Alpha Centauri

Stability of the Potential Super Jupiter in Alpha Centauri System

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
June 28, 2024
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Stability of the Potential Super Jupiter in Alpha Centauri System
Stability maps based on MEGNO values for Neptune-mass planet in GJ65AB(top panel) and for Jupiter-mass planet in Alpha Centauri AB(below panel). Dynamically stable regions are coloured in green. astro-ph.EP

The stability of potential exoplanets in binary star systems remains a critical challenge in celestial mechanics.

This study investigates the stability of a hypothetical Jupiter-mass planet in the Alpha Centauri AB system by drawing parallels with the recently detected Neptune-mass planet in the GJ65AB system, which shares similar mass ratios and orbital eccentricities. Utilizing the Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser (KAM) theorem and the Mean Exponential Growth of Nearby Orbits (MEGNO) parameter within the REBOUND software package, we perform numerical simulations to identify stable orbital configurations.

Our results indicate that a Jupiter-mass planet could theoretically maintain a stable orbit in Alpha Centauri AB, with orbital parameters derived from the stable zones observed in GJ65AB. Despite the absence of observational evidence for such a planet in Alpha Centauri AB, this study suggests that similar binary systems could exhibit analogous stability characteristics. Future observational efforts are recommended to explore this potential and refine our understanding of planetary formation in binary star systems.

Tinglong Feng

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2406.19177 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2406.19177v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Tinglong Feng
[v1] Thu, 27 Jun 2024 13:53:28 UTC (68 KB)

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) 🖖🏻