AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 33. Extra-Solar Planets
Oral, Monday, January 7, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, International Ballroom Center

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[33.05] Habitability and Orbital Stability of Terrestrial Planets around 47~UMa

M. Cuntz, M. Noble, Z.E. Musielak (UTA)

We investigate the orbital stability and habitability of terrestrial planets around 47~UMa. This planetary system shows striking similarities to the Solar System by hosting two Jupiter-mass planets in nearly circular orbits at distances where respectable giant planets should be present and with its inner region free of gas giants. Orbits of terrestrial planets at different positions in the habitable zone (HZ) of 47~UMa are simulated numerically taking into account an updated definition of habitability. We show that habitable planets can in principle exist in the inner part of the HZ of 47~UMa, but not in its outer part owing to gravitational disturbances by the inner giant planet. Our study, which has meanwhile been extended to other stars as well, allows general conclusions about the existence of habitable planets around host stars, which may assist in the selection process of system candidates for future terrestrial planet search missions.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cuntz@uta.edu

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