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N. Haghighipour (University of Hawaii/IFA)
A survey of all currently known extrasolar planets indicates that close to 20% of their hosting stars are members of binary systems. Almost all of these binaries are wide with separations ranging from 250 to 6500 AU. At these separations, the effect of the binary companion on the formation and dynamical evolution of planets around the other star is negligible. However, in close binary systems, such as Gamma Cephei (separation of 21 AU), GJ 86 (separation of 20 AU), and HD188753 (separation of 12 AU), where a Jupiter-like planet revolves the primary star, the gravitational perturbation of the companion can have considerable effects on the formation and long-term stability of habitable planets in the habitable zones of these systems. In this paper, I will discuss habitability in binary systems and the effects of the companion on the formation of Earth-like planets in the system's habitable zone. Within the context of habitability, I will present the results of a large survey of the parameter space of binary-planetary systems in search of regions where habitable planets can have long-term stable orbits, and will discuss the effect of the companion on mechanisms of delivery of water to such planets.
This work is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute under the cooperative agreement NNA04CC08A at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.