Two examples of how to use observations of terrestrial planets orbiting temperate orbits around low-mass stars to test key concepts of planetary habitability


Terrestrial planets in temperate orbits around very low-mass stars are likely to have evolved in a very different way than planets in the solar system, and in particular Earth.

However, because these are the first planets that are and will be accessible for deep characterization of the atmosphere, clouds, and surface with existing and future telescopes, we need to develop the best possible observation strategies to maximize the scientific return of these characterizations. Here I discuss and expand on the recent work of Bean et al. (2017) and Turbet et al. (2019) to show that terrestrial planets orbiting temperate orbits around very low-mass stars are potentially an excellent sample of planets to test how universal the processes thought to control the habitability of planets in the solar system are, and in particular, the Earth. Accurate measurements of atmospheric CO2 density or concentration for planets located both inside and outside the Habitable Zone could be used to statistically test habitability concepts such as silicate weathering feedback, CO2 condensation, or runaway greenhouse, which is They have identified as key processes that control past and present habitability of Venus, Mars and Earth.

Martin Turbet
Comments: 6 pages, 2 figures. SF2A minutes, May 2019, Nice, France. ed. P. Di Matteo et al.
Topics: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and stellar astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Journal reference: Minutes of the annual meeting of the French Society for Astronomy and Astrophysics (SF2A 2019)
Cite as: arXiv: 2005.06512 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv: 2005.06512v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
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From: Martin Turbet
[v1] Wed, May 13, 2020 18:35:38 UTC (209 KB)

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