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|Title:||Habitability of terrestrial-mass planets in the HZ of M Dwarfs - I. H/He-dominated atmospheres|
|Keywords:||Science & Technology;Physical Sciences;Astronomy & Astrophysics;astrobiology;planets and satellites: atmospheres;planets and satellites: composition;planets and satellites: physical evolution;X-rays: stars;STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS MESA;MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS;SOLAR-TYPE STARS;X-RAY;SUPER-EARTHS;KEPLER PLANETS;HOT-JUPITERS;PROTOPLANETARY DISCS;EXTREME-ULTRAVIOLET;RADIUS DISTRIBUTION;Astronomy & Astrophysics;0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences|
|Publisher:||Imperial College Trust;Oxford University Press|
|Description:||The ubiquity of M dwarfs, combined with the relative ease of detecting terrestrial-mass planets around them, has made them prime targets for finding and characterizing planets in the ???habitable zone??? (HZ). However, Kepler finds that terrestrial-mass exoplanets are often born with voluminous H/He envelopes, comprising mass-fractions (Menv/Mcore) ???1 per cent. If these planets retain such envelopes over Gyr time-scales, they will not be ???habitable??? even within the HZ. Given the strong X-ray/UV fluxes of M dwarfs, we study whether sufficient envelope mass can be photoevaporated away for these planets to become habitable. We improve upon previous work by using hydrodynamic models that account for radiative cooling as well as the transition from hydrodynamic to ballistic escape. Adopting a template active M dwarf XUV spectrum, including stellar evolution, and considering both evaporation and thermal evolution, we show that: (1) the mass-loss is (considerably) lower than previous estimates that use an ???energy-limited??? formalism and ignore the transition to Jeans escape; (2) at the inner edge of the HZ, planets with core mass ??? 0.9 M??? can lose enough H/He to become habitable if their initial envelope mass-fraction is ???1 per cent; (3) at the outer edge of the HZ, evaporation cannot remove a ???1 per cent H/He envelope even from cores down to 0.8 M???. Thus, if planets form with bulky H/He envelopes, only those with low-mass cores may eventually be habitable. Cores ???1 M???, with ???1 per cent natal H/He envelopes, will not be habitable in the HZ of M dwarfs.|
|Type Of Material:||Other|
|Appears in Collections:||Physics|
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