Welcome to the Habitable Zone

Estimates based on numerical modeling of the typical number of planets per star range from 5 to 20. Our own solar system has 9 planets, so this number may be a good estimate.

There is a doughnut-shaped region around all stars that astronomers call the habitable zone. This zone is the space between some inner and outer distance from the star where a star with a given luminosity (rate of energy production) produces a temperature that's "just right." Just right for what? Well, just right for liquid water to exist without freezing or boiling away. We often estimate that about 1 in 10 of the planets around a star will fall within the habitable zone.

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