With improvements in exoplanet detection techniques, the number of multiple planet systems discovered is increasing, while the detection of potentially habitable Earth-mass planets remains complicated and thus requires new search strategies.
Dynamical studies of known multiple planet systems are therefore a vital tool in the search for stable and habitable planet candidates. Here, we present a dynamical study of the three-planet system HD 204313 to determine whether it could harbour an Earth-like planet within its habitable zone for a sufficient time to develop life.
We found two semi-stable regions in the system, but neither prove stable for long enough for a terrestrial planet to develop life. Our investigations suggest that overlapping weak and high order resonances may be responsible for these semi-stable regions. This study established a framework for a larger project that will study the dynamical stability of the habitable zone of multiple planet systems, providing a list of interesting targets for future habitable low-mass planet searches.
E. Thilliez, L. Jouvin, S.T. Maddison, J. Horner (Submitted on 12 Feb 2014)
Comments: 13 pages, 6 figures. Accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed proceedings of the 13th annual Australian Space Science Conference
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1402.2728 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1402.2728v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history From: Elodie Thilliez [v1] Wed, 12 Feb 2014 04:32:40 GMT (1153kb)
Please follow Astrobiology on Twitter.