A desert planet or dry planet is a hypothetical type of terrestrial planet with very little water. The concept has become a common setting in science fiction, appearing as early as the 1956 film Forbidden Planet and Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune.
A 2011 study suggested that not only are life-sustaining desert planets possible, but that they might be more common than Earth-like planets. The study found that, when modeled, desert planets had a much larger habitable zone than watery planets.
The same study also speculated that Venus may have once been a habitable desert planet as recently as 1 billion years ago. It is also predicted that Earth will become a desert planet within a billion years due to the Sun's increasing luminosity.
A study conducted in 2013 concluded that hot desert planets without runaway greenhouse effect can exist in 0.5 AU around Sun-like stars. In that study, it was concluded that a minimum humidity of 1% is needed to wash off carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but too much water can act as a greenhouse gas itself. Higher atmospheric pressures increase the range in which the water can remain liquid.
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- ↑ Touponce, William F. (1988). “Intellectual Background”, Frank Herbert. Boston: Twayne Publishers imprint, G. K. Hall & Co.
- ↑ Wright, Les. Forbidden Planet (1956). Culturevulture.net (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on May 7, 2006. Retrieved on May 7, 2006.
- ↑ Hladik, Tamara I.. Classic Sci-Fi Reviews: Dune. SciFi.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved on April 20, 2008.
- ↑ Michaud, Jon (July 12, 2013). Dune Endures. The New Yorker. Retrieved on November 27, 2013.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Choi, Charles Q., "Alien Life More Likely on Dune Planets", September 2, 2011. Retrieved on June 12, 2014.
- ↑ Towards the Minimum Inner Edge Distance of the Habitable Zone. Cornell University Library: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP) (September 4, 2013). Retrieved on February 14, 2014.