Inicio > Ecology, Universe > New research suggest that earth could be in the threshold of the habitable zone of the solar system

New research suggest that earth could be in the threshold of the habitable zone of the solar system

Identifying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of other stars is one of the primary goals of ongoing radial velocity and transit exoplanet surveys and proposed future space missions. Most current estimates of the boundaries of the HZ are based on 1-D, cloud-free, climate model calculations by Kasting et al.(1993). The inner edge of the HZ in Kasting et al.(1993) model was determined by loss of water, and the outer edge was determined by the maximum greenhouse provided by a CO2 atmosphere. A conservative estimate for the width of the HZ from this model in our Solar system is 0.95-1.67 AU. Here, an updated 1-D radiative-convective, cloud-free climate model is used to obtain new estimates for HZ widths around F, G, K and M stars. New H2O and CO2 absorption coefficients, derived from the HITRAN 2008 and HITEMP 2010 line-by-line databases, are important improvements to the climate model. According to the new model, the water loss (inner HZ) and maximum greenhouse (outer HZ) limits for our Solar System are at 0.99 AU 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 K 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. Our model does not include the radiative effects of clouds; thus, the actual HZ boundaries may extend further in both directions than the estimates just given…>>>more

Categorías:Ecology, Universe
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