Mini-Neptunes Can Be Shaped Into Habitable Planets by their Host Stars

January 30, 2015 3:54 PM

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Researchers from the University of Washington found that tidal forces and intense stellar activity may help uninhabitable mini-Neptunes orbiting low-mass stars acquire just the right conditions to host life. The findings challenge previous theory that the two phenomena were minimizing the odds of a planet to become inhabitable.

“There are many processes that are negligible on Earth but can affect the habitability of M dwarf planets. Two important ones are strong tidal effects and vigorous stellar activity,”

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