results of the coupling of a hydrodynamical model and a radiative model of the flow of gas from the inner Lagrangian point. The hydrodynamical model is a fully Lagrangian, three-dimensional scheme with a novel treatment of viscosity and an implementation of the smoothed particle hydrodynamics method to compute pressure gradients. Viscosity is implemented by allowing particles within a specified interaction length to share momentum. The hydrodynamical model includes a provision for computing the self-gravity of the disk material, although it is not used in the present application to Algols. Hydrogen line profiles and equivalent widths computed with a code by Drake and Ulrich are compared with observations of both short and long period Algols. More sophisticated radiative transfer computations are done with the escape probability code of Ko and Kallman which includes the spectral lines of thirteen elements. The locations and velocities of the gas particles, and the viscous heating from the hydro program are supplied to the radiative transfer program, which computes the equilibrium temperature of the gas and generates its emission spectrum. Intrinsic line profiles are assumed to be delta functions and are properly Doppler shifted and summed for gas particles that are not eclipsed by either star. Polarization curves are computed by combining the hydro program with the Wilson-Liou polarization program. Although the results are preliminary, they show that polarization observations show great promise for studying circumstellar matter.

  1. The circumstellar ring of SN 1987A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fransson, Claes; Migotto, Katia; Larsson, Josefin; Pesce, Dominic; Challis, Peter; Chevalier, Roger A.; France, Kevin; Kirshner, Robert P.; Leibundgut, Bruno; Lundqvist, Peter; McCray, Richard; Spyromilio, Jason; Taddia, Francesco; Jerkstrand, Anders; Mattila, Seppo; Smith, Nathan; Sollerman, Jesper; Wheeler, J. Craig; Crotts, Arlin; Garnavich, Peter; Heng, Kevin; Lawrence, Stephen S.; Panagia, Nino; Pun, Chun S. J.; Sonneborn, George; Sugerman, Ben

    2016-06-01

    The circumstellar ring of supernova 1987A first became visible a few months after the explosion due to photoionisation by the supernova flash. From 1995 hotspots appeared in the ring and their brightness increased nearly exponentially as a result of interaction with the supernova blast wave. Imaging and spectroscopic observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope now show that both the shocked and the unshocked emission components from the ring have been decreasing since ~ 2009. In addition, the most recent images reveal the brightening of new spots outside the ring. These observations indicate that the hotspots are being dissolved by the shocks and that the blast wave is now expanding and interacting with dense clumps beyond the ring. Based on the currently observed decay we predict that the ring will be destroyed by ~ 2025, while the blast wave will reveal the distribution of gas as it expands outside the ring, thus tracing the mass-loss history of the supernova progenitor.

  2. A database of circumstellar OH masers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engels, D.; Bunzel, F.

    2015-10-01

    We present a new database of circumstellar OH masers at 1612, 1665, and 1667 MHz in the Milky Way galaxy. The database (version 2.4) contains 13 655 observations and 2341 different stars detected in at least one transition. Detections at 1612 MHz are considered to be complete until the end of 2014 as long as they were published in refereed papers. Detections of the main lines (1665 and 1667 MHz) and non-detections in all transitions are included only if published after 1983. The database contains flux densities and velocities of the two strongest maser peaks, the expansion velocity of the shell, and the radial velocity of the star. Links are provided for about 100 stars (<5% of all stars with OH masers) to interferometric observations and monitoring programs of the maser emission published since their beginnings in the 1970s. Access to the database is possible over the Web (http://www.hs.uni-hamburg.de/maserdb), allowing cone searches for individual sources and lists of sources. A general search is possible in selected regions of the sky and by defining ranges of flux densities and/or velocities. Alternative ways to access the data are via the German Virtual Observatory and the CDS. The data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/582/A68

  3. An MCMC Circumstellar Disks Modeling Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Etiology of oral habits.

    PubMed

    Bayardo, R E; Mejia, J J; Orozco, S; Montoya, K

    1996-01-01

    The pedodontic admission histories of 1600 Mexican children were analyzed, to determine general epidemiologic factors or oral habits, as well as their relationship with identifiable biopsychosociologic factors. Fifty-six percent of the children gave evidence of an oral habit, with significant predisposition among female patients, single children, subjects in poor physical health (particularly from allergies), as well as children with histories of chronic health problems. Oral habits should be considered a major health hazard because of their high incidence. Successful treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach to the basic cause of the problem.

  5. Eating habits and behaviors

    MedlinePlus

    ... This can mean that eating has an emotional component as well. For many people, changing eating habits ... well-balanced meals each evening. Prepare some dinner components ahead of time (such as chopping vegetables.) This ...

  6. Habitability: CAMELOT 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Habitability design for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Franklin, G. C.

    1978-01-01

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

  9. Habitability study shuttle orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woods, Douglas W.; Miltenberger, Raymond G.

    1996-01-01

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

  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. CO line emission from circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teyssier, D.; Hernandez, R.; Bujarrabal, V.; Yoshida, H.; Phillips, T. G.

    2006-04-01

    Aims.We present the results of a multi-transition CO observational program conducted on a sample of AGB and post-AGB stars envelopes. We have collected maps and single pointing observations of these envelopes in 5 rotational transitions ranging from J = 1-0 to J = 6-5, including in particular new observations of the CO line at 691 GHz at the CSO. The use of such a set of mm and submm CO line on stellar envelopes is rare and limited to the work of some authors on IRC+10216. Methods: .Using a model for the CO emission of an AGB circumstellar envelope, in combination with a standard LVG approach, we have conducted a systematic modelling analysis using the whole set of CO data collected for a sample of 12 sources. We simultaneously fit all five transitions, taking into account the spatial information provided by the maps. Results: .We find mass-loss rates in the range 1 × 10-7 to 4 × 10-4 M_⊙/yr, and envelope temperatures ranging from 20 K to 1000 K at a radius of 1016 cm. There seem to be a general anti-correlation between mass loss rates and temperature, the high mass loss rate AGBs having low temperatures, and vice versa. We show that most AGB data can be fitted using a constant mass loss rate, at least within the calibration uncertainties associated with the data collected at different frequencies. For some cases though (e.g. CIT 6, R Hya, χ Cyg), a change in the mass loss rate history needs to be invoked to reconcile data at low- and high-J, a scenario already mentioned by several authors to explain observations of WX Psc.

  13. Circumstellar Surroundings of Young Stellar Objectse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malbet, Fabien

    1992-12-01

    The close surroundings of young low mass stars hold a multitude of physical phenomena related to star formation. This thesis presents a set of works on theoretical, experimental, and observational issues connected with these phenomena. After a description of the properties of T Tauri, FU Orionis and Ae/Be Herbig stars, with a particular emphasis on their accretion disks, I study the vertical structure of such disks which results from the radiative transfer and the hydrostatic equilibrium. The energy dissipation comes from both the viscous friction of disk particles accreting onto the star and from the absorption of the stellar radiation. A disk ``chromosphere'' is shown to result from the grazing stellar radiation. In the following I study the possibility of detecting directly the circumstellar features (disk, binarity, planets, jets,...) thanks to the high angular resolution techniques (adaptive optics and interferometry). I then present the prototype of a coronagraph at high spatial resolution that I designed, modelized, built and tested for that kind of observations. Finally I describe the observations of the young stellar system Z Canis Majoris, which I obtained at the diffraction limit of the 3.6 meter ESO telescope in the near infrared. This object is shown to be composed of a binary system in addition to an elongated disk-like structure perpendicular to the known jet and illuminated not by the central source but by the infrared companion. [A copy of this thesis (which is mostly in french) can be obtained in binary mode by ftp. There is a file 'these_malbet.tar' in the directory '/pub/publications/' at the FTP node 'gag.observ-gr.fr (IP 130.190.200.11)'. By doing 'tar -xvf these_malbet.tar', you create a directory 'these_malbet/' where there is a 'readme' which gives all information.

  14. Signatures of Planets in Circumstellar Debris Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moro-Martin, A.; Malhotra, R.

    2004-05-01

    In anticipation of Spitzer Space Telescope observations of unresolved debris disks, we are interested in studying how the structure carved by putative planets in circumstellar dust disks affects the shape of the disk's spectral energy distribution (SED), and consequently whether the disk SED can be used to infer the presence of planets. We use the Solar System Kuiper Belt dust disk as a case study to investigate the effects of giant planets on the dynamics of dust originating in an outer belt of planetesimals. Our main results are the following: (1) The trapping of dust particles in orbital resonances with the giant planets creates density structures in the dust disk. With present computational techniques, the equilibrium radial density distribution of dust can be accurately estimated, but the azimuthal structure is not predictable in detail because it depends sensitively on the times of residence in the various resonances; the latter are highly variable and unpredictable owing to the underlying strong chaotic dynamics. (2) The gravitational scattering of dust grains by massive planets launches a "wind'' of large dust grains that may contribute significantly to the clearing of cirumstellar debris in planetary systems; it may also significantly affect the particle size distribution of the local ISM of a planetary system. (3) The SED of a dust disk with embedded Solar-System-like planets is fundamentally different from that of one without planets, the former showing a significant decrease of the mid IR flux due to the clearing of dust from the inner 10 AU due to gravitational scattering by Jupiter and Saturn. We have calculated model SEDs (from 1 to 340 microns) and expected SPITZER colors, arising from different planetary systems consisting of an outer belt of planetesimals (similar to the Kuiper Belt) and a single planet with a mass of 1, 3 and 10 MJup and a semimajor axis of 1, 5 and 30 AU.

  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. The Interaction of Supernovae with Their Circumstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippenko, Alex

    1995-07-01

    The interaction of supernova (SN) ejecta with circumstellar material supplied by the wind of the evolved progenitor star can sometimes provide enough energy to sustain the SN luminosity for several decades. Existing observations of certain Type II SNe strongly favor such an interpretation over other possible late-time energy sources. Some peculiar SNe II have such dense circumstellar winds that interaction with the ejecta substantially alters their observed properties even at early times. The UV spectrum is a powerful diagnostic for probing the conditions in the shocked outer ejecta and circumstellar gas. We propose to observe two old SNe (t = 7- 15 years) which, due to their extensive radio and optical data records, are particularly well suited for an investigation of the interaction between ejecta and circumstellar gas. We will also observe one of the most recent SNe II (SN 1994Y), which shows strong evidence for very early interaction with its circumstellar medium. The fluxes and intensity ratios of UV emission lines measured in FOS spectra will be used to test theoretical models of the interaction. HST observations of these objects will shed light on differences among them and their shocks, as well as on the mass-loss histories of their progenitor stars.

  18. The highly varying circumstellar debris disk of HD 183324

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, Barry; Montgomery, Sharon Lynn

    2017-01-01

    The 140 Myr-old A0IV-type star HD 183324 possesses many of the same physical characteristics as the stars Beta Pictoris and 49 Ceti, whose circumstellar gas and dust disks are the two best-studied debris disk systems. Here, we compare spectral observations of HD 183324 collected (and archived) in 2009 and 2010 to similarly high-resolution spectral observations of HD 183324 that we collected in 2013. An inspection of these spectra (recorded at visible wavelengths) reveals a remarkably high level of variable circumstellar absorption activity around the star. Such behavior is typical of a stellar system in which gas and dust is being sporadically added to a circumstellar disk due to the evaporation of planetesimal-like objects (“exocomets”) as they fall towards the central star. We present spectral data that show levels of absorption variability of greater than 100% in both the circumstellar CaII-K (3933Å) and FeI (3860Å) line profiles as measured throughout the 5-year period of observations. Such high levels of circumstellar absorption variability may be indicative of an as-yet undetected exoplanet, whose gravitational forces are perturbing the planetesimals orbiting HD 183324.

  19. 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.

  20. Photochemistry and molecular ions in carbon-rich circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

    An earlier theory of ionization of C-rich circumstellar envelopes based on the photochemical model is extended to include the temperature dependence of ion-molecule reactions with polar molecules, particularly HCN, and line self-shielding of CO dissociating radiation. The results are applied to the abundances of HCO(+) and HNC in C-rich circumstellar envelopes. With standard parameters for IRC + 10216, the model is found to be consistent with the new upper limit to the antenna temperature of the J = 1-0 line of HCO(+) obtained with the IRAM 30-m telescope. The photochemical model provides a natural explanation of the relatively large ratio of HCN to HNC observed for C-rich circumstellar envelopes, and good agreement is obtained for the H(C-13)N/HNC antenna temperature ratio measured for IRC + 10216.

  1. First Circumstellar Disk around a Massive Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-06-01

    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

  2. D/H Fractionation in Circumstellar Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, J. E.; Qi, C.; Blake, G. A.

    2000-12-01

    In recent years millimeter-wave interferometers have imaged the gas and dust surrounding over a dozen T Tauri and Herbig Ae stars (see Sargent 1996 in Disks and Outflows from Young Stars, pp. 1-23, for review). These studies demonstrate the potential to improve dramatically our understanding of disk physical and chemical structure, providing unique insights that will ultimately enable a more comprehensive understanding of star and planet formation. In particular, through the comparison of disk properties such as (D/H) fractionation with those of comets and Kuiper belt objects the origin of primitive solar system bodies can be investigated. In this study, 1.3 mm transitions of the deuterated species DCN and HDO were detected toward the T Tauri star LkCa 15 using the Owens Valley Radio Observatory Millimeter Array (for previous observations of various molecules toward LkCa 15 see Qi, PhD thesis, 2000). The resulting DCN abundance was compared to that found for HCN and H13CN. The measured intensity ratios of the (DCN/HCN) transitions lead to (D/H) ratios of <0.5, but are clearly influenced by opacity in the HCN 1-0 transition. Observations of the optically thin isotope H13CN, yield an estimated DCN/HCN ratio of ~ 0.01. This value is much larger than the estimated protosolar D/H of ~ 1.6e-5 (Gautier & Morel 1997 A&A 323, L9) and quite close to that observed in dark molecular clouds, 0.01-0.05 (Wooten 1987 Astrochem 120, 311), indicating that the assignment of cometary origin using D/H fractionation is a complicated endeavor. Through the combination of the observations presented here and chemical models of circumstellar material, the temperature dependence of fractionation and enrichment of deuterium through gas-grain surface reactions can be explored. Further, although H2O cannot be observed and thus HDO/H2O was not measured, differences in the morphology of maps of the observed emission from DCN and HDO may shed light on differences in fractionation seen in the

  3. Laboratory Studies Of Circumstellar Carbonaceous Grain Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras, Cesar; Sciamma-O'Brien, Ella; Salama, Farid

    2014-06-01

    The study of the formation processes of dust is essential to understand the budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. Although dust with all its components plays an important role in the evolution of interstellar (IS) chemistry and in the formation of organic molecules, little is known on the formation processes of carbonaceous dust. We report the progress that was recently achieved in this domain using NASA Ames’ COSmIC facility (Contreras & Salama 2013, ApJS, 208, 6). PAHs are important chemical building blocks of IS dust. They are detected in IDPs and in meteoritic samples. Additionally, observational, laboratory, and theoretical studies have shown that PAHs are an important, ubiquitous component of the ISM. The formation of PAHs from smaller molecules has not been extensively studied. Therefore, we have performed laboratory experiments to study the dynamic processes of carbon grain formation, starting from the smallest hydrocarbon molecules into the formation of larger PAH and further into nanograins. Studies of IS dust analogs formed from a variety of PAH and hydrocarbon precursors as well as species that include the atoms O, N, and S, have recently been performed in our laboratory using the COSmIC facility to provide conditions that simulate IS and circumstellar environments. The species formed in the COSmiC chamber through a pulsed discharge nozzle plasma source are detected and characterized with a cavity ringdown spectrometer coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometer, thus providing both spectroscopic and ion mass information in-situ. Analysis of solid soot particles was also conducted using scanning electron microscopy at the UCSC/NASA Ames’ MACS facility. The SEM analysis of the deposition of soot from methane and acetylene precursors seeded in argon plasmas provide examples on the types of nanoparticles and micrograins that are produced in these gas mixtures under our experimental conditions. From these measurements, we derive information on

  4. Signatures of planets in circumstellar debris disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moro-Martin, Maria Amaya

    2004-12-01

    Main sequence stars are commonly surrounded by debris disks, composed of cold dust continuously replenished by a reservoir of undetected dust-producing planetesimals. In the outer Solar System, Kuiper Belt (KB) objects produce dust by mutual or interstellar grain collisions. The orbital evolution of KB dust has been numerically modeled. Its equilibrium radial density distribution can be accurately estimated even though there are inherent uncertainties in the prediction of structure, owing to the chaotic dynamics of dust orbital evolution imposed by resonant gravitational perturbations of the planets. The particle size distribution of dust is greatly changed from the distribution at production, as a result of radiation forces and the perturbations of the planets. The contribution of KB dust to the population of interplanetary dust particles collected at Earth may be as low as a few percent. Gravitational scattering by giant planets creates an outflow of large grains. We quantify the characteristics of this large-particle outflow in different planetary architectures, discuss its implications for exo-planetary debris disks, and for the interpretation of in-situ dust detection experiments in space probes traveling in the outer Solar System. These outflows may contribute to the clearing of circumstellar debris in planetary systems, affecting the particle size distribution of their local ISM. In anticipation of future observations of unresolved debris disks with Spitzer , we are interested in studying how the structure carved by planets affects the shape of the disk's spectral energy distribution (SED), and consequently if the SED can be used to infer the presence of planets. We numerically calculate the equilibrium spatial density distributions and SEDs of dust disks originated by an outer belt of planetesimals (35-50 AU) in the presence of different planetary configurations, and for a representative sample of chemical compositions. The dynamical models are needed to

  5. 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.

