Home → Exoplanets FAQ → What is the snow line or ice line?
The further away we move away from a star, the lower is the total energy available for heating. There will clearly be some region (a “loose” boundary centered around the star) beyond which any water present (not necessarily bound with a planet or planetesimal) will freeze into ice. This theoretical boundary is called the snow line or ice line. Beyond the snow line, it is possible for ice to be incorporated into solid bodies that are participating in the planet-formation process.
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File under: Position of the ice line or snow line around a star. Effects on planet formation and incorporation of ice into planet.