The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Habitability of known exoplanetary systems based on measured stellar properties

Jones, Barrie W.; Sleep, P. Nick and Underwood, David R. (2006). Habitability of known exoplanetary systems based on measured stellar properties. Astrophysical Journal, 649(2) pp. 1010–1019.

URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ApJ/journal/issue...
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/506557
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Habitable planets are likely to be broadly Earth-like in composition, mass, and size. Masses are likely to be within a factor of a few of the Earth's mass. Currently, we do not have sufficiently sensitive techniques to detect Earth-mass planets, except in rare circumstances. It is thus necessary to model the known exoplanetary systems. In particular, we need to establish whether Earth-mass planets could be present in the classical habitable zone (HZ) or whether the giant planets that we know to be present would have gravitationally ejected Earth-mass planets or prevented their formation. We have answered this question by applying computer models to the 152 exoplanetary systems known by 2006 April 18 that are sufficiently well characterized for our analysis. For systems in which there is a giant planet, inside the HZ, which must have arrived there by migration, there are two cases: (1) where the migration of the giant planet across the HZ has not ruled out the existence of Earth-mass planets in the HZ; and (2) where the migration has ruled out existence. For each case, we have determined the proportion of the systems that could contain habitable Earth-mass planets today, and the proportion for which this has been the case for at least the past 1000 Myr (excluding any early heavy bombardment). For case 1 we get 60% and 50%, respectively, and for case 2 we get 7% and 7%, respectively.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1538-4357
Keywords: astrobiology; planetary systems; planets and satellites;
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 6343
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 19:56
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/6343
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk