Article

Terrestrial and Habitable Planet Formation in Binary and Multi-star Systems

04/2007;
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT One of the most surprising discoveries of extrasolar planets is the detection of planets in moderately close binary star systems. The Jovian-type planets in the two binaries of Gamma Cephei and GJ 86 have brought to the forefront questions on the formation of giant planets and the possibility of the existence of smaller bodies in such dynamically complex environments. The diverse dynamical characteristics of these objects have made scientists wonder to what extent the current theories of planet formation can be applied to binaries and multiple star systems. At present, the sensitivity of the detection techniques does not allow routine discovery of Earth-sized bodies in binary systems. However, with the advancement of new techniques, and with the recent launch of CoRoT and the launch of Kepler in late 2008, the detection of more planets (possibly terrestrial-class objects) in such systems is on the horizon. Theoretical studies and numerical modeling of terrestrial and habitable planet formation are, therefore, necessary to gain fundamental insights into the prospects for life in such systems and have great strategic impact on NASA science and missions. Comment: 7 pages, White Paper Submitted to the NASA/NSF ExoPlanet Task Force

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    ABSTRACT: Recent radial velocity observations have indicated that Jovian-type planets can exist in moderately close binary star systems. Numerical simulations of the dynamical stability of terrestrial-class planets in such environments have shown that, in addition to their giant planets, these systems can also harbor Earth-like objects. In this paper, we study the late stage of terrestrial planet formation in such binary-planetary systems, and present the results of the simulations of the formation of Earth-like bodies in their habitable zones. We consider a circumprimary disk of Moon- to Mars-sized objects and numerically integrate the orbits of these bodies at the presence of the Jovian-type planet of the system and for different values of the mass, semimajor axis, and orbital eccentricity of the secondary star. Results indicate that, Earth-like objects, with substantial amounts of water, can form in the habitable zone of the primary star. Simulations also indicate that, by transferring angular momentum from the secondary star to protoplanetary objects, the giant planet of the system plays a key role in the radial mixing of these bodies and the water contents of the final terrestrial planets. We will discuss the results of our simulation and show that the formation of habitable planets in binary-planetary systems is more probable in binaries with moderate to large perihelia.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2007; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2012; 427(4). · 5.52 Impact Factor

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