Christopher Crochett in Science News June 29, 2017 summarizes the possibilities and problems for life on planets near M dwarf stars, the “…darlings in the search for life.”
The planetary problems–early excessive heat, close orbits, sun flares, and difficultyholding onto water–all caused by their host M dwarf stars, are obvious, so I’ve summarized the good news here:
a) atmospheric carbon dioxide could “…help store heat and distribute it,”
b) or a permanent cloud bank could form facing the sun.
c) Simulations at the Laboratoire Meteorologic Dynamique in Paris have found that under a “range of conditions” a planet could “…hold onto some surface water.” As little as .001 percent of Earth’s oceans is enough.
When the Webb Telescope begins work in 2018, we can look forward to more signs of habitable planets near the M dwarfs. Atmospheric sniffs could add to the one indication we have of methane in the vicinity of an earth-sized planet.
Author of The Archives of Varok
The View Beyond Earth (Book 1.)
The Webs of Varok (Book 2.)
Nautilus Silver Award 2013 YA
ForeWord IBPA finalist 2012 adult SF
The Alien Effect (Book 3.)
An Alien’s Quest (Book 4. Released Nov.21, 2016)
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