Prospects for the characterization of habitable planets

Stephane Mazevet, Antonin Affholder, Boris Sauterey, Alex Bixel, Daniel Apai, Regis Ferriere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With thousands of exoplanets now identified, the characterization of habitable planets and the potential identification of inhabited ones is a major challenge for the coming decades. We review the current working definition of habitable planets, the upcoming observational prospects for their characterization and present an innovative approach to assess habitability and inhabitation. This integrated method couples for the first time the atmosphere and the interior modeling with the biological activity based on ecosystem modeling. We review here the first applications of the method to asses the likelihood and impact of methanogenesis for Enceladus, primitive Earth, and primitive Mars. Informed by these applications for solar system situations where habitability and inhabitation is questionned, we show how the method can be used to inform the design of future space observatories by considering habitability and inhabitation of Earth-like exoplanets around sun-like stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalComptes Rendus Physique
StatePublished - 2023


  • exoplanets
  • habitability
  • habitable planets
  • habitable zone
  • planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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