Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Habitable Zone Lifetime of Exoplanets around Main Sequence Stars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Andrew Rushby, M. Claire, H. Osborn, A. Watson

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The potential habitability of newly discovered exoplanets is initially assessed by determining whether their orbits fall within the circumstellar habitable zone of their star. However, the habitable zone (HZ) is not static in time or space, and its boundaries migrate outward at a rate proportional to the increase in luminosity of a star undergoing stellar evolution, possibly including or excluding planets over the course of the star’s main sequence lifetime. We describe the time that a planet spends within the HZ as its ‘‘habitable zone lifetime.’’ The HZ lifetime of a planet has strong astrobiological implications and is especially important when considering the evolution of complex life, which is likely to require a longer residence time within the HZ. Here, we present results from a simple model built to investigate the evolution of the ‘‘classic’’ HZ over time, while also providing
estimates for the evolution of stellar luminosity over time in order to develop a ‘‘hybrid’’ HZ model. These models return estimates for the HZ lifetimes of Earth and 7 confirmed HZ exoplanets and 27 unconfirmed Kepler candidates. The HZ lifetime for Earth ranges between 6.29 and 7.79 · 109 years (Gyr). The 7 exoplanets fall in a range between ∼1 and 54.72 Gyr, while the 27 Kepler candidate planets’ HZ lifetimes range between 0.43 and 18.8 Gyr. Our results show that exoplanet HD 85512b is no longer within the HZ, assuming it has an Earth analog atmosphere. The HZ lifetime should be considered in future models of planetary habitability as setting an upper limit on the lifetime of any potential exoplanetary biosphere, and also for identifying planets of high astrobiological potential for continued observational or modeling campaigns.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-849
Number of pages17
JournalAstrobiology
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2013

    Research areas

  • Exoplanet habitability metrics, Continuously habitable zone, Stellar evolution, Planetary habitability

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Triple oxygen isotope analysis of nitrate using isotope exchange - cavity ringdown laser spectroscopy

    Gázquez, F. & Claire, M. W. 30 Nov 2018 In : Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 32, 22, p. 1949-1961

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Long-term planetary habitability and the carbonate-silicate cycle

    Rushby, A. J., Johnson, M., Mills, B. J. W., Watson, A. J. & Claire, M. W. 1 May 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 5, p. 469-480 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Two-billion-year-old evaporites capture Earth's great oxidation

    Blättler, C., Claire, M., Prave, A. R., Zerkle, A. L. & Warke, M. R. 22 Mar 2018 In : Science. eaar2687

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Evaluation of the Tindouf Basin region in Southern Morocco as an analog site for soil geochemistry on Noachian Mars

    Oberlin, E. A., Claire, M. W. & Kounaves, S. 9 Feb 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 8

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. High-frequency fluctuations in redox conditions during the latest Permian mass extinction

    Mettam, C., Zerkle, A. L., Claire, M. W., Izon, G., Junium, C. J. & Twitchett, R. J. 1 Nov 2017 In : Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 485, p. 210-223

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Evaluation of the Tindouf Basin region in Southern Morocco as an analog site for soil geochemistry on Noachian Mars

    Oberlin, E. A., Claire, M. W. & Kounaves, S. 9 Feb 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 8

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Exoplanet biosignatures: a review of remotely detectable signs of life

    Schwieterman, E. W., Kiang, N. Y., Parenteau, M. N., Harman, C. E., DasSarma, S., Fisher, T. M., Arney, G. N., Hartnett, H. E., Reinhard, C. T., Olson, S. L., Meadows, V. S., Cockell, C. S., Walker, S. I., Grenfell, J. L., Hegde, S., Rugheimer, S., Hu, R. & Lyons, T. W. 4 May 2018 In : Astrobiology. First Online, 46 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  3. Long-term planetary habitability and the carbonate-silicate cycle

    Rushby, A. J., Johnson, M., Mills, B. J. W., Watson, A. J. & Claire, M. W. 1 May 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 5, p. 469-480 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The UK Centre for Astrobiology: a virtual astrobiology centre. Accomplishments and lessons learned, 2011-2016

    Cockell, C. S., Biller, B., Bryce, C., Cousins, C., Direito, S., Forgan, D., Fox-Powell, M., Harrison, J., Landenmark, H., Nixon, S., Payler, S. J., Rice, K., Samuels, T., Schwendner, P., Stevens, A., Nicholson, N. & Wadsworth, J. 29 Jan 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 2, 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. The PanCam instrument for the ExoMars rover

    Coates, A. , Jaumann, R. , Griffiths, A. , Leff, C. , Schmitz, N. , Josset, J-L. , Paar, G. , Gunn, M. , Hauber, E. , Cousins, C. R. , Cross, R. , Grindrod, P. , Bridges, J. , Balme, M. , Gupta, S. , Crawford, I. , Irwin, P. , Stabbins, R. , Tirsch, D. , Vago, J. & 4 others Theodorou, T., Caballo-Perucha, M., Osinski, G. & The PanCam team 1 Jul 2017 In : Astrobiology. 17, 6/7

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 66192538