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Astrobiology. 2012 Oct;12(10):940-5. doi: 10.1089/ast.2011.0798. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

The habitable zone and extreme planetary orbits.

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NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


The habitable zone for a given star describes the range of circumstellar distances from the star within which a planet could have liquid water on its surface, which depends upon the stellar properties. Here we describe the development of the habitable zone concept, its application to our own solar system, and its subsequent application to exoplanetary systems. We further apply this to planets in extreme eccentric orbits and show how they may still retain life-bearing properties depending upon the percentage of the total orbit which is spent within the habitable zone. Key Words: Extrasolar planets-Habitable zone-Astrobiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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