Login | STScI Home | HubbleSite | Copyright, Content Use, and Policies
STScI Webcast

2018 Spring Science Colloquia

The Habitability of M Dwarf Planets

Presented by: Victoria Meadows (University of Washington)
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: April 04, 2018
  • Bookmark/Share

Recently discovered planets orbiting nearby M dwarfs will provide intriguing near-term targets for JWST and ground-based telescopes, and an exciting window into the evolution and nature of terrestrial planets. M dwarfs, although plentiful, undergo strong evolution in stellar brightness when they are young, and have main sequence habitable zones that are extremely close to the star. These factors enhance star-planet interactions, drive planetary evolutionary processes different to those experienced by Earth, and potentially produce false positives for life. To support upcoming observations, I will describe interdisciplinary modeling undertaken by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory team to explore the possible evolutionary scenarios, current climate states, anticipated observational features, and prospects for near-term observation of M dwarf habitable zone planets with JWST.