Comment

The language of exoplanet ranking metrics needs to change

We have found many Earth-sized worlds but we have no way of determining if their surfaces are Earth-like. This makes it impossible to quantitatively compare habitability, and pretending we can risks damaging the field.

  • Subscribe to Nature Astronomy for full access:

    $99

    Subscribe

Additional access options:

Already a subscriber?  Log in  now or  Register  for online access.

References

  1. 1.

    NASA Exoplanet Archive (California Institute of Technology, 2017);

  2. 2.

    , & Astrobiology 12, 61–82 (2012)

  3. 3.

    , & Icarus 129, 450–465 (1997)

  4. 4.

    & Int. J. Astrobiol. 1, 61 (2002)

  5. 5.

    Astrophys. J. 801, 41 (2015)

  6. 6.

    et al. Astron. Astrophys. 577, A83 (2015)

  7. 7.

    & Astrobiology 16, 817–821 (2016)

  8. 8.

    , & Icarus 101, 108–128 (1993)

  9. 9.

    , & Astrophys. J. 814, 91 (2015)

  10. 10.

    et al. Astrobiology 11, 1041–1052 (2011)

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Elizabeth Tasker is at the Institute of Space and Astronomical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Yoshinodai 3-1-1, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan.

    • Elizabeth Tasker
  2. Joshua Tan is at the Instituto de Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuna Mackenna 4860, 782-0436 Macul, Santiago, Chile.

    • Joshua Tan
  3. Kevin Heng is at the University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012, Bern, Switzerland.

    • Kevin Heng
  4. Stephen Kane is in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, California 94132, USA.

    • Stephen Kane
  5. David Spiegel is at Analytics & Algorithms, Stitch Fix, San Francisco, California 94103, USA.

    • David Spiegel
  6. Earth Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, 152-8550, Tokyo, Japan.

    • Ramon Brasser
    • , John Hernlund
    • , Christine Houser
    • , Matthieu Laneuville
    •  & Marine Lasbleis
  7. Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK.

    • Andrew Casey
  8. School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 85287, USA.

    • Steven Desch
  9. Space Research & Planetary Sciences, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012, Bern, Switzerland.

    • Caroline Dorn
  10. naXys, Department of Mathematics, University of Namur, 8 Rempart de la Vierge, 5000, Namur, Belgium.

    • Anne-Sophie Libert
  11. Department of Reference Systems and Planetology, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Avenue Circulaire 3, 1180, Brussels, Belgium.

    • Lena Noack
  12. School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 85287, USA.

    • Cayman Unterborn
  13. Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 08544, USA.

    • June Wicks

Consortia

  1. the ELSI Origins Network Planetary Diversity Workshop

Authors

  1. Search for Elizabeth Tasker in:

  2. Search for Joshua Tan in:

  3. Search for Kevin Heng in:

  4. Search for Stephen Kane in:

  5. Search for David Spiegel in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elizabeth Tasker.