Habitability of Earth-type Planets and Moons in the Kepler-16 System

We demonstrate that habitable Earth-type planets and moons can exist in the Kepler-16 system by investigating their orbital stability in the standard and extended habitable zone (HZ). We find that Earth-type planets in S-type orbits are possible within the standard HZ in direct vicinity of Kepler-16b, thus constituting habitable exomoons. However, Earth-mass planets cannot exist in P-type orbits around the two stellar components within the standard HZ. Yet, P-type Earth-mass planets can exist superior to the giant planet in the extended HZ pertaining to considerably enhanced back-warming in the planetary atmosphere if facilitated. We briefly discuss the potential detectability of such habitable Earth-type moons and planets positioned in S-type and P-type orbits, respectively.

Billy Quarles, Zdzislaw E. Musielak, Manfred Cuntz (Submitted on 11 Jan 2012)

Comments: 11 pages, 2 figures, 1 table; submitted to Astrophysical Journal Letters
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1201.2302v1 [astro-ph.EP]
Submission history
From: Manfred Cuntz [view email]
[v1] Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:11:06 GMT (69kb)

Please follow Astrobiology on Twitter.


  • submit to reddit