Exoplanets & Exomoons

Stable Habitable Zones of Single Jovian Planet Systems

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
June 19, 2017
Filed under
Stable Habitable Zones of Single Jovian Planet Systems

With continued improvement in telescope sensitivity and observational techniques, the search for rocky planets in stellar habitable zones is entering an exciting era. With so many exoplanetary systems available for follow-up observations to find potentially habitable planets, one needs to prioritise the ever-growing list of candidates.

We aim to determine which of the known planetary systems are dynamically capable of hosting rocky planets in their habitable zones, with the goal of helping to focus future planet search programs. We perform an extensive suite of numerical simulations to identify regions in the habitable zones of single Jovian planet systems where Earth mass planets could maintain stable orbits, specifically focusing on the systems in the Catalog of Earth-like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA).

We find that small, Earth-mass planets can maintain stable orbits in cases where the habitable zone is largely, or partially, unperturbed by a nearby Jovian, and that mutual gravitational interactions and resonant mechanisms are capable of producing stable orbits even in habitable zones that are significantly or completely disrupted by a Jovian.

Our results yield a list of 13 single Jovian planet systems in CELESTA that are not only capable of supporting an Earth-mass planet on stable orbits in their habitable zone, but for which we are also able to constrain the orbits of the Earth-mass planet such that the induced radial velocity signals would be detectable with next generation instruments.
Matthew T. Agnew, Sarah T. Maddison, Elodie Thilliez, Jonathan Horner
(Submitted on 19 Jun 2017)

Comments: 15 pages, 12 figures, Accepted for publication by MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1449
Cite as: arXiv:1706.05805 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1706.05805v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Matthew Agnew
[v1] Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:07:07 GMT (12784kb,D)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