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General Astronomy

General Astronomy


Astronomers have recently found 60 planets orbiting their stars within a zone that may make
them habitable. Choose one of these candidates and present an argument as to whether or not it
is possible that life exists on the planet’s surface, in its atmosphere, or on a moon that may be
circling it. In your discussion, take into consideration factors such as temperature, atmosphere,
and a liquid medium to evolve in. Specifically consider
the length of its year
its temperature
whether or not it is tidally locked to the star, and if so
the effect of atmospheric circulation on habitability
the escape velocity from the planet’s surface given its
its radius R
its mass M (derived from R3 using Earth’s or Jupiter’s density)
the average molecular velocity of various gasses given the planet’s
equilibrium temperature1 as listed or inferred from
the energy the planet receives from this star given
its luminosity and the distance the planet is from the star and
the reflectivity (albedo) of the planet
the lifetime of evolution relative to the lifetime of the habitable zone
UV radiation given the stellar type (derived from the given temperature)

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