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The Kepler data show that habitable small planets orbiting Red Dwarf stars (RDs) are abundant, and hence might be promising targets to look at for biomarkers and life. Planets orbiting within the Habitable Zone of RDs are close enough to be tidally locked.

Some recent works have cast doubt on the ability of planets orbiting RDs to support life. In contrast, it is shown that temperatures suitable for liquid water and even for organic molecules may exist on tidally locked planets of RDs for a wide range of atmospheres. We chart the surface temperature distribution as a function of the irradiation, greenhouse factor and heat circulation. The habitability boundaries and their dependence on the atmospheric properties are derived.

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Category: Science