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The habitable zone of Earth-mass planets around 47 UMa: results for land and water worlds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 June 2003

S. Franck
Affiliation:
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), PO Box 601203, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany e-mail: franck@pik-potsdam.de, bloh@pik-potsdam.de, bounama@pik-potsdam.de
M. Cuntz
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, University of Texas at Arlington, Box 19059, Arlington, TX 76019, USA e-mail: cuntz@uta.edu
W. von Bloh
Affiliation:
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), PO Box 601203, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany e-mail: franck@pik-potsdam.de, bloh@pik-potsdam.de, bounama@pik-potsdam.de
C. Bounama
Affiliation:
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), PO Box 601203, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany e-mail: franck@pik-potsdam.de, bloh@pik-potsdam.de, bounama@pik-potsdam.de

Abstract

In a previous paper, we showed that Earth-type habitable planets around 47 UMa are in principle possible if a distinct set of conditions is warranted. These conditions include that the Earth-type planets have successfully formed and are orbitally stable and, in addition, that the 47 UMa star–planet system is relatively young ([lsim ]6 Gyr). We now extend this study by considering Earth-like planets with different land/ocean coverages. This study is again based on the so-called integrated system approach, which describes the photosynthetic biomass production taking into account a variety of climatological, biogeochemical and geodynamical processes. This approach implies a special characterization of the habitable zone defined for a distinct type of planet. We show that the likelihood of finding a habitable Earth-like planet on a stable orbit around 47 UMa critically depends on the percentage of the planetary land/ocean coverage. The likelihood is significantly increased for planets with a very high percentage of ocean surface (‘water worlds’).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2003 Cambridge University Press

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