Experts expanded the understanding of potentially habitable planets that are orbiting distant stars by including a vital climate component – the presence of airborne dust.
They suggested that planets with important airborne dust could be habitable over a vast range of distances from the parent star – this means that the window for planets capable of sustaining life has been just increased.
The team from the University of Exeter, the Met Office and the University of East Anglia (UEA) have isolated three primary impacts of dust.
Phys.org revealed that the planets orbiting close to stars smaller and cooler than the Sun (these are called M—dwarfs), are likely to exist in synchronized rotation-orbit states – in other words, this results in permanent day and night sides.
Experts discovered that dust has the ability to cool down the hotter dayside, but also to warm the night side – this means that it can widen the planet’s habitable zone.
Negative climate feedback
The results of this really interesting study have been published in Nature Communications and they are also showing that for planets, generally speaking, cooling by airborne dust can play a vital tole at the inner edge of he habitable zone.
This is the place where it gets so hot that plants could lose their surface water and become inhabitable – that’s why this is so important.
The scenario is believed to have already happened on Venus.
The water is lost from the planet and the oceans shrink – this means that the amount of dust in the atmosphere can increase and the result is that the planet can cool down, according to the same website that we mentioned above.
The process is called negative climate feedback and we suggest that you check out the original article in order to learn more details about this.