Habitable planets around the Sun and other stars

James F. Kasting

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter gives an overview about planetary habitability, which is based on the assumption that a habitable planet is one that supports liquid water on at least part of its surface. The factors that have kept Earth habitable throughout most of its life are reviewed, as well as those that made present-day Mars and Venus uninhabitable. These serve also as indicators for the expected width of the habitable zone around solar-like stars. The last two sections cover the causes for low abiotic O2 abundances expected in Earth’s early atmosphere, and the (biological) origin of the current high concentrations of O2 and O3. Implications for the detectability of biological activity on extrasolar planets are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExtrasolar Planets
Subtitle of host publicationXVI Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780511536533
ISBN (Print)0521868084, 9780521868082
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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