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Exoplanets: Criteria for their Habitability and Possible Biospheres

Grenfell, J L and Rauer, H and von Paris, Philip (2013) Exoplanets: Criteria for their Habitability and Possible Biospheres. In: Habitability of Other Planets and Satellites Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology, 28. Springer. pp. 13-29. ISBN 978-94-007-6545-0. ISSN 1566-0400.

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The word “habitable” is derived from the classical Latin habitabilis (to inhabit, to dwell). As early as 1853, William Whewell introduced the notion of a planet orbiting in the “temperate zone” where liquid water (an essential requirement for all life on Earth) on the surface is favored. A century later, astronomer Harlow Shapley (1953) discussed climate conditions for planets orbiting in the so-called water belt in the context of understanding Earth’s climate change. In the same year, Hubertus Strughold investigated the Solar System “ecosphere” (1953) as part of a physiological study of survival on Mars. Huang (1960) discussed the requirements a star should fulfill to support life in its so-called Habitable Zone (HZ). Dole (1964) then discussed the “complex life HZ,” the region where a planet has surface temperatures from 0 to 30 ;°C over >10 ;% of its surface, an oxygen (O2)-rich atmosphere and <1.5 Earth’s gravity. Hart (1979a, b) applied a numerical climate model to estimate the width of the HZ for liquid water and showed that runaway climate processes implied a thin HZ extending from 0.95 to 1.01 astronomical units (AU). Schneider and Thompson (1980), however, argued that understanding of complex climate feedbacks (e.g., between atmosphere and glaciation) suggested that such climate estimates are only “order of magnitude.” Kasting et al. (1988) showed that including long-term negative climate feedbacks such as the carbonate-silicate cycle could stabilize a planet’s climate and expand the HZ width calculated by the Hart et al. studies. A key study by Kasting et al. (1993) subsequently investigated the HZ width for a range of main sequence stars. In the modern literature, the HZ is widely studied, including models with, for example, complex climate feedbacks, interactive atmospheric climate-chemistry (e.g., Segura et al., 2003; Grenfell et al., 2007a), radiative effects of clouds (Kitzmann et al., 2011), climate dependence on planetary orbit (e.g., Williams and Pollard, 2003), the effect of 3D planetary properties such as ocean mass and albedo (e.g., Abe et al., 2011), and investigation of climate and evolution (e.g., Selsis et al., 2007; Wordsworth et al., 2011).

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/85012/
Document Type:Book Section
Title:Exoplanets: Criteria for their Habitability and Possible Biospheres
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Journal or Publication Title:Habitability of Other Planets and Satellites
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:pp. 13-29
Series Name:Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology
Keywords:habitability, atmospheres, Earth-like, biospheres​
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt COROT Beteiligung (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Deposited By: Stiebeler, Ulrike
Deposited On:15 Nov 2013 14:17
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:49

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