List of potentially habitable exoplanets

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For a more generic list, see List of exoplanets.

This is a list of potentially habitable exoplanets and possible exoplanets. The list is based on estimates of habitability by the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC), and data from the NASA Exoplanet Archive. The HEC is maintained by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.[1]

Planet habitability involves being at the right distance from the host star for liquid surface water to be present, various geophysical and geodynamical aspects, radiation type and intensity, and the host star's plasma environment.[2]

Potential habitable zone status[edit]

Main article: Habitable zone

In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ or sometimes "ecosphere", "liquid-water belt", "HZ", "life zone" or "Goldilocks zone") is the region around a star where a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure can maintain liquid water on its surface.[3][4]

A potentially habitable planet implies a terrestrial planet within the circumstellar habitable zone and with conditions roughly comparable to those of Earth (i.e. an Earth analog) and thus potentially favourable to Earth-like life.[citation needed] However, the question of what makes a planet habitable is much more complex than having a planet located at the right distance from its host star so that water can be liquid on its surface: various geophysical and geodynamical aspects, the radiation, and the host stars plasma environment can influence the evolution of planets and life, if it originated.[2]

In November 2013, astronomers reported, based on Kepler space mission data, that there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars and red dwarfs in the Milky Way,[5][6] 11 billion of which may be orbiting Sun-like stars.[7]

A 2015 review concluded that the exoplanets Kepler-62f, Kepler-186f and Kepler-442b were likely the best candidates for being potentially habitable.[8] These are at a distance of 1,200, 490 and 1,120 light-years away, respectively. Of these, Kepler-186f is similar in size to Earth with a 1.2-Earth-radius measure and it is located towards the outer edge of the habitable zone around its red dwarf.

When looking at the nearest terrestrial exoplanet candidates, Tau Ceti e is only 11.9 light-years away.[9]

List from the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog[edit]

List of exoplanets in the conservative habitable zone[edit]

This is a list of the exoplanets that are more likely to have a rocky composition and maintain surface liquid water (i.e. 0.5 < planet's radius ≤ 1.5 Earth radii or 0.1 < planet's minimum mass ≤ 5 Earth masses, and the planet is orbiting within the conservative habitable zone). Note that this does not ensure habitability, and that * represents an unconfirmed planet or planet candidate. Earth is included for comparison.

Object Star Star type Mass (M) Radius (R) Flux (F) Teq (K) Period (days) Distance (ly) Ref
Earth Sun G2V 1.00 1.00 1.00 255 365.25 -
Proxima Centauri b Proxima Centauri M6Ve ≥1.3 0.8 – 1.1 – 1.4 0.65 234 11.186 4.22 [10]
Gliese 667 Cc Gliese 667 C M3V ≥3.8 1.1 – 1.5 – 2.0 0.88 277 28.143 ± 0.029 23.62 [11] [12]
Kepler-442b Kepler-442 K?V 8.2 – 2.3 – 1.0 1.34 0.70 233 112.3053 1291.6 [12]
Kepler-452b Kepler-452 G2V 19.8 – 4.7 – 1.9 1.50, 1.63 1.11 265+15
−13
384.8 1402 [12][13]
Wolf 1061c Wolf 1061 M3V ≥ 4.3 1.1 – 1.6 – 2.0 0.60 223 17.9 13.8 [12]
Kepler-1229b Kepler-1229 M?V 9.8 – 2.7 – 1.2 1.4 0.49 213 86.8 769 [12]
Kapteyn b* Kapteyn sdM1 ≥ 4.8 1.2 - 1.6 - 2.1 0.43 205 48.6 13 [12]
Kepler-62f Kepler-62 K2V 10.2 – 2.8 – 1.2 1.41 0.39 208±11 267.291 1200 [12][14]
Kepler-186f Kepler-186 M1V 4.7 – 1.5 – 0.6 1.17 0.29 188 129.9459 561 [12]

List of exoplanets in the optimistic habitable zone[edit]

This is a list of the exoplanets that are less likely to have a rocky composition or maintain surface liquid water (i.e. 0.5 < planet's radius ≤ 1.5 Earth radii or 0.1 < planet's minimum mass ≤ 10 Earth masses, or the planet is orbiting within the optimistic habitable zone). Note that this does not ensure habitability, and that * represents an unconfirmed planet or planet candidate.

