Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Role of Gaseous Giants in the Dynamical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets and Water Delivery in the Habitable Zone

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 4, 2018
Filed under
Role of Gaseous Giants in the Dynamical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets and Water Delivery in the Habitable Zone
Gas giant

In the present research, we study the effects of a single giant planet in the dynamical evolution of water-rich embryos and planetesimals, located beyond the snow line of systems around Sun-like stars, in order to determine what kind of terrestrial-like planets could be formed in the habitable zone (hereafter HZ) of these systems.

To do this, we carry out N-body simulations of planetary accretion, considering that the gas has been already dissipated from the disk and a single giant planet has been formed beyond the snow line of the system, at 3 au. We find that a giant planet with a value of mass between Saturn-mass and Jupiter-mass, represents a limit from which the amount of water-rich embryos that moves inward from beyond the snow line starts to decrease. From this, our research suggests that giant planets more massive than one Jupiter-mass become efficient dynamical barriers to inward-migrating water-rich embryos.

Moreover, we infer that the number of these embryos that survive in the HZ significantly decreases for systems that host a giant planet more massive than one Jupiter-mass. This result has important consequences concerning the formation of terrestrial-like planets in the HZ with very high water contents and could provide a selection criteria in the search of potentially habitable exoplanets in systems that host a gaseous giant around solar-type stars.

Mariana B. Sánchez, Gonzalo C. de Elía, Luciano A. Darriba
(Submitted on 27 Aug 2018)

Comments: 10 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1808.08870 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1808.08870v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Mariana Belen Sanchez Miss
[v1] Mon, 27 Aug 2018 14:57:06 GMT (170kb,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) 🖖🏻