Circumstellar habitable zone

Circumstellar habitable zone

Circumstellar habitable zone

Isaac Gendler


“What is the area around a sun in which a planet can sustain life?”

Ever since humanity first looked to the stars, we have dreamed about inhabiting other worlds. But to our dismay, ever since the beginning of surface readings of the other planets inhabiting our solar system, we have found that the sufficient conditions for complex life are truly rare indeed. However, with the recent and exponential discovery of exoplanets, this dream might become a possibility again. And one of the first steps we must take is to find at what range around a star can a planet support life. To solve this question, we must think about what is the primary source of complex life. After much debate, scientists have decided that liquid water is such as source. So for a planet to be habitable, it must be far enough from the sun to not have it’s water boil up, but not far enough to have it’s reservoirs freeze up either. The range is represented as a torus around the sun, and the size is contingent on how much energy a sun gives off, so if a sun gives off only a small amount of energy, it’s radius will be smaller, and if it gives off a lot, it’s radius will be higher. Astronomers and astrophysicists have termed this phenomena the circumstellar habitable zone. Given the right amount of atmospheric pressure and range from the sun, liquid water is possible for life on another plant.

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