  6. Mars Surface Habitability Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howe, A. Scott; Simon, Matthew; Smitherman, David; Howard, Robert; Toups, Larry; Hoffman, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports on current habitability concepts for an Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) prepared by the NASA Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT). For many years NASA has investigated alternative human Mars missions, examining different mission objectives, trajectories, vehicles, and technologies; the combinations of which have been referred to as reference missions or architectures. At the highest levels, decisions regarding the timing and objectives for a human mission to Mars continue to evolve while at the lowest levels, applicable technologies continue to advance. This results in an on-going need for assessments of alternative system designs such as the habitat, a significant element in any human Mars mission scenario, to provide meaningful design sensitivity characterizations to assist decision-makers regarding timing, objectives, and technologies. As a subset of the Evolvable Mars Campaign activities, the habitability team builds upon results from past studies and recommends options for Mars surface habitability compatible with updated technologies.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Making Mars habitable.

    PubMed

    McKay, C P; Toon, O B; Kasting, J F

    1991-08-08

    Mars is believed to be lifeless, but it may be possible to transform it into a planet suitable for habitation by plants, and conceivably humans. The success of such an enterprise would depend on the abundance, distribution and form of materials on the planet that could provide carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen.

  11. Chemical evolution of circumstellar matter around young stellar objects.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. The infrared spectrum of M8 E - Evidence for circumstellar CO

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, H. P.; Fink, U.; Hofmann, R.

    1986-01-01

    High-resolution spectroscopic observations of the compact infrared source M8 E are reported in the region from 3 to 5 microns. Very prominent CO absorption lines are observed in the v = 1-0 band at 4.7 microns. The velocity width and rotational temperature suggest that this CO absorption occurs in a highly excited region. The high background continuum flux level and the prominent appearance of the CO features suggest that the CO line-forming region must be in front of the dust emission region. A blister model for M8 E, which places most of the dust continuum emission behind the source, satisfies this requirement. According to this picture, the observed circumstellar CO spectrum shows a high rotational temperature and a large velocity dispersion because of the combined effects of the strong stellar wind and possible shock heating near the dust zone as the wind encounters the ambient molecular cloud.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Interaction of Supernova Remnants with a Circumstellar Shell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dwarkadas, V. V.

    1995-12-01

    We are studying the interaction of supernova remnants (SNRs) with circumstellar shells, with an emphasis on Type II supernovae (SNe). These supernovae arise from massive progenitor stars (> 8 Msun), which lose mass during their lifetime, primarily in the form of a stellar wind. Often the stellar wind creates a circumstellar bubble surrounded by a dense shell. When the star explodes as a supernova, the resulting shock wave eventually collides with this dense shell. In a recent paper on SN 1987A (Chevalier & Dwarkadas, ApJL, 452, L45) we have shown that from the radio and X-ray emission, one can infer the presence of a high density region interior to the dense circumstellar shell. This can be explained as an HII region photoionized by the flux from the pre-supernova star. Using the Zeus code and assuming spherical symmetry, we have studied the dynamics of the shock wave interacting first with the HII region and then the circumstellar shell in SN 1987A. Collision with the HII region results in a significant deceleration of the shock wave, forming a high-density shocked region that grows with time, and is primarily responsible for the X-ray emission. X-ray emission from the reflected shock may begin to dominate when the forward shock hits the dense circumstellar shell and is considerably slowed down. Simulations are in progress with parameters suited to other remnants such as Cas A and W44. Radio and X-ray images of Cas A show a shell structure, which may result from interaction with a stellar bubble. W44 also shows a double-shell structure that may have been produced by a SN explosion inside a pre-existing wind bubble. The interaction is subject to instabilities that may give rise to filamentary structure.

  16. Habitable planets with high obliquities.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Habitability of Exomoons at the Hill or Tidal Locking Radius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 μ Ara b, HD 28185 b, BD +14 4559 b, and HD 73534 b. The irradiated flux on a moon at its furthest, stable distance from the planet achieves its largest flux gradient, which places a limit on the flux ranges expected for subsequent (observed) moons closer in orbit to the planet. We have also analyzed the effect of planetary eccentricity on the flux on the moon, examining planets that traverse the habitable zone either fully or partially during their orbit. Looking solely at the stellar contributions, we find that moons around planets that are totally within the habitable zone experience thermal equilibrium temperatures above the runaway greenhouse limit, requiring a small heat redistribution efficiency. In contrast, exomoons orbiting planets that only spend a fraction of their time within the habitable zone require a heat redistribution efficiency near 100% in order to achieve temperatures suitable for habitability. This means that a planet does not need to spend its entire orbit within the habitable zone in order for the exomoon to be habitable. Because the applied systems comprise giant planets around bright stars, we believe that the transit detection method is most likely to yield an exomoon discovery.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Habitability and Life - an Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bredehöft, J. H.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract The search for habitable planets has seen a significant boost, since much effort was invested into development of newer and more powerful techniques of detecting such planetary bodies. This search is fuelled by the interest that is sparked by its help in answering the bigger question of the origin of life on Earth and its abundance in the universe. Traditionally a planetary body has been deemed habitable when it provides conditions under which water is liquid. This led to the formulation of a habitable zone across stars, in which liquid water can exist. [1] Liquid water remains to this day the single most important feature in the search for life. There have been various suggestions of life being present in waterless environments like liquid hydrocarbons or even liquid ammonia, but how exactly a living system under such conditions might work, no one can satisfactorily explain. [2] A very important point in this context that is not often raised is that while water might be a favourable medium in which to live and certainly a major constituent of all living organism we know of, water alone is not alive and it will not spontaneously evolve into life. It would thus seem that apart from the presence of liquid water there a number of other, minor, necessary ingredients to life that determine whether a planet is habitable (meaning capable of sustaining life) or whether it is also capable of providing the starting grounds for the evolution of living systems. These other ingredients are determined by the minimum requirements of life itself. They include the molecular components of the most primitive encasing of an organism, the most primitive molecules needed for something like a metabolism and the most primitive way of storing information. [3] In addition to these molecular components, life must be able to utilise a source of energy to drive chemical reactions. Observations of various extremophiles on Earth utilising all kinds disequilibria suggest that these can

  5. 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.

  6. Spectroscopic Diagnostics for Circumstellar Disks of B[e] Supergiants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, M.

    2017-02-01

    B[e] supergiants (B[e]SGs) are emission-line objects, presumably in a short-lived phase in the post-main sequence evolution of massive stars. Their intense infrared excess emission indicates large amounts of warm circumstellar dust. It has long been assumed that the stars possess an aspherical wind consisting of a classical line-driven wind in the polar direction and a dense, slow equatorial wind dubbed outflowing disk. The general properties obtained for these disks are in line with this scenario, although current theories have considerable difficulties reproducing the observed quantities. Therefore, more sophisticated observational constraints are needed. These follow from combined optical and infrared spectroscopic studies, which delivered the surprising result that the circumstellar material of B[e]SGs is concentrated in multiple rings revolving the stars on stable Keplerian orbits. Such a scenario requires new ideas for the formation mechanism where pulsations might play an important role.

  7. 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.

  8. Dust mineralogy in the circumstellar envelope of SVS13

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujiyoshi, T.; Wright, C.; Moore, T.

    It is of great interest to study the mineralogy of circumstellar dust around young stars as it represents the original constituents of planetesimals, hence of the rocky planets like our own Earth. To this end, we have obtained an N-band (8-13 µm) spectrum of a pre-main-sequence star SVS13, using the facility mid-infrared imaging spectrometer COMICS on the Japanese 8.2-m Subaru Telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. We have fitted various emissivities/absorption coefficients of dust species to the spectrum to examine dust mineralogy in the circumstellar envelope of this remarkable young star. In this presentation, we outline the modelling and highlight some of our findings.

  9. Proper Motions of Water Masers in Circumstellar Shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marvel, K. B.; Diamond, P. J.; Kemball, A. J.

    We present proper motion measurements of circumstellar water masers obtained with the VLBA. The objects observed include S Persei, VX Sagittarii, U Herculis, VY Canis Majoris, NML Cygni, IK Tauri and RX Bootis. Results of the observations and modeling indicate that the water masers exist in a kinematically complex region of the circumstellar envelope, which is not well fit by the standard model of a uniformly expanding spherical wind. Attempts at fitting an ellipsoidal geometric distribution with a variety of kinematic models are presented. Estimates for the distances of the stars are also discussed. A change in position of the maser spots as a function of velocity has been measured. This effect may be used to place limits on accelerations in the masing gas.

  10. 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

  11. The Influence of Volcanic Aerosols on Planetary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Howard; Horton, Daniel Ethan

    2017-01-01

    On rocky planetary bodies such as Proxima Centuri b, the detection of sulphate aerosols may indicate volcanism and tectonic activity; ingredients hypothesized to be necessary for planetary habitability. However, due to the effect of atmospheric aerosols on a planet’s energy balance, coupled with eruption constituent and frequency uncertainties, the potential impact of volcanic activity on planetary habitability remains unresolved. Here, we employ multi-column climate models in conjunction with a parameter space approach to test the effect of volcanic aerosols on planetary climate with various climate sensitivities. Preliminary results indicate that volcanic activity could provide a means of extending the inner edge of the habitable zone (IHZ), depending on eruption constituents and frequency. Previous work using transit spectra simulations have demonstrated the possibility of detecting transient aerosols of volcanic origin. Our work investigates the range of habitability implications detection of such aerosols would imply.

  12. Magnetic Field and Early Evolution of Circumstellar Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsukamoto, Yusuke

    2016-03-01

    The magnetic field plays a central role in the formation and evolution of circumstellar disks. The magnetic field connects the rapidly rotating central region with the outer envelope and extracts angular momentum from the central region during gravitational collapse of the cloud core. This process is known as magnetic braking. Both analytical and multidimensional simulations have shown that disk formation is strongly suppressed by magnetic braking in moderately magnetised cloud cores in the ideal magnetohydrodynamic limit. On the other hand, recent observations have provided growing evidence of a relatively large disk several tens of astronomical units in size existing in some Class 0 young stellar objects. This introduces a serious discrepancy between the theoretical study and observations. Various physical mechanisms have been proposed to solve the problem of catastrophic magnetic braking, such as misalignment between the magnetic field and the rotation axis, turbulence, and non-ideal effect. In this paper, we review the mechanism of magnetic braking, its effect on disk formation and early evolution, and the mechanisms that resolve the magnetic braking problem. In particular, we emphasise the importance of non-ideal effects. The combination of magnetic diffusion and thermal evolution during gravitational collapse provides a robust formation process for the circumstellar disk at the very early phase of protostar formation. The rotation induced by the Hall effect can supply a sufficient amount of angular momentum for typical circumstellar disks around T Tauri stars. By examining the combination of the suggested mechanisms, we conclude that the circumstellar disks commonly form in the very early phase of protostar formation.

  13. Observations of chemical processing in the circumstellar environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mundy, L. G.; McMullin, J. P.; Blake, G. A.

    1995-01-01

    High resolution interferometer and single-dish observations of young, deeply embedded stellar systems reveal a complex chemistry in the circumstellar environments of low to intermediate mass stars. Depletions of gas-phase molecules, grain mantle evaporation, and shock interactions actively drive chemical processes in different regions around young stars. We present results for two systems, IRAS 05338-0624 and NCG 1333 IRAS 4, to illustrate the behavior found and to examine the physical processes at work.

  14. Circumstellar matter in Herbig AeBe stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natta, Antonella

    1994-03-01

    I briefly summarize the observational evidence for large envelopes in the immediate environment of Herbig AeBe stars, and the results of star + envelope models. Then, I discuss two alternative possibilities to account for the observed mid-infrared fluxes, namely as the emission of very small grains (VSG) and policyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the envelope, or as due to the emission of circumstellar accretion disks, and suggest how MIR high spatial resolution observations can discriminate between these two hypotheses.

  15. The theoretical polarization of pure scattering axisymmetric circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, G. K.

    1994-01-01

    The Sobolev approach to the scattering of starlight through a pure scattering circumstellar envelope is developed. The theoretical polarization due to electron scattering in Be star envelopes is calculated for two geometries (an equatorially enhanced envelope and a spheroidal envelope). Only the disk-type envelope is found to yield a maximum polarization consistent with the observed range for Be stars. A lower limit, analytical approximation to the theoretical polarization from a pure scattering envelope is obtained.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Circumstellar Environments of Southern M Dwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverstein, Michele L.; Henry, Todd J.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Winters, Jennifer G.; Recons Team

    2015-01-01

    We present the first results from SIRENS, the Search for InfraRed Excesses around Nearby Stars. Our goal is to characterize the circumstellar environments of the most common and closest stars in the Universe, the ubiquitous red dwarfs. In this phase of the study, we search 1404 southern M dwarfs within 25 parsecs of the Sun, as reported in Winters et. al 2014, using (Johnson-Kron-Cousins) optical, (2MASS) near-infrared, and (WISE) mid-infrared photometry for circumstellar disks and low-mass companions. Several studies have recently used WISE photometry to detect circumstellar disks and companions --- searches around members of the nearby young moving groups, objects with parallaxes from Hipparcos, and many northern M stars in the SDSS. However, no work has yet been done that focuses on the nearest red dwarfs, which account for at least 75% of all stars. This study, a volume-limited search around M dwarfs in the southern sky, includes statistical conclusions applicable to a majority of the stars in the universe, and opens potential gateways to a better understanding of star and planet formation.

  19. On the Crystallization of Small Silica Particles in Circumstellar Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, M.; Müller, E.; Patzer, B.; Lüttke, M.; Sedlmayr, E.

    Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) observations have revealed the presence of crystalline silicate dust in circumstellar environments of some evolved stars (e.g. Waters et al. 1996, A&A 315, L361). Molster et al. (2001, A&A 366, 923), for instance, reported the discovery of a carbon-rich AGB star surrounded by a highly crystalline silicate dust shell as indicated by the high resolution ISO-SWS spectrum. However, it is still a matter of debate, whether the presence of crystalline dust is restricted only to certain phases of the stellar evolution (e.g. Kemper et al. 2000, A&A 369, 132). In order to understand the process, which leads to the formation of crystalline structures in circumstellar environments, the microphysical rearrangement of small silica particles is investigated by means of molecular dynamic calculations. The results indicate a dynamic coexistence of `amorphous'-like and symmetrical, `crystalline' structures. Such rearrangement processes depend on the energy transfer to the grain governed by the physical conditions of the astrophysical environment. Therefore, the effect of the degree of crystallinity on optical properties is additionally exemplified by Mie calculations. Some implications regarding the condensation and the mineralogy of silicate dust particles in the circumstellar environments of AGB and post-AGB objects are discussed.

  20. Chemistry and distribution of daughter species in the circumstellar envelopes of O-rich AGB stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaohu; Millar, Tom J.; Heays, Alan N.; Walsh, Catherine; van Dishoeck, Ewine F.; Cherchneff, Isabelle

    2016-03-01

    Context. Thanks to the advent of Herschel and ALMA, new high-quality observations of molecules present in the circumstellar envelopes of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars are being reported that reveal large differences from the existing chemical models. New molecular data and more comprehensive models of the chemistry in circumstellar envelopes are now available. Aims: The aims are to determine and study the important formation and destruction pathways in the envelopes of O-rich AGB stars and to provide more reliable predictions of abundances, column densities, and radial distributions for potentially detectable species with physical conditions applicable to the envelope surrounding IK Tau. Methods: We use a large gas-phase chemical model of an AGB envelope including the effects of CO and N2 self-shielding in a spherical geometry and a newly compiled list of inner-circumstellar envelope parent species derived from detailed modeling and observations. We trace the dominant chemistry in the expanding envelope and investigate the chemistry as a probe for the physics of the AGB phase by studying variations of abundances with mass-loss rates and expansion velocities. Results: We find a pattern of daughter molecules forming from the photodissociation products of parent species with contributions from ion-neutral abstraction and dissociative recombination. The chemistry in the outer zones differs from that in traditional PDRs in that photoionization of daughter species plays a significant role. With the proper treatment of self-shielding, the N → N2 and C+→ CO transitions are shifted outward by factors of 7 and 2, respectively, compared with earlier models. An upper limit on the abundance of CH4 as a parent species of (≲2.5 × 10-6 with respect to H2) is found for IK Tau, and several potentially observable molecules with relatively simple chemical links to other parent species are determined. The assumed stellar mass-loss rate, in particular, has an impact on the

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. Astrophysical radiation environments of habitable worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David Samuel

    Numerous astrophysical sources of radiation affect the environment of planets orbiting within the liquid-water habitable zone of main-sequence stars. This dissertation reaches a number of conclusions about the ionizing radiation environment of the habitable zone with respect to X-rays and gamma-rays from stellar flares and background Galactic cosmic rays. Gamma-rays and X-rays incident on terrestrial-like exoplanet atmospheres can be efficiently reprocessed into diffuse UV emission that, depending on the presence of atmospheric UV absorbers, can reach the surface. Extreme solar X-ray flares over the last 4.6 Gyr could have delivered large enough radiation doses to the Martian surface to sterilize any unprotected organisms, depending on the largest energy releases possible. These flares also pose a significant hazard to manned space missions, since a large flare can occur with little or no warning during an extravehicular activity. A flare as large as the largest observed could deliver radiation doses exceeding safety limits to an astronaut protected by only a spacesuit. With respect to particle radiation, the nature of Galactic cosmic-ray modulation by astrospheres means that habitable-zone cosmic-ray fluxes change by much larger magnitudes when passing through low- densities regions of the interstellar medium. In contrast to the popular idea that passages through dense molecular clouds are required to significantly enhance Galactic cosmic-ray fluxes and affect planets' electrical circuits, background mutation rates, and climates, we find that densities of only 0.1-10 cm -3 , the densities of most interstellar clouds, are sufficient to bring fluxes close to the full, interstellar level. Finally, passages through dense molecular clouds are necessary to shrink astrospheres to within the habitable zone, but such events produce even higher interstellar hydrogen and dust accretion rates than have been estimated because of the combination of enhanced charge

  5. 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.

  6. Modeling collisions in circumstellar debris disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvold, Erika

    2015-10-01

    resonances near the chaotic zone. I investigate the effects of the initial eccentricity distribution of the disk particles and find a negligible effect on the gap size at Jovian planet masses, since collisions tend to erase memory of the initial particle eccentricity distributions. I also find that the presence of Trojan analogs is a potentially powerful diagnostic of planets in the mass range ˜1--10MJup. I apply my model to place new upper limits on planets around Fomalhaut, HR 4796 A, HD 202628, HD 181327, and beta Pictoris. Finally, to show how SMACK can be used to analyze a single debris disk in detail, I present a new model of the beta Pictoris disk and planet system that, for the first time, combines simulations of the colliding planetesimals and the dynamics of the dust grains, allowing me to model features and asymmetries in both submillimeter and scattered light images of the disk. I combine a 100,000 superparticle SMACK simulation with N-body integrations of the dust produced by the simulated collisions. I find that secular perturbations of the planet's measured inclination and eccentricity can explain the observed warp and planetesimal ring, while collisions between planetesimals shape the disk by eroding close-in material. The complex 3D structure of the disk due to the perturbations from the planet creates an azimuthally asymmetric spatial distribution of collisions, which could contribute to the observed azimuthal clump of CO gas seen with ALMA. My simulations of the small dust grains produced by collisions demonstrate that the "birth ring" approximation for beta Pictoris fails to account for the ˜54% of dust mass produced outside of the planetesimal ring. I also reproduce the gross morphology of high-resolution scattered light images of the disk, including the two-disk "x"-pattern seen in scattered light, which has not been replicated by previous dust dynamics models.

  7. On the probability of habitable planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forget, François

    2013-07-01

    In the past 15 years, astronomers have revealed that a significant fraction of the stars should harbour planets and that it is likely that terrestrial planets are abundant in our galaxy. Among these planets, how many are habitable, i.e. suitable for life and its evolution? These questions have been discussed for years and we are slowly making progress. Liquid water remains the key criterion for habitability. It can exist in the interior of a variety of planetary bodies, but it is usually assumed that liquid water at the surface interacting with rocks and light is necessary for emergence of a life able to modify its environment and evolve. The first key issue is thus to understand the climatic conditions allowing surface liquid water assuming a suitable atmosphere. These have been studied with global mean one-dimensional (1D) models which have defined the `classical habitable zone', the range of orbital distances within which worlds can maintain liquid water on their surfaces (Kasting et al. 1993). A new generation of 3D climate models based on universal equations and tested on bodies in the solar system are now available to explore with accuracy climate regimes that could locally allow liquid water. The second key issue is now to better understand the processes which control the composition and the evolution of the atmospheres of exoplanets, and in particular the geophysical feedbacks that seem to be necessary to maintain a continuously habitable climate. From that point of view, it is not impossible that the Earth's case may be special and uncommon.

  8. 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

  9. The circumstellar disk of HH 30. Searching for signs of disk evolution with multi-wavelength modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madlener, D.; Wolf, S.; Dutrey, A.; Guilloteau, S.

    2012-07-01

    Context. Circumstellar disks are characteristic for star formation and vanish during the first few Myr of stellar evolution. During this time planets are believed to form in the dense midplane by growth, sedimentation and aggregation of dust. Indicators of disk evolution, such as holes and gaps, can be traced in the spectral energy distribution (SED) and spatially resolved images. Aims: We aim to construct a self-consistent model of HH 30 by fitting all available continuum observations simultaneously. New data sets not available in previous studies, such as high-resolution interferometric imaging with the Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI) at λ = 1.3 mm and SED measured with IRS on the Spitzer Space Telescope in the mid-infrared, put strong constraints on predictions and are likely to provide new insights into the evolutionary state of this object. Methods: A parameter study based on simulated annealing was performed to find unbiased best-fit models for independent observations made in the wavelength domain λ ~ 1 μm...4 mm. The method essentially creates a Markov chain through parameter space by comparing predictions generated by our self-consistent continuum radiation transfer code MC3D with observations. Results: We present models of the edge-on circumstellar disk of HH 30 based on observations from the near-infrared to mm-wavelengths that suggest the presence of an inner depletion zone with ~45 AU radius and a steep decline of mm opacity beyond ≳ 140 AU. Our modeling indicates that several modes of dust evolution such as growth, settling, and radial migration are taking place in this object. Conclusions: High-resolution observations of HH 30 at different wavelengths with next-generation observatories such as ALMA and JWST will enable the modeling of inhomogeneous dust properties and significantly expand our understanding of circumstellar disk evolution.

  10. 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

  11. Measurements of Volatile Circumstellar Isotopes: Effects of Fractionation vs. Nucleosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milam, Stefanie

    The origin, evolution, and fate of our Universe and/or Galaxy have puzzled humankind for centuries. One approach to answering this question is to gain further understanding of stellar evolution, since stars are fundamental in galaxy development and evolution. A compilation of stellar composition can reveal the age, dynamics, and possibly the evolutionary state of a galaxy. In particular the volatile isotope ratios carry an imprint of stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis. Primitive materials, such as meteorites and IDPs, have revealed a component of ``atypical" isotopic signatures of these fundamental elements denoting a possible stellar origin. Understanding the processes by which these elements derive is essential for astrophysics on cosmochemical, galactic, stellar, and planetary scales. We propose to analyze data obtained from the Herschel Space Observatory of circumstellar envelopes to definitively measure C, N, and O isotope ratios and test current models of photo-selective isotope fractionation vs. nucleosynthetically determined values. This proposal augments data from the Herschel Space Observatory, primarily from the HIFISTARS program and MESS, though the entire Herschel archive will be searched for relevant data. The broader implications for this study include fundamental data necessary for furthering our current understanding of stellar nucleosynthesis, circumstellar chemistry, Galactic chemical evolution, and the origin of presolar grains found in primitive materials. We will focus on isotopologues of species formed in thermochemical equilibrium and trace their natal, nucleosynthetic isotope ratios. We will analyze Herschel data obtained for a survey of evolved stars with varying degrees of nuclear processing, evolutionary states, and envelope chemistry (e.g. oxygen-rich vs. carbon-rich). A full circumstellar model will be developed for each source to address specific affects that may influence either the ratios or chemistry. The isotope ratios of 12C

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Factors Effecting on Study Habits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khan, Zebun Nisa

    2016-01-01

    The present study was undertaken with the objectives to find out the impact of Socio-economic Status as well as sex differences on study habits of class VII students (100) of Government Colleges of Amroha District. The effects of two independent variables on study habits of the aforementioned students were assessed by using two Psychological tests…

  15. Habitable Planets Eclipsing Brown Dwarfs: Strategies for Detection and Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P HZ out). Habitable planets with P HZ 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^{+5.6}_{-1.4}% and 56^{+31}_{-13}%, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using ~1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  16. 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.

  17. Habits in perioperative nursing culture.

    PubMed

    Lindwall, Lillemor; von Post, Iréne

    2008-09-01

    This study focuses on investigating habits in perioperative nursing culture, which are often simply accepted and not normally considered or discussed. A hermeneutical approach was chosen as the means of understanding perioperative nurses' experiences of and reflections on operating theatre culture. Focus group discussions were used to collect data, which was analysed using hermeneutical text analysis. The results revealed three main categories of habits present in perioperative nursing culture: habits that promote ethical values (by temporary friendship with patients, showing respect for each other, and spending time on reflection on ethics and caring); habits that hinder progress (by seeing the patient as a surgical case, not acknowledging colleagues, and not talking about ethics); and habits that set the cultural tone (the hidden power structure and achieving more in less time).

  18. Detection of circumstellar gas associated with GG Tauri

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skrutskie, M. F.; Snell, R. L.; Strom, K. M.; Strom, S. E.; Edwards, S.; Fukui, Y.; Mizuno, A.; Hayashi, M.; Ohashi, N.

    1993-01-01

    Double-peaked (C-12)O (1-0) emission centered on the young T Tauri star GG Tau possesses a line profile which may be modeled on the assumption that CO emission arises in an extended circumstellar disk. While bounds on the observed gas mass can be estimated on this basis, it is suggested that a large amount of mass could lie within a small and optically thick region, escaping detection due to beam-dilution effects. In addition, CO may no longer accurately trace the gas mass due to its dissociation, or freezing into grains, or due to the locking-up of carbon into more complex molecules.

  19. Photochemistry and molecular ions in oxygen-rich circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mamon, G. A.; Glassgold, A. E.; Omont, A.

    1987-01-01

    A theory for the ionization of the circumstellar envelopes around O-rich red giants is developed from the photochemical model. The main source of ionization is photoionization of H2O, OH, and C by the interstellar UV radiation field, supplemented by cosmic-ray ionization of hydrogen. Significant amounts of H3O(+) and HCO(+) are produced, with peak abundances of about 10 to the -7th at intermediate distances from the star. Although H3O(+) may be difficult to detect with current instrumentation, HCO(+) is probably detectable in nearby O-rich envelopes with large millimeter-wave telescopes.

  20. Protonated acetylene - An important circumstellar and interstellar ion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glassgold, A. E.; Omont, A.; Guelin, M.

    1992-01-01

    In a circumstellar envelope, a substantial amount of acetylene is transported in a wind to the outer envelope, where it can be photoionized by interstellar radiation and then converted into C2H3(+) by a low-temperature reaction with H2. New chemical modeling calculations indicate that sufficient C2H3(+) may be produced in the outer envelope of IRC + 10216 to be observable. Similar considerations suggest that C2H3(+) should also be detectable in interstellar clouds, provided its rotational spectrum has been measured accurately in the laboratory.

  1. BF Orionis - Evidence for an infalling circumstellar envelope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welty, Alan D.; Barden, Samuel C.; Huenemoerder, David P.; Ramsey, Lawrence W.

    1992-01-01

    Analysis of the optical magnitudes and Balmer lines of the Herbig Ae/Be star BF Orionis confirm that the object is an early to mid A-type star, but appears to be below the zero-age main sequence. Enhanced metal-line strengths (once thought to link BF Ori with the Am stars), line asymmetries, and radial velocities are shown to be signatures of an infalling circumstellar envelope. The possibility that BF Ori has a late-type companion is examined, and it is concluded that it does not.

  2. The discrete nature of circumstellar OH maser emission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zell, Philip J.; Fix, John D.

    1990-01-01

    The Arecibo radio telescope was used to obtain high-resolution, high-SNR 1612-MHz observations of seven circumstellar OH maser sources. Each spectrum displays the double-peaked emission line profile characteristics of an expanding shell. The jaggedness of the spectra, which varies from source to source, is consistent with statistical fluctuations in the number of discrete emitting elements contributing at a given velocity. In particular, it is found that the spectra of WX Psc and OH 53.6-0.2 contain narrow, weak, isolated emission features which may arise from individual emitting elements.

  3. UV chromospheric and circumstellar diagnostic features among F supergiant stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stencel, R. E.; Worden, S. P.; Giampapa, M. S.

    1981-01-01

    A survey of F supergiant stars to evaluate the extension of chromospheric and circumstellar characteristics commonly observed in the slightly cooler G, K, and M supergiant is discussed. An ultraviolet survey was elected since UV features of Mg II and Fe II might persist in revealing outer atmosphere phenomena even among F supergiants. The encompassed spectral types F0 to G0, and luminosity classes Ib, Ia, and Ia-0. In addition, the usefulness of the emission line width-to-luminosity correlation for the G-M stars in both the Ca II and Mg II lines is examined.

  4. Evidence for dust grain growth in young circumstellar disks.

    PubMed

    Throop, H B; Bally, J; Esposito, L W; McCaughrean, M J

    2001-06-01

    Hundreds of circumstellar disks in the Orion nebula are being rapidly destroyed by the intense ultraviolet radiation produced by nearby bright stars. These young, million-year-old disks may not survive long enough to form planetary systems. Nevertheless, the first stage of planet formation-the growth of dust grains into larger particles-may have begun in these systems. Observational evidence for these large particles in Orion's disks is presented. A model of grain evolution in externally irradiated protoplanetary disks is developed and predicts rapid particle size evolution and sharp outer disk boundaries. We discuss implications for the formation rates of planetary systems.

  5. Direct UV observations of the circumstellar envelope of alpha Orionis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stencel, R. E.; Carpenter, K. G.; Pesce, J. E.; Skinner, S.; Brown, A.; Judge, P.

    1988-01-01

    Observations were made in the IUE LWP camera, low dispersion mode, with alpha Ori being offset various distances from the center of the Long Wavelength Large Aperture along its major axis. Signal was acquired at all offset positions and is comprised of unequal components of background/dark counts, telescope-scattered light, and scattered light emanating from the extended circumstellar shell. The star is known from optical and infrared observations to possess an extended, arc-minute sized, shell of cool material. Attempts to observe this shell with the IUE are described, although the deconvolution of the stellar signal from the telescope scattered light requires further calibration effort.

  6. Magnetic constraints on the habitability of exoearths and exomoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuluaga, J. I.

    2013-05-01

    Surface habitability of planetary environments is essentially constrained by two basic and related conditions: 1) the existence of a thick enough atmosphere and 2) proper levels of insolation or other sources of energy able to guarantee the right temperatures required for the existence of surface liquid water. It is customary to assume that the first condition (an atmosphere) is always fulfilled and to focus on the physical factors limiting the second one (insolation or energy sources). Now it is widely accepted that magnetic fields play a central role into determining if a planet is able to preserve a dense enough atmosphere or the right content of volatiles required for habitability. Hence the fulfillment of the first condition could strongly depend on the existence of a relatively strong intrinsic or extrinsic magnetic field. In the Solar System Venus and Mars provide examples of planets that, though located inside the Radiative Habitable Zone (RHZ), lack a protective magnetic field and have lost their inventory of water or most of their early atmospheric content by a combination of thermal and non-thermal atmospheric losses. We present here a review of the role that magnetic fields would have at constraining the habitability of planetary environments, both in the case of Earth-like planets and super-Earths (exoearths) and for the case of exomoons around giant planets in the RHZ of their host stars. In the first case we found that magnetic properties constraining habitability strongly dependent on planetary mass and composition. We present preliminary results of the case of already discovered potentially habitable exoearths and Kepler candidates. In the case of potentially habitable exomoons we found that magnetic protection together with conditions of tidal heating and illumination, constraints the possible range of exomoons planetocentric orbits. Also in this case we present results concerning the magnetic constraints to habitability of hypotetical exomoons of

  7. 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.

  8. Habitability Of Europa's Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, R.; Tufts, B. R.; Geissler, P.; Hoppa, G.

    Physical characterization of Europa's crust shows it to be rich in potentially habitable niches, with several timescales for change that would allow stability for organisms to prosper and still require and drive evolution and adaptation. Studies of tectonics on Europa indicate that tidal stress causes much of the surface cracking, that cracks pen- etrate through to liquid water (so the ice must be thin), and that cracks continue to be worked by tidal stress. Thus a global ocean is (or was until recently) well linked to the surface. Daily tidal flow (period~days) transports substances up and down through the active cracks, mixing surface oxidants and fuels (cometary material) with the oceanic reservoir of endogenic and exogenic substances. Organisms moving with the flow or anchored to the walls could exploit the disequilibrium chemistry, and those within a few meters of the surface could photosynthesize. Cracks remain active for at least ~10,000 yr, but deactivate as nonsynchronous rotation moves them to different stress regimes in less than a million yr. Thus, to survive, organisms squeezed into the ocean must migrate to new cracks, and those frozen in place must hibernate. Most sites remelt and would release captive organisms within about a million yr based on the prevalence of chaotic terrain, which covers nearly half of Europa. Linkage of the ocean to the surface also could help sustain life in the ocean by delivering oxidants and fuels. Suboceanic volcanism (if any) could provide additional sites and support for life, but is not necessary. Recent results support this model. We further constrain the non-synchronous rotation rate, demonstrate the plausibility of episodic melt-through, show that characteristics of pits and uplift features do not imply thick ice, and demonstrate polar wander, i.e. that the ice crust is detached from the solid interior and has slipped as a unit relative to the spin axis. Thus Europa's biosphere (habitable if not inhabited) likely

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Far-Infrared Water Line Emissions from Circumstellar Outflows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Wesley; Neufeld, David A.

    1995-01-01

    We have modeled the far-infrared water line emission expected from circumstellar outflows from oxygen-rich late-type stars, as a function of the mass-loss rate and the terminal outflow velocity. For each mass-loss rate and terminal outflow velocity considered, we computed self-consistently the gas density, temperature, outflow velocity, and water abundance as a function of distance from the star. We then used an escape probability method to solve for the equilibrium level populations of 80 rotational states of water and thereby obtained predictions for the luminosity of a large number of far-infrared rotational transitions of water. In common with previous models, our model predicts that water will be copiously produced in the warm circumstellar gas and that water rotational emission will dominate the radiative cooling. However, our use of a realistic radiative cooling function for water leads to a lower gas temperature than that predicted in previous models. Our predictions for the far-infrared water line luminosities are consequently significantly smaller than those obtained in previous studies. Observations to be carried out by the Infrared Space Observatory will provide a crucial test of the models presented here.

  12. 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.

  13. The complex circumstellar and circumbinary environment of V356 Sgr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomax, Jamie R.; Fullard, Andrew G.; Malatesta, Michael A.; Babler, Brian; Bednarski, Daniel; Berdis, Jodi R.; Bjorkman, Karen S.; Bjorkman, Jon E.; Carciofi, Alex C.; Davidson, James W., Jr.; Keil, Marcus; Meade, Marilyn R.; Nordsieck, Kenneth; Scheffler, Matt; Hoffman, Jennifer L.; Wisniewski, John P.

    2017-01-01

    We analyse 45 spectropolarimetric observations of the eclipsing, interacting binary star V356 Sgr, obtained over a period of ˜21 yr, to characterize the geometry of the system's circumstellar material. After removing interstellar polarization from these data, we find that the system exhibits a large intrinsic polarization signature arising from electron scattering. In addition, the lack of repeatable eclipses in the polarization phase curves indicates the presence of a substantial pool of scatterers not occulted by either star. We suggest that these scatterers form either a circumbinary disc coplanar with the gainer's accretion disc or an elongated structure perpendicular to the orbital plane of V356 Sgr, possibly formed by bipolar outflows. We also observe small-scale, cycle-to-cycle variations in the magnitude of intrinsic polarization at individual phases, which we interpret as evidence of variability in the amount of scattering material present within and around the system. This may indicate a mass-transfer or mass-loss rate that varies on the time-scale of the system's orbital period. Finally, we compare the basic polarimetric properties of V356 Sgr with those of the well-studied β Lyr system; the significant differences observed between the two systems suggest diversity in the basic circumstellar geometry of Roche lobe overflow systems.

  14. The Complex Circumstellar and Circumbinary Environment of V356 Sgr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fullard, Andrew; Lomax, Jamie R.; Malatesta, Michael A.; Babler, Brian L.; Bednarski, Daniel; Berdis, Jodi; Bjorkman, Karen S.; Bjorkman, Jon Eric; Carciofi, Alex C.; Davidson, James W.; Keil, Marcus; Meade, Marilyn; Nordsieck, Kenneth H.; Scheffler, Matt; Hoffman, Jennifer L.; Wisniewski, John P.

    2017-01-01

    The eclipsing, interacting binary star V356 Sgr is a particularly exciting object for analysis due to its probable nonconservative mass loss and the possible progenitor link between Roche-lobe overflow systems and core-collapse supernovae. We present the results of 45 spectropolarimetric observations of V356 Sgr taken over 21 years, which we used to characterize the geometry of the system's circumstellar material. We find that V356 Sgr exhibits a large intrinsic polarization signature arising from electron scattering. The lack of repeatable eclipses in the polarization phase curves indicates the presence of a substantial pool of scatterers not occulted by either star. We suggest that these scatterers form either a circumbinary disk coplanar with the gainer's accretion disk, or an elongated structure perpendicular to the orbital plane of V356 Sgr, possibly formed by bipolar outflows.We also observe small-scale, cycle-to-cycle variations in the magnitude of intrinsic polarization at individual phases. These may indicate a mass transfer or mass loss rate that varies on the time-scale of the system's orbital period. Finally, we present a comparison of V356 Sgr with the well studied beta Lyr system; the significant differences observed between the two systems suggests diversity in the basic circumstellar geometry of Roche-lobe overflow binaries.

  15. 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.

  16. B[e] Supergiants' Circumstellar Environment: Disks or Rings?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maravelias, G.; Kraus, M.; Aret, A.; Cidale, L.; Arias, M. L.; Borges Fernandes, M.

    2017-02-01

    B[e] supergiants are a phase in the evolution of some massive stars for which we have observational evidence but no predictions by any stellar evolution model. The mass-loss during this phase creates a complex circumstellar environment with atomic, molecular, and dust regions usually found in rings or disk-like structures. However, the detailed structure and the formation of the circumstellar environment are not well-understood, requiring further investigation. To address that we initiated an observing campaign to obtain a homogeneous set of high-resolution spectra in both the optical and NIR (using MPG-ESO/FEROS, GEMINI /Phoenix and VLT/CRIRES, respectively). We monitor a number of Galactic B[e] supergiants, for which we examined the [O I] and [Ca II] emission lines and the bandheads of the CO and SiO molecules to probe the structure and the kinematics of their formation regions. We find that the emission from each tracer forms either in a single or multiple equatorial rings.

  17. Transit probability of precessing circumstellar planets in binaries and exomoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, David. V.

    2017-01-01

    Over two decades of exoplanetology have yielded thousands of discoveries, yet some types of systems are yet to be observed. Circumstellar planets around one star in a binary have been found, but not for tight binaries (≲ 5 AU). Additionally, extra-solar moons are yet to be found. This paper motivates finding both types of three-body system by calculating analytic and numerical probabilities for all transit configurations, accounting for any mutual inclination and orbital precession. The precession and relative three-body motion can increase the transit probability to as high as tens of per cent, and make it inherently time-dependent over a precession period as short as 5-10 yr. Circumstellar planets in such tight binaries present a tempting observational challenge: enhanced transit probabilities but with a quasi-periodic signature that may be difficult to identify. This may help explain their present non-detection, or maybe they simply do not exist. Whilst this paper considers binaries of all orientations, it is demonstrated how eclipsing binaries favourably bias the transit probabilities, sometimes to the point of being guaranteed. Transits of exomoons exhibit a similar behaviour under precession, but unfortunately only have one star to transit rather than two.

  18. Circumstellar Dust in the Remnant of Kepler's Type Ia Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Brian J.; Blair, W. P.; Borkowski, K. J.; Ghavamian, P.; Long, K. S.; Reynolds, S. P.; Sankrit, R.

    2012-01-01

    Kepler's Supernova Remnant, the remains of the supernova of 1604, is widely believed to be the result of a Type Ia supernova, and shows IR, optical, and X-ray evidence for an interaction of the blast wave with a dense circumstellar medium (CSM). We present low-resolution 7.5-38 μm IR spectra of selected regions within the remnant, obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Spectra of those regions where the blast wave is encountering circumstellar material show strong features at 10 and 18 μm. These spectral features are most consistent with various silicate particles, likely formed in the stellar outflow from the progenitor system during the AGB stage of evolution. While it is possible that some features may arise from freshly formed ejecta dust, morphological evidence suggests that it is more likely that they originate from dust in the CSM. We isolate the dust grain absorption efficiencies for several regions in Kepler and compare them to laboratory data for dust particles of various compositions. The hottest dust in the remnant originates in the regions of dense, radiatively shocked clumps of gas, identified in optical images. Models of collisionally heated dust show that such shocks are capable of heating grains to temperatures of > 150 K. We confirm the finding that Kepler's SNR is still interacting with CSM in at least part of the remnant after 400 years. The significant quantities of silicate dust are consistent with a relatively massive progenitor.

  19. 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.

  20. Variable Circumstellar Disks of Classical Be Stars in Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerhartz, C.; Bjorkman, K. S.; Bjorkman, J. E.; Wisniewski, J. P.

    2016-11-01

    Circumstellar disks are common among many stars, at most spectral types, and at different stages of their lifetimes. Among the near-main-sequence classical Be stars, there is growing evidence that these disks form, dissipate, and reform on timescales that differ from star to star. Using data obtained with the Large Monolithic Imager (LMI) at the Lowell Observatory Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT), along with additional complementary data obtained at the University of Toledo Ritter Observatory (RO), we have begun a long-term monitoring project of a well-studied set of galactic star clusters that are known to contain Be stars. Our goal is to develop a statistically significant sample of variable circumstellar disk systems over multiple timescales. With a robust multi-epoch study we can determine the relative fraction of Be stars that exhibit disk-loss or disk-renewal phases, and investigate the range of timescales over which these events occur. A larger sample will improve our understanding of the prevalence and nature of the disk variability, and may provide insight about underlying physical mechanisms.

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. Delegation: developing the habit.

    PubMed

    Duehring, G L

    2001-01-01

    Often, individuals take personal delegation skills for granted and assume the presence of expertise with the practice of delegation, which may not be the case. Those assumptions can be found at both ends of the process, with the manager and the employee. Every time a manager places an employee in a job and gives him or her a job description or a set of instructions, the manager has delegated. The manager has placed someone in a position to perform operations for which ultimately the manager is responsible. Delegation is both a process and a condition. The process is the act of assigning work to an employee; the condition of delegating a job is a thorough and mutual understanding between the supervisor and the employee of specific results and methods by which these results can be achieved. The condition goes far beyond the simple process of assigning a job. The point at which many managers fail in delegating is in neglecting to move past the process and take the required steps to establish a true condition of delegation. Failure to delegate is the leading cause of managers retarding their professional growth. In the case of a workaholic--someone who fails to learn the value of delegation--the job soon becomes too much, and the effectiveness of the department may suffer. By reducing the burden of technical duties and busy work, managers will find that it is possible to be more effective and actually spend more time managing. A number of the reasons why managers fail to delegate are complex and subconscious, such as insecurity, fear of competition and even fear of not being recognized for accomplishments achieved. Other reasons for failing to delegate are habit and shortages of staff members or time. Delegation is an investment in time. The eventual gain from such an investment, which may temporarily cause the department to fall further behind during a training period, outweighs the costs. The manager is the final authority in such duties as approval, recommendations

  4. Dieting Habits of Men.

    PubMed

    Vining, Virginia L; Cotugna, Nancy; Fang, Chengshun; Sue Snider, O

    2016-08-01

    There is little research involving the US male population regarding weight control and behavior that may affect weight status. Gender-specific weight-control programs for men aren't the standard. Our study objectives were to survey dieting and health habits of an adult male employee population and to determine if the population would be interested in gender-specific programming. Demographics, weight-control practices and interest in gender-specific weight-control programs were examined cross sectionally. A 50-question web-based survey was posted via email from October 2-30, 2014 to male employees at a Mid-Atlantic university. Statistical analyses included frequencies, means and percentages. Chi square and t tests were conducted. The 254 participants were ages 18-65+ years, predominantly white, college educated with annual incomes above $50,000. Sources of nutrition knowledge ranged from a high of web sites (65 %) to a low of registered dietitians (9 %). Macronutrient restrictions reported for dieting were carbohydrates 77 %, fats 40 % and protein 19 %. The >30 age group was more likely to have: decreased amount of food intake P = .001), reducing overall calories (P = .047), skipping meals (P = .006) or trying commercial programs (P = .011). There was nothing of significance for those <30. Among all respondents, interest in gender-specific programs was compared with these variables: current weight satisfaction (P = .032), education (P = .008), income (P = . 006) and BMI (P = .004). Men who were dissatisfied with their weight were most likely to be interested in a gender-specific weight control program, especially those over age 30 years. Further research should address whether offering male-specific diet programs would offer incentive and motivation for males to lose and maintain weight loss.

