Rare Earth pp 15-33 | Cite as

Habitable Zones of the Universe


A review of habitable zones—for animals as well as microbes, and in the galaxy and Universe as well as around our sun—leads to an inescapable conclusion: Earth is a rare place indeed. Perhaps the most intriguing finding of this line of research is that Earth is rare as much for its abundant metal content as for its location relative to the sun. As we will see in the next chapter, the metal-rich core of our Earth is responsible for much of its hospitality to life.


Globular Cluster Planetary System Terrestrial Planet Elliptical Galaxy Stellar System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Chapter 2. Habitable Zones of the Universe

  1. Clarke, A. C. 1973. Rendezvous with Rama. London: Gollancz.Google Scholar
  2. Cloud, P. 1987. Oasis in space. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  3. De Duve, C. 1995. Vital Dust. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Dole, S. 1964. Habitable planets for man. New York: Blaisdell.Google Scholar
  5. Doolittle, W. F. 1999. Phylogenetic classification and the Universal Tree. Science 284:2124–2128.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Doyle, L. R. 1996. Circumstellar habitable zones, Proceedings of the First International Conference. Menlo Park, CA: Travis House.Google Scholar
  7. Forget, F., and Pierrehumbert, G. D. 1997. Warming early Mars with carbon dioxide that scatters infrared radiation. Science 278:1273–1276.CrossRefADSPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hale, A. 1994. Orbital coplanarity in solar-type binary systems: Implications for planetary system formation and detection. Astronomical Journal 107:306–332.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Hart, M. H. 1978. The evolution of the atmosphere of the earth. Icarus 33:23–39.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Hart, M. H. 1979. Habitable zones about main sequence stars. Icarus 37:351–357.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. Illes-Almar, E.; Almar, I.; Berczi, S.; and Likacs, B. 1997. On a broader concept of circumstellar habitable zones. Conference Paper, Astronomical and Biochemical Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe, IAU Colloquium 161, Bologna, Italy, p. 747.Google Scholar
  12. Kasting, J. F. 1988. Runaway and moist greenhouse atmospheres and the evolution of Earth and Venus. Icarus 74:472–494.CrossRefADSPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Kasting, J. F. 1993. Earth’s early atmosphere. Science 259:920–926.ADSPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kasting, J. F. 1997. Habitable zones around low mass stars and the search for extraterrestrial life. In Planetary and interstellar processes relevant to the origins of life, ed. D. C. B. Whittet, p. 291. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997.Google Scholar
  15. Kasting, J. F. 1997. Update: The early Mars climate question heats up. Science 278:1245.CrossRefADSPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kasting, J. F.; Whitmire, D. P.; and Reynolds, R. T. 1993. Habitable zones around main sequence stars. Icarus 101:108–128.CrossRefADSPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Ksanfomaliti, L. V. 1998. Planetary systems around stars of late spectral types: A Limitation for habitable zones. Astronomicheskii Vestnik 32:413.ADSGoogle Scholar
  18. Lepage, A. J. 1998. Habitable moons. Sky and Telescope 96: 50.Google Scholar
  19. Miller, S. L. 1953. Production of amino acids under possible primitive Earth conditions. Science 117:528.ADSPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sagan, C., and Chyba, C. 1997. The early faint sun paradox: Organic shielding of ultraviolet-labile greenhouse gases. Science 276:1217–1221.CrossRefADSPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Sleep, N. H.; Zahnle, K. J.; Kasting, J. F.; and Morowitz, H. J. 1989. Annihilation of ecosystems by large asteroid impacts on the early Earth. Nature 342:139.CrossRefADSPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Squyres, S. W., and Kasting, J. F., 1994. Early Mars—how warm and how wet? Science 265, 744.ADSPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wetherill, G. W. 1996. The formation and habitability of extra-solar planets. Icarus 119:219–238.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  24. Whitmire, D. P., Matese, J.J.; Criswell, L.; and Mikkola, S. 1998. Habitable planet formation in binary star systems. Icarus 132:196–203.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  25. Williams, D.M., Kasting, J. F.; and Wade, R. A. 1996. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets. AAS/Division of Planetary Sciences Meeting 28, 1221.Google Scholar
  26. Williams, D.M., Kasting, J. F.; and Wade, R. A. 1997. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets. Nature 385: 234–236.CrossRefADSPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee 2000

Personalised recommendations