It might be easier than previously thought for a planet to overheat into the uninhabitable “runaway greenhouse” stage, according to new research.
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In a bit of cosmic irony, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars. This is due to the interaction of a star’s light with ice and snow on the planet’s surface.
UW astronomers find that planets orbiting white and brown dwarfs are unlikely to be good candidates for sustaining life.