  5. Make peak flow a habit!

    MedlinePlus

    Asthma - make peak flow a habit; Reactive airway disease - peak flow; Bronchial asthma - peak flow ... your airways are narrowed and blocked due to asthma, your peak flow values drop. You can check ...

  6. 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

  7. The Three-dimensional Circumstellar Environment of SN 1987A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugerman, Ben E. K.; Crotts, Arlin P. S.; Kunkel, William E.; Heathcote, Stephen R.; Lawrence, Stephen S.

    2005-07-01

    Surrounding SN 1987A is a three-ring nebula attributed to interacting stellar winds, yet no model has successfully reproduced this system. Fortunately, the progenitor's mass-loss history can be reconstructed using light echoes, in which scattered light from the supernova traces the three-dimensional morphology of its circumstellar dust. In this paper, we construct and analyze the most complete map to date of the progenitor's circumstellar environment, using ground- and space-based imaging from the past 16 years. PSF-matched difference-imaging analyses of data from 1988 through 1997 reveal material between 1 and 28 lt-yr from the SN. Previously known structures, such as an inner hourglass, Napoleon's Hat, and a contact discontinuity, are probed in greater spatial detail than before. Previously unknown features are also discovered, such as a southern counterpart to Napoleon's Hat. Careful analyses of these echoes allows the reconstruction of the probable circumstellar environment, revealing a richly structured bipolar nebula. An outer, double-lobed ``Peanut,'' which is believed to be the contact discontinuity between red supergiant and main-sequence winds, is a prolate shell extending 28 lt-yr along the poles and 11 lt-yr near the equator. Napoleon's Hat, previously believed to be an independent structure, is the waist of this Peanut, which is pinched to a radius of 6 lt-yr. Interior to this is a cylindrical hourglass, 1 lt-yr in radius and 4 lt-yr long, which connects to the Peanut by a thick equatorial disk. The nebulae are inclined 41° south and 8° east of the line of sight, slightly elliptical in cross section, and marginally offset west of the SN. From the hourglass to the large, bipolar lobes, echo fluxes suggest that the gas density drops from 1-3 to >~0.03 cm-3, while the maximum dust-grain size increases from ~0.2 to 2 μm, and the silicate:carbonaceous dust ratio decreases. The nebulae have a total mass of ~1.7 Msolar. The geometry of the three rings is

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. On habitable Trojan worlds in exoplanetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, Richard; Eggl, Siegfried; Akos, Bazso; Funk, Barbara

    2016-09-01

    When astronomers look for life on planets in exoplanetary systems (EPS), they use the concept of the habitable zone (HZ) for the search of life in the universe. In many EPS a giant planet moves in the HZ and makes the existence of another habitable planet impossible, because of the gravitational interaction with a gas giant (GG). Therefore the investigation of the Trojan configuration provides another opportunity for an additional habitable planet. The configuration is the following, when a GG (like Jupiter or larger) moves in the HZ, a terrestrial Trojan planet may move in a stable orbit around the Lagrangian equilibrium points L4 or L5. Trojans are moving either close to 60° ahead or 60° behind the GG with nearly the same semi-major axis as the planet (as shown in the figure for the circular case). Former studies (Schwarz et al. 2009 and Schwarz et al 2014) could show that this configuration is not only stable for small bodies like asteroids (e.g. Jupiter Trojans), but also for larger ones (Earth-mass). We investigate the stability of possible Trojan planets in several known extra-solar planetary systems, by using the planar 3 and N-body problem as dynamical model considering the eccentricity of the planets. For our numerical simulations we use the Lie-integration method with an automatic step-size control to solve the equations of motion (Eggl and Dvorak 2010). In our study, we have concentrated on the extension of the stability region around the Lagrangian points and the influence of additional outer or inner GG. Finally we present a list of candidates of EPS where a massive GG (3-10 Jupiter masses) moves almost or fully in the HZ and an additional possible Trojan planet can have stable motion.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Habitability of Earth-like Planet Disturbed by a Third Body

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Cássia Domingos, Rita; Almeida Prado, A. B.; Winter, O.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): In this work, we investigate the habitability of “Earth-like” exoplanets disturbed by a giant planet. The assumptions used here are the same ones of the restricted elliptic three-body problem, which means that there is a central main body, a disturbing body in an elliptical orbit and a third body with a negligible mass both around this main body. First, we consider a habitable zone of 0.9 to 1.37 AU. Then, we numerically simulate the whole system taking into account a distribution of massless particles. This study is made considering a range of different values for semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination of the disturbing body. In particular, the so-called critical angle of the third-body disturbing, which is a value for the inclination such that any near-circular orbit with inclination below this remains near circular, is discussed for Earth-like planets into habitable zone. The results obtained show that orbits of a habitable Earth-like planet is still possible if the disturbing body has low inclination and/or eccentricity. This means that the planet would be located within the habitable zone. However, high eccentricity and/or inclination for disturbing body imply that Earth-like planet orbit changes to a highly eccentric orbit with pericenter and/or apocenter distances outside the habitable zone on short time-scales.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular catastrophes and the formation of circumstellar dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stencel, R. E.

    1986-01-01

    Interstellar dust grains are presumed in part to have their origins in the outer atmospheres of red giant and supergiant stars because, despite the efficiency of shock destruction of grains in the interstellar medium (ISM), meteoritic samples possess isotopic signatures that are consistent with nucleosynthetic origin in the interior of evolved stars. There is ample evidence to suggest that once dust grains form near red giants and supergiants, radiation pressure is sufficient to drive them to infinity. The molecular catastrophe description for the conversion of chromospheric gas into molecular masers and circumstellar dust holds promise for a coherent explanation of the formation of these entities and the process of mas loss from cool, high luminosity objects.

  17. The photochemistry of carbon-rich circumstellar shells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huggins, P. J.; Glassgold, A. E.

    1982-01-01

    The effect of ambient ultraviolet photons on the chemical structure of carbon-rich, circumstellar envelopes is investigated with a simple formulation of the time-dependent, photochemical rate equations valid for optically thick shells. Molecules injected into the shielded inner envelope are broken down when they reach the outer regions where ambient ultraviolet photons can penetrate. A quantitative description of the abundance variations is obtained for the case of uniform expansion by detailed consideration of the shielding of the radiation by the dust and molecules of the envelope. Representative results are presented to illustrate the role of shielding in defining the extent of molecular envelopes, the formation of C I and C II shells by photodestruction of carbon-bearing molecules, and the development of layered chemical structures from the photobreakup of polyatomic molecules. Photochemistry makes the outer parts of thick, carbon-rich envelopes into complex regions containing radicals, ions, and atoms which are of considerable observational and theoretical interest.

  18. Polarimetric Models of Circumstellar Discs Including Aggregate Dust Grains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohan, Mahesh

    The work conducted in this thesis examines the nature of circumstellar discs by investigating irradiance and polarization of scattered light. Two circumstellar discs are investigated. Firstly, H-band high contrast imaging data on the transitional disc of the Herbig Ae/Be star HD169142 are presented. The images were obtained through the polarimetric differential imaging (PDI) technique on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) using the adaptive optics system NACO. Our observations use longer exposure times, allowing us to examine the edges of the disc. Analysis of the observations shows distinct signs of polarization due to circumstellar material, but due to excessive saturation and adaptive optics errors further information on the disc could not be inferred. The HD169142 disc is then modelled using the 3D radiative transfer code Hyperion. Initial models were constructed using a two disc structure, however recent PDI has shown the existence of an annular gap. In addition to this the annular gap is found not to be devoid of dust. This then led to the construction of a four-component disc structure. Estimates of the mass of dust in the gap (2.10E-6 Msun) are made as well as for the planet (1.53E-5 Msun (0.016 Mjupiter)) suspected to be responsible for causing the gap. The predicted polarization was also estimated for the disc, peaking at ~14 percent. The use of realistic dust grains (ballistic aggregate particles) in Monte Carlo code is also examined. The fortran code DDSCAT is used to calculate the scattering properties for aggregates which are used to replace the spherical grain models used by the radiative transfer code Hyperion. Currently, Hyperion uses four independent elements to define the scattering matrix, therefore the use of rotational averaging and a 50/50 percent population of grains and their enantiomers were explored to reduce the number of contributing scattering elements from DDSCAT. A python script was created to extract the scattering data from the DDSCAT

  19. 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.

  20. 1612 MHz OH maser emission from axisymmetric circumstellar envelopes - Miras

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collison, Alan J.; Fix, John D.

    1992-01-01

    Radiative transfer calculations are performed using a modified form of the Sobolev approximation to determine the inversion of the 1612 MHz line of OH in axisymmetric circumstellar envelopes around Miras. The mass loss is assumed to be occurring in the form of a smooth wind. Line profiles and maps are presented for three models of varying degrees of asymmetry and for various orientations of the envelopes. It is concluded that the axisymmetric models can reproduce many of the features of observed profiles and maps which both the standard, spherically symmetric model and the discrete emission model cannot easily explain. The model profiles reproduce all of the general features seen in the line profiles of real sources.

  1. PAH formation in carbon-rich circumstellar envelopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Eric D.; Frenklach, Michael

    1989-01-01

    While there is growing observational evidence that some fraction of interstellar carbon is in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's), the mechanisms by which these molecules might be formed have not been extensively studied. A detailed investigation of PAH production in the outflowing molecular envelopes of carbon-rich red giant star is presented. The gasphase kinetics of a chemical reaction mechanism developed to study soot production in hydrocarbon flames is modified to apply in circumstellar environments. It was found that astrophysically significant quantities of PAH's can be formed in carbon star envelopes provided the gas is sufficiently dense and resides for a long time in the temperature range of 900 to 1100 k. The precise yield of PAH's is very sensitive to astronomical parameters of the envelope (e.g., mass loss rate, outflow velocity, and acetylene abundance) and certain poorly determined chemical reaction rates.

  2. 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.

  3. Variable Circumstellar Disks: Prevalence, Timescales, and Physical Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burrow, Anthony; Wisniewski, John P.; Lomax, Jamie R.; Bjorkman, Karen S.; Bjorkman, Jon Eric; Covey, Kevin R.; Gerhartz, Cody; Richardson, Noel; Thao, Pa

    2017-01-01

    Rapidly rotating B-type stars often experience mass ejection that leads to the formation of a circumstellar gas disk, as diagnosed by distinct emission lines present in their spectra. The mass ejection from these stars, known as classical Be stars, sometimes slows or stops, leading to the mass falling back onto the central star and the disk dissipating. The prevalence and time-scale of such disk-loss and disk-replenishment episodes, as well as the underlying physical processes that cause the underlying mass ejection, remain unknown. We are using multi-epoch broad- and narrow-band photometric observations of 12 young open clusters to characterize the prevalence and time-scale of disk-loss and disk-replenishment episodes. We use our observations to gauge which cluster objects exhibit H-alpha emission, which is a primary indicator of Be stars in our clusters. This program is supported by NSF-AST 1411563, 1412110, and 1412135.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. Beta Pic-like Circumstellar Gas Disk Around 2 And

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, Patricia

    2003-01-01

    This grant was awarded to support the data analysis and publication of results from our project entitled P Pic-like Circumstellar Gas Disk Around 2 And . We proposed to obtain FUSE observations of 2 And and study the characteristics and origin of its circumstellar gas. We observed 2 Andromedae with FUSE on 3-4 July 2001 in 11 exposures with a total exposure time of 21,289 seconds through the LWRS aperture. Our data were calibrated with Version 1.8.7 of the CALFUSE pipeline processing software. We corrected the wavelength scale for the heliocentric velocity error in this version of the CALFUSE software. The relative accuracy of the calibrated wavelength scale is +/- 9 km/s . We produced a co-added spectrum in the LiF 1B and LiF 2A channels (covering the 1100 to 1180 A region) by cross-correlating the 11 individual exposures and doing an exposure-time weighted average flux. The final co-added spectra have a signal-to-noise ratio in the stellar continuum near 1150 A of about 20. To obtain an absolute wavelength calibration, we cross-correlated our observed spectra with a model spectrum to obtain the best fit for the photospheric C I lines. Because the photospheric lines are very broad, this yields an absolute accuracy for the wavelength scale of approx.+/- 15 km/s. We then rebinned 5 original pixels to yield the optimal sampling of .033 A for each new pixel, because the calibrated spectra oversample the spectral resolution for FUSE+LWRS (R = 20,000 +/- 2,000).

  8. Mapping α Centauri AB for Possible Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quarles, Billy L.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2016-06-01

    The alpha Centauri AB star system, our closest stellar neighbors, has been studied for many decades and ACESat (Belikov et al. AAS Meeting #225, #311.01, 2015) is a proposed space mission designed to directly image Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of both of these stars. The alpha Centauri system is older than our Sun, so any resident planets are expected to occupy long-lived orbits. We evaluate the extent of these trajectories where planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales. The distribution of long-lived orbits is mapped to the sky plane to indicate regions where planets may appear relative to each stellar component. Our results confirm qualitatively those of Wiegert & Holman (Astron. J. 113, 1445, 1997) regarding the approximate size of the regions of stable orbits, which are larger for retrograde orbits relative to the binary than for prograde orbits. Moreover, we find that orbits beyond each star’s habitable zone are affected by a dynamical imprint from the binary orbit due to mean motion resonances and the Lidov-Kozai Mechanism. Stable planets can exist near the plane of the binary orbit within each stellar habitable zone, whereas highly inclined orbits are typically short-lived. These results are of special interest as they can guide the search process of our stellar neighbors in future missions.

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

    PubMed

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

    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.

  10. [Health effects of living habits].

    PubMed

    Vuori, Ilkka

    2015-01-01

    Single healthy living habits such as non-smoking and regular physical activity decrease the risk of common non-communicable diseases, unsuccessful aging and premature death to a small to moderate degree. Their cumulative effects are, however, large. Only a small minority of people adhere well to all healthy living habits or even the healthiest ones. Consequently, the population attributable fractions of major public health problems due to unhealthy lifestyles are large. Substantial improvement of public health calls for policies and programs to influence the root causes of the lifestyles in the multiple environments and systems where they are developed, maintained, and changed.