Object Star Star type Mass (M) Radius (R) Flux (F) Teq (K) Period (days) Distance (ly) Ref
Kepler-438b Kepler-438 M?V 4.0 – 1.3 – 0.6 1.1 1.38 276 35.2 473 [12]
Kepler-296e Kepler-296 M?V 12.5 – 3.3 – 1.4 1.5 1.22 337.0±17.5 34.1 737 [12][15]
Kepler-62e Kepler-62 K2V 18.7 – 4.5 – 1.9 1.6 1.10 270±15 122.4 1200 [12][16]
Gliese 832 c Gliese 832 M2V ≥ 5.4 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.2 1.00 253; 233–280 35.7 16 [12]
K2-3d K2-3 M?V 11.1 1.5 1.46 300 44.6 137 [12][17]
Kepler-1544b Kepler-1544 K?V 31.7 - 6.6 - 2.6 1.8 0.90 248 168.8 1138 [12]
Kepler-283c Kepler-283 K?V 35.3 – 7.0 – 2.8 1.8 0.90 248 92.7 1741 [12]
Tau Ceti e* Tau Ceti G8.5V ≥ 4.3 1.1 – 1.6 – 2.0 1.51 282 168.1 12 [12]
Gliese 180 c Gliese 180 M2V ≥ 6.4 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.3 0.79 239 24.3 38 [12]
Kepler-440b Kepler-440 K?V 41.2 – 7.7 – 3.1 1.9 1.43 273 101.1 851 [12]
Gliese 180 b Gliese 180 M2V ≥ 8.3 1.3 – 1.9 – 2.4 1.23 268 17.4 38 [12]
HD 40307 g HD 40307 K2.5V ≥ 7.1 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.3 0.68 227 197.8 42 [12]
Gliese 163 c Gliese 163 M3.5V ≥ 7.3 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.3 0.66 230; 277 25.6 49 [12]
K2-18 b K2-18 M?V  ? – 16.5 – 6.0 2.2 0.94 272±15 32.9 111 [12][18]
Kepler-61b Kepler-61 K7V  ? – 13.8 – 5.2 2.2 1.27 258, 273±13 59.9 1063 [12][19]
Kepler-443b Kepler-443 K?V  ? – 19.5 – 7.0 2.3 0.89 247 177.7 2540 [12]
Kepler-22b Kepler-22 G5V  ? – 20.4 – 7.2 2.04; 2.4 1.11 262 289.9 619 [12][20]
Gliese 422 b* Gliese 422 M3.5V ≥ 9.9 1.4 – 2.0 – 2.6 0.68 231 26.2 41 [12]
K2-9b K2-9 M?V  ? – 16.8 – 6.1 2.2 1.38 284±14, 314+67
−64
18.4 359 [12][21]
Gliese 3293 c* Gliese 3293 M2.5V ≥ 8.6 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.5 0.60 223 48.1 59 [12]
Kepler-298d Kepler-298 K?V  ? – 26.8 – 9.1 2.5 1.29 271 77.5 1545 [12]
Kepler-174d Kepler-174 K?V  ? – 14.8 – 5.5 2.2 0.43 206 247.4 1174 [12]
Kepler-296f Kepler-296 M?V 28.7 – 6.1 – 2.5 1.8 0.34 198, 274.0±15.0 63.3 737 [12][22]
Gliese 682 c Gliese 682 M3.5V ≥ 8.7 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.5 0.37 198 57.3 17 [12]
KOI-4427 b* KOI-4427 M?V 38.5 – 7.4 – 3.0 1.8 0.24 179 147.7 782 [12]

Previous candidates[edit]

HD 85512 b was initially found to be potentially habitable,[23][24] but updated models for the boundaries of the habitable zone placed the planet interior to the HZ,[25][26] and it is now considered non-habitable.[12] Kepler-69c has gone through a similar process; though initially believed to be potentially habitable,[27] it was quickly realized that the planet is more likely to be similar to Venus,[28] and is thus no longer considered habitable.[12]

Similarly, Tau Ceti f was initially considered potentially habitable,[29] but the improved model of the circumstellar habitable zone places the planet exterior to the outer limits of habitability, so it is now considered non-habitable.[12]

KOI-1686.01 was also considered even the single-most potentially habitable exoplanet after its detection in 2011, until it was proved a false positive by NASA in 2015.[30]

Gallery[edit]

