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The Stability of the orbits of Earth-mass planets in and near the habitable zones of known exoplanetary systems

By Barrie W. Jones, David R. Underwood and P. Nick Sleep

Abstract

We have shown that Earth-mass planets could survive in variously restricted regions of the habitable zones (HZs) of most of a sample of nine of the 93 main-sequence exoplanetary systems confirmed by May 2003. In a preliminary extrapolation of our results to the other systems, we estimate that roughly a third of the 93 systems might be able to have Earth-mass planets in stable, confined orbits somewhere in their HZs. Clearly, these systems should be high on the target list for exploration for terrestrial planets. We have reached this conclusion by launching putative Earth-mass planets in various orbits and following their fate with a mixed-variable symplectic integrator

Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:oro.open.ac.uk:4725
Provided by: Open Research Online

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