  11. Pioneering Concepts of Planetary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raulin Cerceau, Florence

    Famous astronomers such as Richard A. Proctor (1837-1888), Jules Janssen (1824-1907), and Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) studied the concept of planetary habitability a century before this concept was updated in the context of the recent discoveries of exoplanets and the development of planetary exploration in the solar system. They independently studied the conditions required for other planets to be inhabited, and these considerations led them to specify the term "habitability." Naturally, the planet Mars was at the heart of the discussion. Our neighboring planet, regarded as a sister planet of Earth, looked like a remarkable abode for life. During the second part of the nineteenth century, the possibility of Martian intelligent life was intensively debated, and hopes were still ardent to identify a kind of vegetation specific to the red planet. In such a context, the question of Mars' habitability seemed to be very valuable, especially when studying hypothetical Martian vegetation. At the dawn of the Space Age, German-born physician and pioneer of space medicine Hubertus Strughold (1898-1987) proposed in the book The Green and Red Planet: A Physiological Study of the Possibility of Life on Mars (1954) to examine the planets of the solar system through a "planetary ecology." This innovative notion, which led to a fresh view of the concept of habitability, was supposed to designate a new field involving biology: "the science of planets as an environment for life" (Strughold 1954). This notion was very close to the concept of habitability earlier designated by our nineteenth-century pioneers. Strughold also coined the term "ecosphere" to name the region surrounding a star where conditions allowed life-bearing planets to exist. We highlight in this chapter the historical aspects of the emergence of the (modern) concept of habitability. We will consider the different formulations proposed by the pioneers, and we will see in what way it can be similar to our

  12. TW HYA ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP AND NEW WISE-DETECTED CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Adam; Song, Inseok; Melis, Carl E-mail: song@physast.uga.edu

    2012-07-20

    We assess the current membership of the nearby, young TW Hydrae association and examine newly proposed members with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to search for infrared excess indicative of circumstellar disks. Newly proposed members TWA 30A, TWA 30B, TWA 31, and TWA 32 all show excess emission at 12 and 22 {mu}m providing clear evidence for substantial dusty circumstellar disks around these low-mass, {approx}8 Myr old stars that were previously shown to likely be accreting circumstellar material. TWA 30B shows large amounts of self-extinction, likely due to an edge-on disk geometry. We also confirm previously reported circumstellar disks with WISE and determine a 22 {mu}m excess fraction of 42{sup +10}{sub -{sub 9}}% based on our results.

  13. 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.

  14. Dynamical Evolution and Migration of Circumbinary Planets and Their Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Kley, W.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2014-03-01

    The recent success of the Kepler space telescope in detecting several circumbinary planets has raised many questions on the formation, evolution, and habitability of these objects. The detection of multiple transists in these systems points to the co-planarity of the orbital planes of the binary and planet(s), giving strong support to the idea that these planets formed in circumbinary protoplanetary disks. The proximity of some of these planets to the boundary of orbital instability around the binary suggests an evolutionary scenario in which planets form at larger distances and migrate to their present orbits. How such planets form, and how the binarity of the system affects their formation and subsequent migration are among fundamental questions that require deep understanding of the growth and evolution of solid objects in circumbinary environments, and their dynamical evolution. Given that several of the currently known circumbinary planets are in the habitable zone, the habitability of planet-hosting binary systems has also become an important topic of research. We have carried out extensive analysis of the dynamical evolution of planets in a circumbinary disk, and their habitability. The results of our hydrodynamical simulations indicate that planets migrate inward and settle near the inner edge of the circumbinary disk (the stability limit), in good agreement with the results of the observations. Our model of habitability takes into account, self-consistently, the contribution of each star to the total flux received at the top of the planet's atmosphere, producing accurate maps of the HZ of the system. We present the results of our studies and discuss their applications to the formation and habitability of the currently known Kepler circumbinary planets.

  15. Habitability of planets on eccentric orbits: limits of the mean flux approximation??

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolmont, Emeline; Libert, Anne-Sophie; Leconte, Jeremy; Selsis, Franck

    2015-07-01

    A few of the planets found in the insolation habitable zone (as defined by Kasting et al. 1993) are on eccentric orbits, such as HD 136118 b (eccentricity of ˜0.3, Wittenmyer et al. 2009). This raises the question of the potential habitability of planets that only spend a fraction of their orbit in the habitable zone. Usually for a planet of semi-major axis a and eccentricity e, the averaged flux over one orbit received by the planet is considered. This averaged flux corresponds to the flux received by a planet on a circular orbit of radius r = a(1-eˆ2)ˆ1/4. If this orbital distance is within the habitable zone, the planet is considered "habitable". However, for a hot star, for which the habitable zone is far from the star, the climate can be degraded when the planet is temporarily outside the habitable zone. The influence of the orbital eccentricity of a planet on its climate has already been studied for Earth-like conditions (same star, same rotation period), with Global Climate Models (GCM) such as in Williams & Pollard 2002 and Linsenmeier et al. 2014. Spiegel 2010 and Dressing et al. 2010 have also studied the effect of eccentricity for more diverse conditions with energy-balanced models. We performed a set of simulations using the Global Climate Model LMDz (Wordsworth et al. 2011, Forget et al. 2013, Leconte et al. 2013). We computed the climate of aqua planets receiving a mean flux equal to Earth's, around stars of luminosity ranging from 1 Lsun to 10-4 Lsun and of orbital eccentricity from 0 to 0.9. We show the limits of the mean flux approximation, depending on the previous parameters and also the thermal inertia of oceans.

  16. Transition-Metal Oxides in Warm Circumstellar Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Mirosław R.; Kaminski, Tomasz; Tylenda, Romuald

    2013-06-01

    We report on detections and simulations of electronic bands of transition-metal oxides, i.e. ScO, TiO, VO, CrO, YO, and of AlO, in spectra of two red novae V838 Mon and V4332 Sgr. These objects experienced a stellar merger event in 2002 and 1994, respectively, and have very rich circumstellar environments abundant in dust and molecules. We analyzed optical spectra of V838 Mon which show a presence of outflowing material. In this object, electronic systems of oxides are observed in absorption against a photospheric spectrum which resembles that of a late-type supergiant. We present simulations of the absorption bands which allowed us to derive the excitation temperatures of 300-500 K and constrain column densities, which turned out to be very high. Among many interesting features discovered, we identified forbidden transitions of TiO in the b^1Π-X^3Δ and c^{1}Φ-X^{3}Δ systems, which are seen owing to the high column densities and the relatively low temperatures. In the case of the older red nova V4332 Sgr, the main object is surrounded by a circumstellar disc which is seen almost edge-on and obscures the central star. The molecular spectra are seen in emission in this object, what is very unusual in astrophysical sources observed at optical wavelengths. We show that these emission bands arise owing to the special geometry of the star-disk system and that radiative pumping is responsible for excitation of the molecules. From the shapes of the rotational contours, we derive temperatures of about 120 K in this object. Remarkably, the spectra of V4332 Sgr contain features of CrO, which is the first identified signature of this molecule in an astrophysical object. In addition to the excitation and radiative-transfer analysis of the molecular spectra, we discuss chemical pathways that could lead to the observed variety of metal oxides seen in these enigmatic sources. T. Kaminski, M. Schmidt, R. Tylenda, M. Konacki, and M. Gromadzki ApJSuppl., {182} (33), 2009. T

  17. How habitable zones and super-Earths lead us astray

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, William B.; Lenardic, A.; Jellinek, A. M.; Johnson, C. L.; Goldblatt, C.; Lorenz, R. D.

    2017-02-01

    As scientists, the terminology we choose influences our thinking as it carries our messages to colleagues and the public. In the face of pressure to turn science into clickbait, maintaining precision in the language we use is critical to dispel misinformation and, more broadly, to enable scientific progress.

  18. 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.

  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. 7 Habits of Developmental Coaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darden, Gibson; Shimon, Jane

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe how coaches can apply principles of athlete growth and development to the learning and performance of motor skills. They present 7 habits that lead to well-rounded athletes who experience increased enjoyment, self-motivation, skill improvement, and ultimately more success on the playing field. (Contains 1…

  1. Optimizing Spectral Resolution and Observation Time for Measurements of Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalfa, N.; Meadows, V. S.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.

    2009-12-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is a NASA mission concept that will attempt to characterize and search for habitability and life on extrasolar planets. While detection of a planet in the habitable zone increases the probability that the planet is habitable, planetary characterization will be required to confirm habitability and thereby test predictions of the position of the habitable zone. The TPF-I mission will accomplish this with an interferometer, allowing the detection of Earth-mass planets around stars up to 15 pc away and production of mid-infrared spectra from those planets. The focus on the mid-infrared region of the spectrum (7-20 mm) is beneficial because this is where energy from Earth-like planets is strongest relative to the flux from their parent stars. To discover if such planets are habitable we need to know not only what to look for - biosignatures and indicators of habitability - but also how to look. In other words, we must determine the trade-off in telescope properties that will provide the best science return. Extensive models have been made of Earth-like planets to describe many planetary properties, including atmospheric chemistry and surface temperature. Those properties may be derived for extrasolar planets using these models if spectra are obtained for the target planet. When modeling a planet, we can calculate a very high-resolution spectrum that can show the detailed absorption features of gases such as CO2, H2O, and O3. However, the telescope resolution will necessarily be limited by low photon fluxes from the distant targets. Alternatively, the telescope could spend more time taking in photons from each target planet. A balance may have to be struck between the numbers of targets observed and the quality of the data obtained for each target. We will present a number of simulations of TPF instrument measurements of terrestrial spectra that parametrize spectral resolution and observation time. The relative errors of these various

  2. THE QUEST FOR CRADLES OF LIFE: USING THE FUNDAMENTAL METALLICITY RELATION TO HUNT FOR THE MOST HABITABLE TYPE OF GALAXY

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. On the Excitation and Formation of Circumstellar Fullerenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernard-Salas, J.; Cami, J.; Peeters, E.; Jones, A. P.; Micelotta, E. R.; Groenewegen, M. A. T.

    2012-09-01

    We compare and analyze the Spitzer mid-infrared spectrum of three fullerene-rich planetary nebulae in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds: Tc1, SMP SMC 16, and SMP LMC 56. The three planetary nebulae share many spectroscopic similarities. The strongest circumstellar emission bands correspond to the infrared active vibrational modes of the fullerene species C60 and little or no emission is present from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The strengths of the fullerene bands in the three planetary nebulae are very similar, while the ratios of the [Ne III]15.5 μm/[Ne II]12.8 μm fine structure lines, an indicator of the strength of the radiation field, are markedly different. This raises questions about their excitation mechanism and we compare the fullerene emission to fluorescent and thermal models. In addition, the spectra show other interesting and common features, most notably in the 6-9 μm region, where a broad plateau with substructure dominates the emission. These features have previously been associated with mixtures of aromatic/aliphatic hydrocarbon solids. We hypothesize on the origin of this band, which is likely related to the fullerene formation mechanism, and compare it with modeled hydrogenated amorphous carbon that present emission in this region.

  5. ON THE EXCITATION AND FORMATION OF CIRCUMSTELLAR FULLERENES

    SciTech Connect

    Bernard-Salas, J.; Jones, A. P.; Groenewegen, M. A. T.

    2012-09-20

    We compare and analyze the Spitzer mid-infrared spectrum of three fullerene-rich planetary nebulae in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds: Tc1, SMP SMC 16, and SMP LMC 56. The three planetary nebulae share many spectroscopic similarities. The strongest circumstellar emission bands correspond to the infrared active vibrational modes of the fullerene species C{sub 60} and little or no emission is present from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The strengths of the fullerene bands in the three planetary nebulae are very similar, while the ratios of the [Ne III]15.5 {mu}m/[Ne II]12.8 {mu}m fine structure lines, an indicator of the strength of the radiation field, are markedly different. This raises questions about their excitation mechanism and we compare the fullerene emission to fluorescent and thermal models. In addition, the spectra show other interesting and common features, most notably in the 6-9 {mu}m region, where a broad plateau with substructure dominates the emission. These features have previously been associated with mixtures of aromatic/aliphatic hydrocarbon solids. We hypothesize on the origin of this band, which is likely related to the fullerene formation mechanism, and compare it with modeled hydrogenated amorphous carbon that present emission in this region.

  6. A Circumstellar Shell Model for the Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borkowski, Kazimierz; Szymkowiak, Andrew E.; Blondin, John M.; Sarazin, Craig L.

    1996-08-01

    We model the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant in the framework of the circumstellar medium (C SM) interaction picture. In this model, the slow red supergiant wind of the supernova (SN) progenitor was swept into a dense shell by a fast stellar wind in the subsequent blue supergiant stage of the progenitor star. The supernova blast wave propagated quickly (≤ 100 yr) through the tenuous wind-blown bubble located within this shell and then slowed down in the dense (nH ˜15 cm-3) CSM shell. The shell was impulsively accelerated during this interaction stage; during the subsequent interaction with SN ejecta, the shell has been further accelerated to ˜2000 km s-1, the currently observed expansion rate. The comparison of our X-ray emission calculations with the ASCA spectrum suggests that about 8 Msun of X- material is present in Cas A. Most of this mass is located in the CSM shell and in the outlying red supergiant wind. The X-ray continuum and the Fe Kα line are dominated by the shell emission, but prominent Kα complexes of Mg, Si, and S must be produced by SN ejecta with strongly enhanced abundances of these elements. Our hydrodynamical models indicate that about 2 Msun of ejecta have been shocked. An explosion of a stellar He core is consistent with these findings.

  7. The ionization structure of the circumstellar envelope of Alpha Orionis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glassgold, A. E.; Huggins, P. J.

    1986-01-01

    The physical processes which affect the ionization of the outer circumstellar envelope of Alpha Ori are analyzed and evaluated. The ultraviolet radiation fields of the chromosphere and the interstellar medium dominate the envelope, and the most common forms of all species are neutral atoms and first ions. Hydrogen recombines just outside the chromosphere, where atoms with smaller ionization potential are essentially fully ionized. The heavier ions gradually recombine with increasing distance from the star, until the interstellar radiation field reverses this trend. The electron fraction in the outer envelope is approximately equal to the abundance of all such heavy atoms, i.e., of the order of 0.0001. The analysis is applied to the case of neutral K, whose density in the envelope has been determined by scattering experiments. The theory predicts that the slope of the K I density distribution should decrease from -1.5 to -3.5 in the outer envelope. The mass loss rate of Alpha Ori implied by the K I scattering experiments is 4 x 10 to the -6th solar mass/yr.

  8. Rapid disappearance of a warm, dusty circumstellar disk.

    PubMed

    Melis, Carl; Zuckerman, B; Rhee, Joseph H; Song, Inseok; Murphy, Simon J; Bessell, Michael S

    2012-07-04

    Stars form with gaseous and dusty circumstellar envelopes, which rapidly settle into disks that eventually give rise to planetary systems. Understanding the process by which these disks evolve is paramount in developing an accurate theory of planet formation that can account for the variety of planetary systems discovered so far. The formation of Earth-like planets through collisional accumulation of rocky objects within a disk has mainly been explored in theoretical and computational work in which post-collision ejecta evolution typically is ignored, although recent work has considered the fate of such material. Here we report observations of a young, Sun-like star (TYC 8241 2652 1) where infrared flux from post-collisional ejecta has decreased drastically, by a factor of about 30, over a period of less than two years. The star seems to have gone from hosting substantial quantities of dusty ejecta, in a region analogous to where the rocky planets orbit in the Solar System, to retaining at most a meagre amount of cooler dust. Such a phase of rapid ejecta evolution has not been previously predicted or observed, and no currently available physical model satisfactorily explains the observations.

  9. Molecular catastrophes and circumstellar SiO masers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stencel, Robert E.

    1993-01-01

    Understanding the complex SiO maser regions of highly evolved stars can be improved through multiwavelength studies of 'premaser' stars, such as M0-M4 giants and semiregular variables, which can be placed on normal H-R diagrams unlike most of the OH-IR stars. I argue that SiO masers are a key part of the transformation of hot stellar plasma into cold circumstellar silicate dust, in the outflows from evolved, oxygen rich stars. Evidence for this statement rests on the following: (1) red giant mass loss originates in a stochastic, amsotropic manner; (2) SiO maser maps of Miras and red supergiants show numerous maser spots within a few stellar radii; (3) molecules and dust naturally form in a cooling outflow; (4) the IRAS Low Resolution Spectrometer provided evidence for diverse and variable 10 micron silicate features in Miras, and these shapes correlate well with the proposed maser chronology, suggesting a formation and annealing sequence. The theory for the occurrence of SiO masers involving thermal instability, related 'new' physics, recent calculations and a prediction are discussed.

