Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Calculating the Habitable Zone of Multiple Star Systems

By Keith Cowing
January 5, 2014
Filed under ,
Calculating the Habitable Zone of Multiple Star Systems
Habitable planet in multiple star system

We have developed a comprehensive methodology and an interactive website for calculating the habitable zone (HZ) of multiple star systems.

Using the concept of spectral weight factor, as introduced in our previous studies of the calculations of HZ in and around binary star systems, we calculate the contribution of each star (based on its spectral energy distribution) to the total flux received at the top of the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet, and use the models of the HZ of the Sun to determine the boundaries of the HZ in multiple star systems. Our interactive website for carrying out these calculations is publicly available at this http URL .

We discuss the details of our methodology and present its application to some of the multiple star systems detected by the Kepler space telescope. We also present the instructions for using our interactive website, and demonstrate its capabilities by calculating the HZ for two interesting analytical solutions of the three-body problem.

Tobias Mueller, Nader Haghighipour (Submitted on 3 Jan 2014)

Comments: 35 pages, 15 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ. Our Multistar Habitable Zone Calculator website is publicly available at this http URL . You are welcome to use any of the figures created with this website in your papers, presentations and for teaching. In that case, we ask you that you kindly cite this paper and mention the URL address to the website

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1401.0601 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1401.0601v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Nader Haghighipour [v1] Fri, 3 Jan 2014 07:46:36 GMT (2535kb)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.