Astronomy & Astrophysics Seminar: Extreme Space Weather on Exoplanets - Can Red-dwarf Terrestrial Exoplanets be Habitable?
Prof. Ofer Cohen, Lowell Center for Space, U. Mass
The recent focus of exoplanetary search is focused on detecting Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of red dwarf stars. This is possible due to the fact that the habitable zone of these faint stars covers very short orbits so the planets can be detected. However, the space environment conditions at these close orbits are extreme, and may lead to high mass loss rate of the planetary atmospheres. These consequences of the space environment may change the definition of the habitable zone and in particular, put an inner limit on the closest distance from the star, at which a planet can sustain an atmosphere over a sufficiently long time.
Seminar Organizer: Prof. Sara Beck