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Tidally locked planets have a greater range of distances they can be from the central star while having a habitable zone. Non-locked planets need to be at just the right distance.

As to which kind of planet we'll find life on, depends on whether tidally locked planets with habitable zones are more frequent than non-tidally locked planets in a habitable orbit. I don't know that we know the numbers here.




> Non-locked planets need to be at just the right distance.

We are learning that there are liquid oceans all over our solar system so I'd argue that the classic concept of a habitable zone is outdated because it doesn't take them into account.


The habitable zone doesn't mean "anything inside supports life, everything outside doesn't".

It specifically means "the light from the planets sun is in the range to support surface-level life".

If a distant moon in our solar system has a liquid ocean that A) doesn't mean it's water or anything else sane and B) that habitable zones are poorly defined.

Liquid oceans generated by orbital- or geothermal activity aren't covered in the habitable zone definition and aren't very useful as they usually require a parent body to provide energy to heat the ocean (jupiter for example) but just not enough to boil it off the moon.




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