A desert planet or dry planet is a theoretical type of terrestrial planet with a surface consistency similar to Earth's hot deserts. The concept has become a common setting in science fiction, appearing as early as the 1956 film Forbidden Planet and Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune.
A 2011 study suggested that not only are life-sustaining desert planets possible, but that they might be more common than Earth-like planets. The study found that, when modeled, desert planets had a much larger habitable zone than watery planets.
The same study also speculated that Venus may have once been a habitable desert planet as recently as 1 billion years ago. It is also predicted that Earth will become a desert planet within a billion years due to the Sun's increasing luminosity.
A study conducted in 2013 concluded that hot desert planets without runaway greenhouse effect can exist in 0.5 AU around Sun-like stars. In that study, it was concluded that a minimum humidity of 1% is needed to wash off carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but too much water can act as a greenhouse gas itself. Higher atmospheric pressures increase the range in which the water can remain liquid.
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