Status Report

Is Gliese 581d habitable?

By SpaceRef Editor
May 29, 2010
Filed under , , ,
Is Gliese 581d habitable?

The recently discovered exoplanet Gl581d is extremely close to the outer edge of its system’s habitable zone, which has led to much speculation on its possible climate. We have performed a range of simulations to assess whether, given simple combinations of chemically stable greenhouse gases, the planet could sustain liquid water on its surface. For best estimates of the surface gravity, surface albedo and cloud coverage, we find that less than 10 bars of CO2 is sufficient to maintain a global mean temperature above the melting point of water. Furthermore, even with the most conservative choices of these parameters, we calculate temperatures above the water melting point for CO2 partial pressures greater than about 30 bar. However, we note that as Gl581d is probably in a tidally resonant orbit, further simulations in 3D are required to test whether such atmospheric conditions are stable against the collapse of CO2 on the surface.

arXiv:1005.5098 [pdf, other]

R. Wordsworth, F. Forget, F. Selsis, J.-B. Madeleine, E. Millour, V. Eymet
Comments: 9 pages, 11 figures

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

SpaceRef staff editor.