  10. ALIGNMENT OF PROTOSTARS AND CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS DURING THE EMBEDDED PHASE

    SciTech Connect

    Spalding, Christopher; Batygin, Konstantin; Adams, Fred C. E-mail: kbatygin@gps.caltech.edu

    2014-12-20

    Star formation proceeds via the collapse of a molecular cloud core over multiple dynamical timescales. Turbulence within cores results in a spatially non-uniform angular momentum of the cloud, causing a stochastic variation in the orientation of the disk forming from the collapsing material. In the absence of star-disk angular momentum coupling, such disk-tilting would provide a natural mechanism for the production of primordial spin-orbit misalignments in the resulting planetary systems. However, owing to high accretion rates in the embedded phase of star formation, the inner edge of the circumstellar disk extends down to the stellar surface, resulting in efficient gravitational and accretional angular momentum transfer between the star and the disk. Here, we demonstrate that the resulting gravitational coupling is sufficient to suppress any significant star-disk misalignment, with accretion playing a secondary role. The joint tilting of the star-disk system leads to a stochastic wandering of star-aligned bipolar outflows. Such wandering widens the effective opening angle of stellar outflows, allowing for more efficient clearing of the remainder of the protostar's gaseous envelope. Accordingly, the processes described in this work provide an additional mechanism responsible for sculpting the stellar initial mass function.

  11. A WISE survey of circumstellar disks in Taurus

    SciTech Connect

    Esplin, T. L.; Luhman, K. L.; Mamajek, E. E.

    2014-04-01

    We have compiled photometry at 3.4, 4.6, 12, and 22 μm from the all-sky survey performed by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) for all known members of the Taurus complex of dark clouds. Using these data and photometry from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we have identified members with infrared excess emission from circumstellar disks and have estimated the evolutionary stages of the detected disks, which include 31 new full disks and 16 new candidate transitional, evolved, evolved transitional, and debris disks. We have also used the WISE All-Sky Source Catalog to search for new disk-bearing members of Taurus based on their red infrared colors. Through optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, we have confirmed 26 new members with spectral types of M1-M7. The census of disk-bearing stars in Taurus should now be largely complete for spectral types earlier than ∼M8 (M ≳ 0.03 M {sub ☉}).

  12. Unifying Type II Supernova Light Curves with Dense Circumstellar Material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, Viktoriya; Piro, Anthony L.; Valenti, Stefano

    2017-03-01

    A longstanding problem in the study of supernovae (SNe) has been the relationship between the Type IIP and Type IIL subclasses. Whether they come from distinct progenitors or they are from similar stars with some property that smoothly transitions from one class to another has been the subject of much debate. Here, using one-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamic SN models, we show that the multi-band light curves of SNe IIL are well fit by ordinary red supergiants surrounded by dense circumstellar material (CSM). The inferred extent of this material, coupled with a typical wind velocity of ∼ 10{--}100 {km} {{{s}}}-1, suggests enhanced activity by these stars during the last ~months to ∼years of their lives, which may be connected with advanced stages of nuclear burning. Furthermore, we find that, even for more plateau-like SNe, dense CSM provides a better fit to the first ∼ 20 days of their light curves, indicating that the presence of such material may be more widespread than previously appreciated. Here we choose to model the CSM with a wind-like density profile, but it is unclear whether this just generally represents some other mass distribution, such as a recent mass ejection, thick disk, or even inflated envelope material. Better understanding the exact geometry and density distribution of this material will be an important question for future studies.

  13. Light echo detection of circumstellar disks around flaring stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaidos, Eric J.

    1994-01-01

    Light echoes can be used to detect and characterize disks around flaring stars. Such disks are thought to be a hallmark of planet formation but are very difficult to detect by ordinary means. Dwarf emission-line M stars experience flares with luminosities comparable to their quiescent photospheres on time scales of minutes, less than the light travel time across a disk many astronomical units in extent; they are thus ideal candidates for such a search. Bromley (1992) calculated that the detection of Jupiter-sized companions using light echoes requires photometric accuracies better than 1 part in 10(exp 6). However, a disk consisting of grains or small bodies will scatter a much larger fraction of the light than a planet of similar mass. I estimate the light echo amplitutdes from plausible geometries of circumstellar material and present simulation light curves. The light echo amplitudes are typically 1% of the flare and I conclude that such events will be detected best in cases where the flare is eclipsed by the star. An examination of the time scales associated with internal processes in a protoplanetary disks around dM stars indicates that any primordial disks may become undetectable in 10(exp 4) years and will have completely disappeared by 10(exp 8) years, the estimated age of dMe stars in the solar neighborhood. However, searches for light echoes might constrain the amount of material continuing to fall into these young stellar systems in the form of comet-like objects.

  14. The circumstellar environment of pre-SN Ia systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, E.; Redman, M. P.; Boumis, P.; Kopsacheili, M.; Akras, S., Sabin, L.; Jurkic, T.

    2016-06-01

    Here we explore the possible preexisting circumstellar debris of supernova type Ia systems. Classical, symbiotic and recurrent novae all accrete onto roughly solar mass white dwarfs from main sequence or Mira type companions and result in thermonuclear runaways and expulsion of the accreted material at high velocity. The expelled material forms a fast moving shell that eventually slows to planetary nebula expansion velocities within several hundred years. All such systems are recurrent and thousands of shells (each of about 0.001 Mo) snow plough into the environment. As these systems involve common envelope binaries the material is distributed in a non-spherical shell. These systems could be progenitors of some SN Ia and thus explode into environments with large amounts of accumulated gas and dust distributed in thin non-spherical shells. Such shells should be observable around 100 years after a SN Ia event in a radio flash as the SN Ia debris meets that of the ejected material of the systems previous incarnation.

  15. On circumstellar disks: Spitzer identifies two possible evolutionary paths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, Paula S.; Lada, Charles J.; Marengo, Massimo; Lada, Elizabeth

    Multi-wavelength surveys have vastly improved our understanding of many astrophysical objects, in particular, circumstellar disks. We present our results for the disk population of the young cluster NGC 2264. Our study was based on data obtained with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) and the Multiband Imaging Photometer on board the Spitzer Space Telescope combined with previously published optical data. We divide the disk population into 3 classes based on their spectral energy distribution shapes: optically thick disks, homologously depleted anemic disks, and radially depleted transition disks. We find that there are two distinct evolutionary paths for disks: a homologous one, where the disk emission decreases uniformly in NIR and mid-infrared wavelengths (anemic disks) and throughout which most sources pass, and a radially differential one where the emission from the inner region of the disk decreases more rapidly than from the outer region (transition disks). Whether a disk evolves in a homologously or radially depleted fashion is still unknown and may depend on the nature of planet formation in the disk.

  16. The Circumstellar Environments of Born-Again Giants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helton, L. Andrew; Evans, Aneurin; Gehrz, Robert D.; Woodward, Charles; Eyres, Stewart

    2015-08-01

    When a solar-mass star reaches the end of its main sequence life, has shed a planetary nebula or become a proto-planetary nebula, and is heading towards the white dwarf phase of its evolution, the star may reignite residual surface helium and be "reborn". It retraces its path on the HR diagram and once again becomes a giant: it undergoes a Very Late Thermal Pulse (VLTP) and becomes a "Born-Again Giant" (BAG). This alternate scenario for the demise of low mass stars may occur in as many as 20% of cases. During this phase the star may become a prolific dust producer such that the star is completely obscured and the only means of monitoring its evolution is by observing the ejected dust.Over the past 10-20 years we have used ground-based, spaceborne and airborne infrared (IR) facilities to monitor the spectral energy distributions of the dust shells of stars that have recently undergone VLTPs. Covering a time period from ~1996 to the present, and with recent SOFIA observations that extend the spectral coverage from 1 - 38 microns, we have been able to determine mass-loss rates from the stars, and the physical state, nature and extent of their circumstellar dust shells.Our observations throw light on a phase of the evolution of low mass stars that is very rare, poorly observed, and little understood. Understanding these phenomena can potentially give us a glimpse of the ultimate fate of the Sun.

  17. The absence of circumstellar dust debris around G giants

    SciTech Connect

    Jura, M. )

    1990-12-01

    The IRAS data base has been searched for evidence for circumstellar dust around luminosity class III G giants, stars whose progenitors are mostly main-sequence A stars. While 20 percent of all main-sequence A dwarfs have dust which absorbs at least 5 x 10 to the -6th of the light from the star, less than 3 percent of all G giants have such clouds. One possible explanation for the absence of detectable dust debris around the G giants is that the Poynting-Robertson effect leads to the decay of the dust around the main-sequence A stars, and that the supply of these grains is not renewed indefinitely. In this case, the derived upper limit to the grain radius of about 0.2 cm for the bulk of the grains emitting the far-infrared emission is consistent with data derived from ground-based submillimeter observations. Another possible explanation for the lack of grains around at least some G giants is that the dust around the original A dwarf is mainly composed of relatively volatile material like water ice which thermally evaporates in a relatively short time during the giant phase of higher luminosity. 35 refs.

  18. The absence of circumstellar dust debris around G giants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jura, M.

    1990-01-01

    The IRAS data base has been searched for evidence for circumstellar dust around luminosity class III G giants, stars whose progenitors are mostly main-sequence A stars. While 20 percent of all main-sequence A dwarfs have dust which absorbs at least 5 x 10 to the -6th of the light from the star, less than 3 percent of all G giants have such clouds. One possible explanation for the absence of detectable dust debris around the G giants is that the Poynting-Robertson effect leads to the decay of the dust around the main-sequence A stars, and that the supply of these grains is not renewed indefinitely. In this case, the derived upper limit to the grain radius of about 0.2 cm for the bulk of the grains emitting the far-infrared emission is consistent with data derived from ground-based submillimeter observations. Another possible explanation for the lack of grains around at least some G giants is that the dust around the original A dwarf is mainly composed of relatively volatile material like water ice which thermally evaporates in a relatively short time during the giant phase of higher luminosity.

  19. The Influence of Eccentricity Cycles on Exoplanet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baskin, N. J. K.; Fabrycky, D. C.; Abbot, D. S.

    2015-12-01

    In our search for habitable exoplanets, it is important to understand how planetary habitability is influenced by orbital configurations that differ from those of the terrestrial planets in our Solar system. In particular, observational surveys have revealed the prevalence of planetary systems around binary stars. Within these systems, the gravitational influence of a companion star can induce libration in the eccentricity of the planet's orbit (referred to as Kozai Cycles) on timescales as short as thousands of years. The resulting fluctuations in stellar flux at the top of the atmosphere can potentially induce dramatic variations in surface temperatures, with direct implications for the planet's habitability prospects. We investigate this research problem using two steps. First, we utilize the MERCURY N-body integrator in order to calculate the eccentricity of a hypothetical Earth-analogue under the gravitational influence of a stellar companion. Second, we run a coupled Global Climate Model (GCM) at various stages of a cycle provided by the MERCURY runs in order to examine if the increase in insolation renders the planet uninhabitable. This work will allow us to better understand how Kozai cycles influence the boundaries of a planet's habitable zone.

  20. 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.

  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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Military Personnel

    MedlinePlus

    ... may feel anxious or “keyed up.” Anger and aggression are common war zone stress reactions, but they ... Problems doing regular tasks at work or school ■ ■ Aggressive driving habits Some avoidance is normal. But if ...

  5. What makes a planet habitable, and how to search for habitable planets in other solar systems.

    PubMed

    Papagiannis, M D

    1992-06-01

    The availability of liquid water is the most important factor that makes a planet habitable, because water is a very effective polar molecule and hence an excellent solvent and facilitator for the complex chemistry of life. Its presence presupposes a planet with a significant mass that guarantees the presence of a substantial atmosphere, and a reasonable spinning rate to avoid overheating. It also implies that the planet is at moderate distances from its central star, a range that is called the Ecosphere or the Habitable Zone. Since the evolution of life to high intelligence seems to take billions of years, it requires also that the central star must be neither too massive, that will produce a lot of lethal UV radiation and will have too short a life-span to allow life to evolve, nor of very small mass which will be producing too feeble a radiation to sustain life. The detection of free Oxygen in the atmosphere of a planet is a very strong evidence for the presence of life, because Oxygen is highly reactive and would rapidly disappear by combining with other elements, unless it is continuously replenished by life as the by-product of the process of photosynthesis that builds food for life (sugars) from CO2 and H2O.

  6. Safety Zones

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These are established primarily to reduce the accidental spread of hazardous substances by workers or equipment from contaminated areas to clean areas. They include the exclusion (hot) zone, contamination reduction (warm) zone, and support (cold) zone.

  7. 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

  8. STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION OF PRE-MAIN-SEQUENCE CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Isella, Andrea; Carpenter, John M.; Sargent, Anneila I.

    2009-08-10

    We present new subarcsecond ({approx}0.''7) Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) observations of the 1.3 mm continuum emission from circumstellar disks around 11 low- and intermediate-mass pre-main-sequence stars. High-resolution observations for three additional sources were obtained from the literature. In all cases the disk emission is spatially resolved. We adopt a self-consistent accretion disk model based on the similarity solution for the disk surface density and constrain the dust radial density distribution on spatial scales of about 40 AU. Disk surface densities appear to be correlated with the stellar ages where the characteristic disk radius increases from {approx}20 AU to {approx}100 AU over about 5 Myr. This disk expansion is accompanied by a decrease in the mass accretion rate, suggesting that our sample disks form an evolutionary sequence. Interpreting our results in terms of the temporal evolution of a viscous {alpha}-disk, we estimate (1) that at the beginning of the disk evolution about 60% of the circumstellar material was located inside radii of 25-40 AU, (2) that disks formed with masses from 0.05 to 0.4 M {sub sun}, and (3) that the viscous timescale at the disk initial radius is about 0.1-0.3 Myr. Viscous disk models tightly link the surface density {sigma}(R) with the radial profile of the disk viscosity {nu}(R) {proportional_to} R {sup {gamma}}. We find values of {gamma} ranging from -0.8 to 0.8, suggesting that the viscosity dependence on the orbital radius can be very different in the observed disks. Adopting the {alpha} parameterization for the viscosity, we argue that {alpha} must decrease with the orbital radius and that it may vary between 0.5 and 10{sup -4}. From the inferred disk initial radii we derive specific angular momenta, j, for parent cores of (0.8 - 4) x 10{sup -4} km s{sup -1} pc. Comparison with the values of j in dense cores suggests that about 10% of core angular momentum and 30% of the core

  9. Was Venus the first Habitable World of our Solar System?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, Michael; Del Genio, Anthony; Kiang, Nancy; Sohl, Linda; Grinspoon, David; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell; Clune, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    Recent simulations have been completed with the Goddard Institute for Space Studies 3-D General Circulation Model of paleo Venus for a range of early solar system ages from 3Gya to 0.7Gya when the sun was less luminous than today. We use this and Magellan topography to provide Venus an ocean of average depth 310m and an atmosphere similar to present day Earth. A combination of a less luminous Sun and a slow rotation rate reveal that Venus could have had conditions on its surface amenable to surface liquid water in its early history. It is possible that fewer assumptions have to be made to make Venus an early habitable world of our solar system than have to be made for Mars or Earth, even though Venus is a much tougher world on which to confirm this hypothesis. These results could have implications in the search for planets within the habitable zones of stars.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. ISOPHOT observations of circumstellar disks around young stellar objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robberto, M.; Meyer, M. R.; Natta, A.; Beckwith, S. V. W.

