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D. Cotto-Figueroa (University of P.R. at Humacao), N. Haghighipour (Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii)
Having the largest number of extrasolar planets, a Neptune-mass object on a 2.8 days orbit, and an outer planet that orbits at 5.3 AU which is comparable to Jupiter's distance from the Sun, \rho Cancri has become an interesting system for study of habitability. In this paper, we present the results of a study of the orbital evolution and dynamical stability of Earth-like planets in this system. Numerical integrations of the system, using the orbital parameters reported by McArthur et al. (2004), indicate that the system may not be stable. In search of stable planetary orbits, an extensive search of the parameter-space of the system was carried out, and a stable region was identified. Within this region, dynamical stability of an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of the system was studied and two regions of stability were recognized.
This research took place at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy during a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) internship funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.