Notable exoplanetsKepler Space Telescope
KeplerExoplanets-NearEarthSize-HabitableZone-20150106.png
Confirmed small exoplanets in habitable zones.
(Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f, Kepler-186f, Kepler-296e, Kepler-296f, Kepler-438b, Kepler-440b, Kepler-442b)
(Kepler Space Telescope; 6 January 2015).[31]
PIA19827-Kepler-SmallPlanets-HabitableZone-20150723.jpg
Comparison of small planets found by Kepler in the habitable zone of their host stars.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Habitable Exoplanets Catalog". University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Lammer, H.; Bredehöft, J. H.; Coustenis, A.; Khodachenko, M. L.; et al. (2009). "What makes a planet habitable?" (PDF). The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review. 17: 181–249. Bibcode:2009A&ARv..17..181L. doi:10.1007/s00159-009-0019-z. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  3. ^ "VPL Glossary". washington.edu. 
  4. ^ "The Goldilocks Zone". NASA. 2 October 2003. 
  5. ^ Overbye, Dennis (4 November 2013). "Far-Off Planets Like the Earth Dot the Galaxy". New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Petigura, Erik A.; et al. (31 October 2013). "Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. arXiv:1311.6806free to read. Bibcode:2013PNAS..11019273P. doi:10.1073/pnas.1319909110. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Khan, Amina (4 November 2013). "Milky Way may host billions of Earth-size planets". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Paul Gilster, Andrew LePage (30 January 2015). "A Review of the Best Habitable Planet Candidates". Centauri Dreams, Tau Zero Foundation. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Giovanni F. Bignami (2015). The Mystery of the Seven Spheres: How Homo sapiens will Conquer Space. Springer. ISBN 9783319170046. , Page 110
  10. ^ http://www.eso.org/public/archives/releases/sciencepapers/eso1629/eso1629a.pdf
  11. ^ Feroz, F.; Hobson, M. P. (2014). "Bayesian analysis of radial velocity data of GJ667C with correlated noise: evidence for only two planets". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 437 (4): 3540–3549. arXiv:1307.6984free to read. Bibcode:2014MNRAS.437.3540F. doi:10.1093/mnras/stt2148. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj PHL's Exoplanets Catalog – Planetary Habitability Laboratory @ UPR Arecibo
  13. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: Kepler-452 b". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: Kepler-62f". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: Kepler-296e". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: Kepler-62e". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: K2-3d". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: K2-18 b". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: Kepler-61 b". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  20. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: Kepler-22 b". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  21. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: K2-9b". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "Confirmed Planet Overview Page: Kepler-296 f". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  23. ^ Kaltenegger, L.; et al. (2011). "A Habitable Planet around HD 85512?". arXiv:1108.3561free to read. Bibcode:2011arXiv1108.3561K. 
  24. ^ Mendez, Abel (1 August 2012). "Five Potential Habitable Exoplanets Now" (Press release). Planetary Habitability Laboratory @ UPR Arecibo. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  25. ^ Kopparapu, Ravi kumar; et al. (2013). "Habitable Zones Around Main-Sequence Stars: New Estimates". arXiv:1301.6674free to read. Bibcode:2013ApJ...765..131K. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/765/2/131. 
  26. ^ Mendez, Abel (29 January 2013). "A New Habitable Zone" (Press release). Planetary Habitability Laboratory @ UPR Arecibo. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  27. ^ Barclay, Thomas; et al. (2013). "A super-Earth-sized planet orbiting in or near the habitable zone around Sun-like star". arXiv:1304.4941free to read. Bibcode:2013ApJ...768..101B. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/768/2/101. 
  28. ^ Kane, Stephen R.; et al. (2013). "A Potential Super-Venus in the Kepler-69 System". arXiv:1305.2933free to read. Bibcode:2013ApJ...770L..20K. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/770/2/L20. 
  29. ^ Mendez, Abel (28 December 2012). "Two Nearby Habitable Worlds?" (Press release). Planetary Habitability Laboratory @ UPR Arecibo. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "Kepler Candidate Overview Page: KOI-1686.01". NASA Exoplanet Archive. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  31. ^ Clavin, Whitney; et al. (6 January 2015). "NASA's Kepler Marks 1,000th Exoplanet Discovery, Uncovers More Small Worlds in Habitable Zones". NASA. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 

External links[edit]