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Habitability on other stars

Can the concept of habitability be extended beyond Earth ?

The definition of the range of habitability is a complex problem because must take into account multiple parameters, this is a timely science program since ideally phased with larger facilities to explore habitability and search for life like ALMA/ESO, JWST/NASA, SPIRou/CFHT, ExTrA, TESS/NASA, CHEOPS/ESA, MARS2020/NASA, …  We would like to explore the range of planets or moon considered to be potentially habitable.

Experiment limits of the Living

The limits of habitability can be experimentally explored by studying extremophile microorganisms. Such organisms (bacteria and archaea) populate the globe in particular environmental niches— including hot springs or close to deep-sea hydrothermal vents, in saline ponds and salt lakes like the Dead Sea, in highly alkaline or acidic pools and even inside hot rocks deep under Earth's surface.

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Photosynthesis adaptability

Photosynthesis is the energetic process by which organisms synthesize organic matter from sunlight on Earth. Its CO2 emissions have profoundly transformed the Earth's atmosphere.

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Planetary systems stability

Our Solar System has a very striking architecture, with four terrestrial planets close to the Sun and four giant planets at larger separations. Current models suggest that giants planets formed from a circumstellar disk of gas and dust well before the terrestrial planets did.

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Searching of habitable extra-solar planets

Detecting life outside the Solar System is a many-stepped scientific challenge. Life signs will be difficult to detect by telescopes, and only the most favorable planets should be targeted for detecting a place where life is proliferating enough at their surface to substantially alter their emitting electromagnetic spectrum. The first goal is to identify Earth-like planets orbiting around very nearby stars and considered as potentially habitable.

Submitted on January 25, 2024

Updated on January 25, 2024