The Anglo-Australian planet search: XXI. a gas-giant planet in a one year orbit and the habitability of gas-giant satellites

Tinney, C. G. and Wittenmyer, Robert A. and Butler, R. Paul and Jones, Hugh R. A. and O'Toole, Simon J. and Bailey, Jeremy A. and Carter, Brad D. and Horner, J. (2011) The Anglo-Australian planet search: XXI. a gas-giant planet in a one year orbit and the habitability of gas-giant satellites. Letters of the Astrophysical Journal, 732 (1 (Art). pp. 1-11. ISSN 2041-8205

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We have detected the Doppler signature of a gas-giant exoplanet orbiting the star HD 38283, in an eccentric orbit with a period of almost exactly one year (P = 363.2 ± 1.6 d, m sin i = 0.34 ± 0.02 M Jup, e = 0.41 ± 0.16). The detection of a planet with period very close to one year critically relied on year-round observation of this circumpolar star. Discovering a planet in a 1 AU orbit around a G dwarf star has prompted us to look more closely at the question of the habitability of the satellites of such planets. Regular satellites orbit all the giant planets in our solar system, suggesting that their formation is a natural by-product of the planet formation process. There is no reason for exomoon formation not to be similarly likely in exoplanetary systems. Moreover, our current understanding of that formation process does not preclude satellite formation in systems where gas giants undergo migration from their formation locations into the terrestrial planet habitable zone. Indeed, regular satellite formation and Type II migration are both linked to the clearing of a gap in the protoplanetary disk by a planet, and so may be inextricably linked. Migration would also multiply the chances of capturing both irregular satellites and Trojan companions sufficiently massive to be habitable. The habitability of such exomoons and exo-Trojans will critically depend on their mass, whether or not they host a magnetosphere, and (for the exomoon case) their orbital radius around the host exoplanet.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information (displayed to public): Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Depositing User: Dr Brad Carter
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2012 05:53
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2014 21:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: astrobiology; planetary systems; planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability; planets and satellites: formation; planets and satellites: general; stars: individual (HD 38283)
Fields of Research (FoR): 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020108 Planetary Science (excl. Extraterrestrial Geology)
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020101 Astrobiology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/31

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