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Abstract

The study of habitable exoplanets is a rapidly expanding field in astronomy. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars other than our own sun. One of the keys to knowing whether or not an exoplanet is habitable is by studying the circumstellar habitable zone, or CHZ. Over the past several years, the defined limits of the CHZ have become susceptible to change as new parameters and factors are found to affect a planets habitability. There are many factors that affect its habitability, including the composition of the star, the mass of the planet, the planets atmosphere, etc. Our focus is divided into two parts. The first is to study how recent discoveries of physical parameters affect a planet’s habitability. The second is a radically new direction: to explore life that results from different biological processes than those found on Earth. By reviewing and summarizing ongoing developments and discoveries in the field, we conclude that the many new factors that were previously unconsidered have major implications for an exoplanet’s habitability.