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M star extrasolar planets
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Title: Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars
Author: Daigo Shoji, Kei Kurita

M type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Because of their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the star itself. For planets close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M star have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models, and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

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M-dwarf planets
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Title: Water-Trapped Worlds
Authors: Kristen Menou

Although tidally-locked habitable planets orbiting nearby M-dwarf stars are among the best astronomical targets to search for extrasolar life, they may also be deficient in volatiles and water. Climate models for this class of planets show atmospheric transport of water from the dayside to the nightside, where it is precipitated as snow and trapped as ice. Since ice only slowly flows back to the dayside upon accumulation, the resulting hydrological cycle can trap a large amount of water in the form of nightside ice. Using ice sheet dynamical and thermodynamical constraints, I illustrate how planets with less than about a quarter the Earth's oceans could trap most of their surface water on the nightside. This would leave their dayside, where habitable conditions are met, potentially dry. The amount and distribution of residual liquid water on the dayside depend on a variety of geophysical factors, including the efficiency of rock weathering at regulating atmospheric CO2 as dayside ocean basins dry-up. Water-trapped worlds with dry daysides may offer similar advantages as land planets for habitability, by contrast with worlds where more abundant water freely flows around the globe.

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M-type Debris discs
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Title: Debris discs around M stars: non-existence versus non-detection
Authors: Kevin Heng, Matej Malik

Motivated by the reported dearth of debris discs around M stars, we use survival models to study the occurrence of planetesimal discs around them. These survival models describe a planetesimal disc with a small number of parameters, determine if it may survive a series of dynamical processes and compute the associated infrared excess. For the WISE satellite, we demonstrate that the dearth of debris discs around M stars may be attributed to the small semi-major axes generally probed if either: 1. the dust grains behave like blackbodies emitting at a peak wavelength coincident with the observed one; 2. or the grains are hotter than predicted by their blackbody temperatures and emit at peak wavelengths that are shorter than the observed one. At these small distances from the M star, planetesimals are unlikely to survive or persist for time scales of 300 Myr or longer if the disc is too massive. Conversely, our survival models allow for the existence of a large population of low-mass debris discs that are too faint to be detected with current instruments. However, our interpretation becomes less clear and large infrared excesses are allowed if only one of these scenarios holds: 3. the dust grains are hotter than blackbody and predominantly emit at the observed wavelength; 4. or are blackbody in nature and emit at peak wavelengths longer than the observed one. Both scenarios imply that the parent planetesimals reside at larger distances from the star than inferred if the dust grains behaved like blackbodies. In all scenarios, we show that the infrared excesses detected at 22 and 70 microns from AU Mic are easily reconciled with its young age. We elucidate the conditions under which stellar wind drag may be neglected when considering dust populations around M stars. The WISE satellite should be capable of detecting debris discs around young M stars with ages on the order of 10 Myr.

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RE: M dwarf star protoplanets
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Title: Tidal Venuses: Triggering a Climate Catastrophe via Tidal Heating
Authors: Rory Barnes, Kristina Mullins, Colin Goldblatt, Victoria S. Meadows, James F. Kasting, Rene Heller

Traditionally stellar radiation has been the only heat source considered capable of determining global climate on long timescales. Here we show that terrestrial exoplanets orbiting low-mass stars may be tidally heated at high enough levels to induce a runaway greenhouse for a long enough duration for all the hydrogen to escape. Without hydrogen, the planet no longer has water and cannot support life. We call these planets "Tidal Venuses," and the phenomenon a "tidal greenhouse." Tidal effects also circularise the orbit, which decreases tidal heating. Hence, some planets may form with large eccentricity, with its accompanying large tidal heating, and lose their water, but eventually settle into nearly circular orbits in the habitable zone (HZ). However, these planets are not habitable as past tidal heating desiccated them, and hence should not be ranked highly for detailed follow-up observations aimed at detecting biosignatures. We simulate the evolution of hypothetical planetary systems in a quasi-continuous parameter distribution and find that we can constrain the history of the system by statistical arguments. Planets orbiting stars with masses <0.3 solar masses may be in danger of desiccation via tidal heating. We apply these concepts to Gl 667C c, a ~4.5 earth-mass planet orbiting a 0.3 solar mass star at 0.12 AU. We find that it probably did not lose its water via tidal heating as orbital stability is unlikely for the high eccentricities required for the tidal greenhouse. As the inner edge of the HZ is defined by the onset of a runaway or moist greenhouse powered by radiation, our results represent a fundamental revision to the HZ for non-circular orbits. In the appendices we review a) the moist and runaway greenhouses, b) stellar mass-radius and mass-luminosity relations, c) terrestrial planet mass-radius relations, and d) linear tidal theories.

