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A Dynamic Scheme to Assess Habitability of Exoplanets

Schulze-Makuch, D. and Méndez, A and Fairén, A and von Paris, P and Turse, C and Boyer, G and Davila, A.F. and Resendes de Sousa António, Marina (2012) A Dynamic Scheme to Assess Habitability of Exoplanets. In: Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology, 24. Springer. pp. 307-321. ISBN 978-94-007-4965-8.

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Abstract

In the next few years, the number of catalogued exoplanets will be counted in the thousands and with it the need will arise to prioritize them in regard to habitability and the potential presence of life. Here, we suggest a first attempt of a dynamic scheme for classification based on our current understanding of parameters that are consistent and beneficial for the presence of life. These parameters include the presence of (1) a terrestrial planet or moon, which (2) is endowed with a significant atmosphere; the presence of (3) a magnetic field enveloping the exoplanet; (4) internal differentiation and plate tectonics; (5) detectable surface liquids, preferably water, on the surface of the planetary body; and (6) the detection of geoindicators; and (7) bioindicators. We propose to calculate a habitability index (HI) based on these parameters, but realize the assumptions that go into this value and the very bias introduced by the limitations of the detection methods. However, in order to account for the assumptions and limitations of this method, the HI index is an open scheme that can be updated as technology and our knowledge about habitable planets advances.

Document Type:Book Section
Title:A Dynamic Scheme to Assess Habitability of Exoplanets
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Schulze-Makuch, D.School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA
Méndez, ASchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA
Fairén, ASchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA
von Paris, Pphilip.vonparis@dlr.de
Turse, CSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA
Boyer, GSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA
Davila, A.F. NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Resendes de Sousa António, MarinaSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA
Date:2012
Journal or Publication Title:Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies
In Open Access:Yes
Volume:24
DOI:10.1007/978-94-007-4966-5_18
Page Range:pp. 307-321
Publisher:Springer
Series Name:Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology
ISBN:978-94-007-4965-8
Status:Published
Keywords:exoplanets, habitability, astrobiology, life, habitability indices​
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt COROT Beteiligung
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Deposited By: Ulrike Stiebeler
Deposited On:21 Nov 2012 09:07
Last Modified:21 Nov 2012 09:07

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