    1999-03-01

    We observed 97 stars in five young clusters at 25 and 60 μm with ISOPHOT to determine the frequency of infrared emission from circumstellar disks. The clusters have ages between 1 and 300 Myr. Most stars (5/6) that have near-infrared excess emission, thought to be indicative of accretion disks, exhibit far-infrared emission; only one object that has no excess emission in the near-infrared exhibits far-infrared excess emission. No stars older than 10 Myr have evidence for optically-thick disks. These results show that dust in the disks between about 0.3 and 3 AU disappears on timescales of ~ 10 Myr, identical within the uncertainties to the timescale for cessation of accretion as indicated by near-infrared observations of similar samples. Detection of one object whose dust optical depth is intermediate between opaque and transparent suggests that the duration of the transition phase between optically-thick and thin disk emission is less than 300,000 yr. Broad-band photometry between 2.5 and 100 μm, low resolution spectra between 2 and 12 μm, and 200 μm maps of 18 young stars (1-3 Myr old) in the Taurus and Chamaeleon dark clouds suggests that the irradiation dominates over viscous dissipation of mass accretion in the heating of the disk. The spectral energy distributions are consistent with those predicted by models of disks heated centrally by the stellar/accretion photosphere or by scattering from a diffuse halo surrounding the disk. The observations demonstrate that heating by accretion through the disks contributes little or no power to the energy budget at distances more than a few tenths AU from the central star.

  13. Evidence of Circumstellar Matter Surrounding the Hercules X-1 System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, C. S.; Dotani, T.; Nagase, F.; Makino, F.; Deeter, J. E.; Min, K. W.

    1994-01-01

    We analyze data from two eclipse ingresses of Her X-1 observed with Ginga on 1989 April 30 and May 19. These observations occur, respectively, during the MAIN HIGH and SHORT HIGH states in the 35 day modulation of Her X-1 intensity. We find significant residual X-ray flux during eclipse, with a gradual decrease in flux following the occultation of the neutron star by the atmosphere of HZ Her. During the central part of the eclipse the count rate becomes nearly constant, at 0.5 mcrab in the energy range 1.7-36.8 keV. From a spec- tral analysis of the residual emission during the total eclipse of the central source in the MAIN MGH state, we determine the energy spectral index, alpha = 0.8, similar to that before eclipse. A remarkable feature of the eclipse spectrum is that it does not show a significant iron line feature in contrast to massive wind-fed pulsars, such as Vela X-1 and Cen X-3. From a timing analysis of the same eclipse data, we show that there are no pulses. These results imply that the emission comes from the scattering of continuum X-rays by material in a region considerably larger than the companion star. An extended accretion disk corona may be responsible for this scattering. However, partial eclipse of an extended accretion disk corona is insufficient to account for the count rates in mid-eclipse, when known parameters of the binary system are used. Based on the present results, we suggest that scattering occurs not only in the accretion disk corona but also in the circumstellar matter surrounding the system of Her X-1/HZ Her.

  14. Evidence of circumstellar matter surrounding the Hercules X-1 system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, C. S.; Dotani, T.; Nagase, F.; Makino, F.; Deeter, J. E.; Min, K. W.

    1994-01-01

    We analyze data from two eclipse ingresses of Her X-1 observed with Ginga on 1989 April 30 and May 19. These observations occur, respectively, during the MAIN HIGH and SHORT HIGH states in the 35 day modulation of Her X-1 intensity. We find significant residual X-ray flux during eclipse, with a gradual decrease in flux following the occultation of the neutron star by the atmosphere of HZ Her. During the central part of the eclipse the count rate becomes nearly constant, at 0.5 mCrab in the energy range 1.7-36.8 keV. From a spectral analysis of the residual emission during the total eclipse of the central source in the MAIN HIGH state, we determine the energy spectral index, alpha = 0.8, similar to that before eclipse. A remarkable feature of the eclipse spectrum is that it does not show a significant iron line feature in contrast to massive wind-fed pulsars, such as Vela X-1 and Cen X-3. From a timing analysis of the same eclipse data, we show that there are no pulses. These results imply that the emission comes from the scattering of continuum X-rays by material in a region considerably larger than the companion star. An extended accretion disk corona may be responsible for this scattering. However, partial eclipse of an extended accretion disk corona may be responsible for this scattering. However, partial eclipse of an extended accretion disk corona is insufficient to account for the count rates in mid-eclipse, when known parameters of the binary system are used. Based on the present results, we suggest that scattering occurs not only in the accretion disk corona but also in the circumstellar matter surrounding the system of Her X-1/HZ Her.

  15. Dynamics of Supernova Remnants with Ejecta and Circumstellar Bubbles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blondin, M. J.; Featherstone, N.; Borkowski, J. K.; Reynolds, P. S.

    2001-09-01

    Progenitors of core-collapse supernovae (SNe) blow bubbles in the ambient medium and sweep it into shells with their powerful stellar winds. After the explosion, SN ejecta initially collide with the stellar wind, then with the wind-blown bubble, and finally with a dense wind-swept shell. This collision is particularly energetic for SNe whose progenitors lost most of their outer envelopes just prior to explosion: the brightest galactic supernova remnant (SNR), Cas A, is a prime example of such an interaction with the circumstellar medium (CSM). The SN ejecta are far from being smooth for such remnants, because of vigorous turbulence and mixing of heavy-element ejecta immediately after the explosion and subsequent growth of Ni-Fe bubbles powered by the radioactive decay. We study the interaction of ``bubbly'' SN ejecta with a CSM bubble and a swept CSM shell, using hydrodynamical simulations in 2 and 3 dimensions with the VH-1 hydrocode. We compare our simulations with analytic self-similar (Chevalier & Liang 1989) solutions and with our previous simulations of interaction of bubbly ejecta with a uniform ambient medium. When compared with these simulations, the impact of bubbly ejecta with the shell results in a more vigorous turbulence and mixing. Dense and cool ejecta at the boundaries of adjacent bubbles may penetrate the shell, leading to plume-like and ring-like features. We examine whether such an interaction is responsible for the observed morphology of Cas A as seen by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope, and for the different expansion rates seen at X-ray and radio wavelengths.

  16. Direct thermal imaging of circumstellar discs and exo-planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantin, Eric; Siebenmorgen, Ralf; Cavarroc, Celine; Sterzik, Michael F.

    2008-07-01

    The phase A study of a mid infrared imager and spectrograph for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), called METIS, was endorsed in May 2008. Two key science drivers of METIS are: a) direct thermal imaging of exo-planets and b) characterization of circumstellar discs from the early proto-planetary to the late debris phase. Observations in the 10μm atmospheric window (N band) require a contrast ratio between stellar light and emitted photons from the exo-planet or the disc of ~ 105. At shorter wavelengths the contrast between star and reflected light from the planet-disc system exceeds >~ 107 posing technical challenges. By means of end-to-end detailed simulations we demonstrate that the superb spatial resolution of a 42m telescope in combination with stellar light rejection methods such as coronagraphic or differential imaging will allow detections at 10μm for a solar type system down to a star-planet separation of 0.1" and a mass limit for irradiated planets of 1 Jupiter (MJ) mass. In case of self-luminous planets observations are possible further out e.g. at the separation limit of JWST of ~ 0.7", METIS will detect planets >~5MJ. This allows to derive a census of all such exo-planets by means of thermal imaging in a volume limited sample of up to 6pc. In addition, METIS will provide the possibility to study the chemical composition of atmospheres of exo-planets using spectroscopy at moderate spectral resolution (λ/Δλ ~ 100) for the brightest targets. Based on detailed performance and sensitivity estimates, we demonstrate that a mid-infrared instrument on an ELT is perfectly suited to observe gravitationally created structures such as gaps in proto- and post- planetary discs, in a complementary way to space missions (e.g. JWST, SOFIA) and ALMA which can only probe the cold dust emission further out.

  17. Investigations of the Formation of Carbon Grains in Circumstellar Outflows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contreras, Cesar; Salama, Farid

    2013-01-01

    The study of formation and destruction processes of cosmic dust is essential to understand and to quantify the budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. Although dust with all its components plays an important role in the evolution of interstellar chemistry and in the formation of organic molecules, little is known on the formation and destruction processes of carbonaceous dust. PAHs are important chemical building blocks of interstellar dust. They are detected in interplanetary dust particles and in meteoritic samples. Additionally, observational, laboratory, and theoretical studies have shown that PAHs, in their neutral and ionized forms, are an important, ubiquitous component of the interstellar medium. Also, the formation of PAHs from smaller molecules has not been extensively studied. Therefore, it is imperative that laboratory experiments be conducted to study the dynamic processes of carbon grain formation from PAH precursors. Studies of interstellar dust analogs formed from a variety of PAH and hydrocarbon precursors as well as species that include the atoms O, N, and S, have recently been performed in our laboratory under conditions that simulate interstellar and circumstellar environments. The species formed in the pulsed discharge nozzle (PDN) plasma source are detected and characterized with a high-sensitivity cavity ringdown spectrometer (CRDS) coupled to a Reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ReTOF-MS), thus providing both spectroscopic and ion mass information in-situ. We report the first set of measurements obtained in these experiments and identify the species present in the experiments and the ions that are formed in the plasma process. From these unique measurements, we derive information on the size and the structure of interstellar dust grain particles, the growth and the destruction processes of interstellar dust and the resulting budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules.

  18. The impact of SN 1987A with its circumstellar ring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luo, Ding; Mccray, Richard; Slavin, Johnathan

    1994-01-01

    The envleope of SN 1987A will strike its circumstellar ring in 12 +/- 3 yr after explosion (A.D. 1999+/-3), the exact time depending weakly on the uncertain density of diffuse gas between the supernova and the ring. The impact will drive a radiative shock into the ring with velocity approximatley 200-400 km s(exp -1). The shocked ring will become a bright optical and ultraviolet emsiison-line source. A bright arc will suddenly appear at the near side of the ring and grow into an entire ring about 11 months later. The luminosities of the brightest lines, H-alpha H-alpha, N v lambda lambda 1238, 1242, and O VI lambda lambda 1032, 1038 will rise rapidly to approxminately 10(exp 36)-10(exp 37) ergs s(exp -1) and remain bright for several years after impact. The emission lines from the shocked ring will have FWHM approximatley 300-600 km s(exp -1) and complex profiles that will depend on position and will be sensitive to the details of the density distribution of gas in the ring. Strong EUV radiation from the shock will photoionize the unshocked ring, causing emission of narrow FWHM equivalent to 15 km s(exp -1) H-alpha, H-beta and (O III) lambda lambda 4959, 5007 lines with luminosities approximatley 10(exp 35) ergs s(exp -1).The EUV radiation will probably cause the nebulosity beyond the ring to become visable again. The EUV radiation may also illuminate the unshocked outer supernova envelope, causing visible emission of broad FWHM equivalent to 10(exp 4) km s(exp -1) H-alpha and H-beta lines.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. An unusual sucking habit in a child.

    PubMed

    Chowdhary, Nagalakshmi; Gaffur, Hazra; Sandeep; Chowdhary, Ramesh

    2010-10-01

    Presence of oral habit in 3-6 year old children is an important finding in the clinical examination. An oral habit is no longer considered as normal for children near the end of this age group. In pre-school children, digit and dummy sucking is a predominant habit, and girls are found to have a higher level of sucking habit then boys do. Here is a case report of a unique sucking habit, which if not stopped, will lead to dental problem in the child.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Waltham, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M⊙ < M < 1.04 M⊙, and the range for planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M⊙ < M < 1.64 M⊙. Key Words: Habitability-Habitable zone-Anthropic-Red dwarfs-Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61-77.

  4. Grand-design Spiral Arms in a Young Forming Circumstellar Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomida, Kengo; Machida, Masahiro N.; Hosokawa, Takashi; Sakurai, Yuya; Lin, Chia Hui

    2017-01-01

    We study formation and long-term evolution of a circumstellar disk in a collapsing molecular cloud core using a resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulation. While the formed circumstellar disk is initially small, it grows as accretion continues, and its radius becomes as large as 200 au toward the end of the Class-I phase. A pair of grand-design spiral arms form due to gravitational instability in the disk, and they transfer angular momentum in the highly resistive disk. Although the spiral arms disappear in a few rotations as expected in a classical theory, new spiral arms form recurrently as the disk, soon becoming unstable again by gas accretion. Such recurrent spiral arms persist throughout the Class-0 and I phases. We then perform synthetic observations and compare our model with a recent high-resolution observation of a young stellar object Elias 2–27, whose circumstellar disk has grand-design spiral arms. We find good agreement between our theoretical model and the observation. Our model suggests that the grand-design spiral arms around Elias 2–27 are consistent with material arms formed by gravitational instability. If such spiral arms commonly exist in young circumstellar disks, it implies that young circumstellar disks are considerably massive and gravitational instability is the key process of angular momentum transport.

  5. Habitability

    NASA Video Gallery

    Students analyze physical processes that occur on Earth and Mars and compare differences on how particular similar physical features occur. Students will use planetary comparisons in understanding ...

  6. 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

  7. The Solar Neighborhood XXIX: The Habitable Real Estate of Our Nearest Stellar Neighbors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 ⊕ g with msin i = 3.1 M ⊕), GJ 667 C has one (c with msin i = 4.5 M ⊕), and GJ 876 has two (b with msin i = 1.89 M Jup and c with msin i = 0.56 M Jup). If Earth-like planets are as common around low-mass stars

  8. 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

  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.

  10. Formando planetas habitables en estrellas M3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dugaro, A.; de Elía, G. C.; Brunini, A.

    2016-08-01

    Studies of stellar evolution allow us to infer that the low-mass stars are the most abundant in the galaxy. In the present investigation, we analyze the formation of planetary systems without gas giants around M3-type stars, which have a mass of 0.29 M. In particular, we are interested in studying the terrestrial-like planet formation processes and water delivery in the Habitable Zone (HZ) of those systems. To develop this investigation, we assume massive protoplanetary disks for such stars, which have 5 of the mass of the central star. Once defined the working disk, we use a semi-analytical model, which is able to determine the distribution of planetary embryos and planetesimals at the end of the gaseous phase. Then, these distributions are used as initial conditions for running -body simulations. Due to the stochastic nature of the accretion process, we carry out ten -body simulations in order to analyze the evolution of the planetary systems after the gas dissipation. Our results suggest the efficient formation of terrestrial-like planets in the HZ with a wide range of masses and water contents. The planets formed in the HZ of the system have masses between 0.07 M and 0.15 M and final water contents between 5.4 and 29 by mass. The physical properties of the terrestrial-like planets formed in the HZ of our simulations suggest that they should be able to retain a permanent and substantial atmosphere.

  11. Illuminating the Role of Spiral Waves in Circumstellar Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bae, Jaehan; Hartmann, Lee W.

    2017-01-01

    The transport of angular momentum and mass, and the generation of turbulence, play a crucial role in the evolution of a variety of astrophysical disks. Spiral waves, driven for instance by companion bodies or instabilities, have long been recognized as an important means for the aforementioned two processes. In this dissertation talk, I will discuss an instability of spiral waves that I have recently come across. I will begin by presenting the results from a three-dimensional global hydrodynamic simulation which described the growth and saturation of the instability. The spiral wave instability (SWI) arises as inertial modes, natural oscillations in rotating systems, amplify when they resonantly couple to and extract energy from the background spiral waves. This leads to break down of the spiral waves into turbulence when the velocity perturbations caused by unstable inertial modes reach a similar magnitude to those induced by the spiral waves. As an implication of the instability, I will present numerical results and discuss the consequence of the SWI when it acts on the spiral waves driven by a Jupiter-mass planet in a