In a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers aimed to determine the potential habitability of exoplanets.
Their investigation involved simulating the climate of these distant worlds, analyzing factors such as temperature variations, wind patterns, and radiation exposure.
Utilizing software commonly used for modeling Earth’s climate, they identified a specific region around the terminator of these exoplanets, where conditions could support liquid water, thus making it conducive to the existence of life.
However, they found a crucial condition for this ‘just right’ zone to exist – the presence of significant landmasses on the exoplanets.
If a planet was predominantly covered by oceans, the water on the dayside would evaporate and envelop the entire planet in vapor.
Consequently, this would alter the temperature of the terminator zone, rendering it unsuitable for supporting life.
Dr. Aomawa Shields, one of the co-authors of the study, explained that an exoplanet with ample landmasses is more likely to support the concept of ‘terminator habitability.’