Astrophysics (index)


(ability of a planet to support life)

A planet or satellite's Habitability is its ability to host life. Factors include:

  • Receives the right amount of radiation from its parent star that liquid water can exist, i.e., it is in the star's Habitable Zone (HZ).
  • Includes sufficient Metals.
  • Sufficient Atmosphere.
  • Has much of its surface's Temperature near the median, i.e., not virtually all very hot or cold regions.

The latter implies the planet not be tidally locked (Tidal Locking). Study suggests an atmosphere does much to slow the tidal locking process.

Sun-like stars are considered likely to include habitable Extra Solar Planets, as are Red Dwarves. In the latter case, the nearness of the habitable zone makes tidal locking more likely, but if an atmosphere truly decreases the chance of tidal locking, the large number of red dwarfs makes finding a habitable exoplanet among them likely.


Referenced by:
Proxima B