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M dwarf Terrestrial Planets
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Title: Implications of the TTV-Detection of Close-In Terrestrial Planets Around M Stars for Their Origin and Dynamical Evolution
Authors: Nader Haghighipour, Sara Rastegar

It has been shown that an Earth-size planet or a super-Earth, in resonance with a transiting Jupiter-like body in a short-period orbit around an M star, can create detectable TTV signals (Kirste & Haghighipour, 2011). Given the low masses of M stars and their circumstellar disks, it is expected that such a transiting giant planet to have formed at large distances and migrated to its close-in orbit. That implies, if such systems are discovered around M stars, the terrestrial planet had to form during the migration of the giant planet. The formation of this object may be either in-situ (in a close-in orbit) followed by its capture in resonance, or the object is formed at larger distances where it was subsequently captured in a resonance with the migrating giant planet. We have investigated these two scenarios by simulating the dynamics of a disk of protoplanetary embryos and the formation of terrestrial planets during the migration of a Jupiter-like planet around an M star. Results suggest that unless the migration of the giant planet is very slow (slower than 1E-7 AU/year), it is unlikely that the close-in terrestrial planet is formed in-situ. If a terrestrial planet is detected in a mean-motion resonance with a close-in giant planet around an M star, the terrestrial planet was most likely formed at large distances and carried to its close-in resonant orbit by the migrating giant body.

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M dwarf planets
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Title: Habitability of Planets Orbiting Cool Stars
Authors: Rory Barnes, Victoria S. Meadows, Shawn D. Domagal-Goldman, Rene Heller, Brian Jackson, Mercedes Lopez-Morales, Angelle Tanner, Natalia Gomez-Perez, Thomas Ruedas

Terrestrial planets are more likely to be detected if they orbit M dwarfs due to the favourable planet/star size and mass ratios. However, M dwarf habitable zones are significantly closer to the star than the one around our Sun, which leads to different requirements for planetary habitability and its detection. We review 1) the current limits to detection, 2) the role of M dwarf spectral energy distributions on atmospheric chemistry, 3) tidal effects, stressing that tidal locking is not synonymous with synchronous rotation, 4) the role of atmospheric mass loss and propose that some habitable worlds may be the volatile-rich, evaporated cores of giant planets, and 5) the role of planetary rotation and magnetic field generation, emphasizing that slow rotation does not preclude strong magnetic fields and their shielding of the surface from stellar activity. Finally we present preliminary findings of the NASA Astrobiology Institute's workshop "Revisiting the Habitable Zone." We assess the recently-announced planet Gl 581 g and find no obvious barriers to habitability. We conclude that no known phenomenon completely precludes the habitability of terrestrial planets orbiting cool stars.

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Date:
M dwarf star protoplanets
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Title: N-body simulations of planetary accretion around M dwarf stars
Authors: Masahiro Ogihara, Shigeru Ida

We have investigated planetary accretion from planetesimals in terrestrial planet regions inside the ice line around M dwarf stars through N-body simulations including tidal interactions with disk gas. Because of low luminosity of M dwarfs, habitable zones (HZs) are located in inner regions. In the close-in HZ, type-I migration and the orbital decay induced by eccentricity damping are efficient according to the high disk gas density in the small orbital radii. In the case of full efficiency of type-I migration predicted by the linear theory, we found that protoplanets that migrate to the vicinity of the host star undergo close scatterings and collisions, and 4 to 6 planets eventually remain in mutual mean motion resonances and their orbits have small eccentricities and they are stable both before and after disk gas decays. In the case of slow migration, the resonant capture is so efficient that densely-packed ~ 40 small protoplanets remain in mutual mean motion resonances. In this case, they start orbit crossing, after the disk gas decays and eccentricity damping due to tidal interaction with gas is no more effective. Through merging of the protoplanets, several planets in widely-separated non-resonant orbits with relatively large eccentricities are formed. Thus, the final orbital configurations of the terrestrial planets around M dwarfs sensitively depend on strength of type-I migration. We also found that large amount of water-ice is delivered by type-I migration from outer regions and final planets near the inner disk edge around M dwarfs are generally abundant in water-ice except for the innermost one that is shielded by the outer planets, unless type-I migration speed is reduced by a factor of more than 100 from that predicted by the linear theory.

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