Habitability of exoplanets - Dr. Amri Wandel

RD planet with atmosphere

The recent detection of small planets within the Habitable Zone of Proxima Centauri and many other M-dwarf stars makes such planets prime candidates to look for life. In a recent article Joseph Gale and Amri Wandel discuss the potential of planets orbiting red dwarf stars to support photosynthesis and complex life. They combine the latest findings from the Kepler space telescope on the number of Earth-sized planets, with calculations showing that the appearance of life clement conditions on planets of red dwarf stars is possible and more probable than previously thought. In a recently submitted paper Wandel argues that Proxima b and other planets in the Habitable Zone of M dwarfs may support liquid water for a wide range of properties, including their atmosphere, irradiation and heat redistribution. This work also suggest a method that could give a quantitative estimation of the abundance of life on exoplanets, using the future telescopes JWST and TESS, planned for launch by 2018.

 

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