Climate Patterns of Habitable Exoplanets in Eccentric Orbits around M Dwarfs

Friday, 19 December 2014
Yuwei Wang1, Feng Tian2 and Yongyun Hu1, (1)Peking University, Beijing, China, (2)Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Previous studies show that synchronous rotating habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs should have an “eyeball” climate pattern—a limited region of open water on the day side and ice on the rest of the planet. However, exoplanets with nonzero eccentricities could have spin–orbit resonance states different from the synchronous rotation state. Here, we show that a striped-ball climate pattern, with a global belt of open water at low and middle latitudes and ice over both polar regions, should be common on habitable exoplanets in eccentric orbits around M dwarfs. We further show that these different climate patterns can be observed by future exoplanet detection missions.