An atmospheric peculiarity the Earth shares with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is likely common to billions of planets, University of Washington astronomers have found, and knowing that may help in the search for potentially habitable worlds.
The mystery of how the surface of Mars, long dead and dry, could have flowed with water billions of years ago may have been solved by research that included a University of Washington astronomer.
It might be easier than previously thought for a planet to overheat into the uninhabitable “runaway greenhouse” stage, according to new research.
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.