Planet Habitability of Exoplanets


WHEN March 23, 2021
5 PM WHERE Zoom WHO Center for Space Science Open to the Public

The mean global surface temperature of a planet is one of many essential factors necessary to understand the climate, weathering rates, and potential habitability of exoplanets. Theoretical attempts to explore planetary temperatures use simple 1D energy balance models to computational demanding General Circulation Models (GCMs). First principles were used to create a general analytical model to constrain the mean global surface temperature of rocky planets with none to dense atmospheres (<100 bars). The model was used to define a Temperate Zone (TZ) as the region around a star where a rocky planet could have surface temperatures between 0°to 50°C. The TZ overlaps with parts of the empirical habitable zone and helps identify exoplanets that are more likely to be thermally similar to Earth, although not necessarily with the same amount of water. The model was also used to constrain the potential surface temperatures of different planetary systems, including those around TRAPPIST-1. Future characterization of the atmospheres of these planets would help to constrain their surface temperatures further. The potential habitability and biosignatures of exoplanets might be correlated with planets inside the TZ.

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  • Abel Méndez, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo

In Collaboration with

UAE Space Agency

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