Moontanman

Star's habitable zone?

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Does the term habitable zone in relation to the brightness of a star and the distance of a planet from a star give rise to misconceptions about exoplanets? Our own solar system is an example, Venus, Earth and Mars are in the habitable zone. A super earth could be habitable well out into the what we call the asteroid belt but would not be if it was close as the Earth. Sara Seager  has suggested that a super earth might be habitable well past the orbit of Jupiter if it had a thick hydrogen atmosphere. 

Then you get into the whole ice planets or moons with frozen over oceans and if we find life on Titan as Chris McKay and Heather Smith have suggested then the entire concept goes out the window? 

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Habitable planet zone means it is possible, not certain that a planet could support life.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, mathematic said:

Habitable planet zone means it is possible, not certain that a planet could support life.

Yes that the point of this. We say habitable zone as though it would apply to every star and planet while the size and atmosphere of the planet dictate the habitable zone as much or more than the star... 

Edited by Moontanman

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39 minutes ago, mathematic said:

Habitable planet zone means it is possible, not certain that a planet could support life.

More accurately, I think the definition of a "habitable zone" or Goldilocks zone, is a planetary orbit, that can support liquid water?

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Just now, beecee said:

More accurately, I think the definition of a "habitable zone" or Goldilocks zone, is a planetary orbit, that can support liquid water?

This would be true but it assumes a lot and even our own "goldilocks zone" only applies to the earth since both Mars and Venus lie within the zone. Especially Mars but a super earth with a deep dense atmosphere could expand that zone quite a bit and a smaller planet with a less dense atmosphere could could support life at least to the orbit of Venus. 

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2 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

This would be true but it assumes a lot and even our own "goldilocks zone" only applies to the earth since both Mars and Venus lie within the zone. Especially Mars but a super earth with a deep dense atmosphere could expand that zone quite a bit and a smaller planet with a less dense atmosphere could could support life at least to the orbit of Venus. 

Certainly, and also the makeup of the star around which they orbit, and of course the age of the star. 

I always like encasing the definition with "Life as we know it"Jim. :-)

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6 minutes ago, beecee said:

Certainly, and also the makeup of the star around which they orbit, and of course the age of the star. 

I always like encasing the definition with "Life as we know it"Jim. :-)

"he's dead Jim... get his wallet... " 

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