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Exploring Kepler Giant Planets in the Habitable Zone

Hill, Michelle L. and Kane, Stephen R. and Seperuelo Duarte, Eduardo and Kopparapu, Ravi K. and Gelino, Dawn M. and Wittenmyer, Robert A. (2018) Exploring Kepler Giant Planets in the Habitable Zone. Astrophysical Journal, 860 (1). Art. No. 67. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aac384.

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The Kepler mission found hundreds of planet candidates within the Habitable Zones (HZ) of their host star, including over 70 candidates with radii larger than three Earth radii (R⊕) within the optimistic HZ (OHZ). These giant planets are potential hosts to large terrestrial satellites (or exomoons) which would also exist in the HZ. We calculate the occurrence rates of giant planets (R_p = 3.0–25 R⊕) in the OHZ, and find a frequency of (6.5 ± 1.9)% for G stars, (11.5 ± 3.1)% for K stars, and (6 ± 6)% for M stars. We compare this with previously estimated occurrence rates of terrestrial planets in the HZ of G, K, and M stars and find that if each giant planet has one large terrestrial moon then these moons are less likely to exist in the HZ than terrestrial planets. However, if each giant planet holds more than one moon, then the occurrence rates of moons in the HZ would be comparable to that of terrestrial planets, and could potentially exceed them. We estimate the mass of each planet candidate using the mass–radius relationship developed by Chen & Kipping. We calculate the Hill radius of each planet to determine the area of influence of the planet in which any attached moon may reside, then calculate the estimated angular separation of the moon and planet for future imaging missions. Finally, we estimate the radial velocity semi-amplitudes of each planet for use in follow-up observations.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Hill, Michelle L.0000-0002-0139-4756
Kane, Stephen R.0000-0002-7084-0529
Seperuelo Duarte, Eduardo0000-0003-4587-3764
Gelino, Dawn M.0000-0003-1274-2784
Wittenmyer, Robert A.0000-0001-9957-9304
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 January 23; revised 2018 April 22; accepted 2018 May 7; published 2018 June 13. This research has made use of the NASA Exoplanet Archive and the ExoFOP site, which are operated by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Exoplanet Exploration Program. This work has also made use of the Habitable Zone Gallery at (Kane & Gelino 2012). The results reported herein benefited from collaborations and/or information exchange within NASA's Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) research coordination network sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The research shown here acknowledges use of the Hypatia Catalog Database, an online compilation of stellar abundance data as described in Hinkel14, which was supported by NASA's Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) research coordination network and the Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-Intensive Astrophysics (VIDA). This research has also made use of the VizieR catalog access tool, CDS, Strasbourg, France (Ochsenbein et al. 2000). The original description of the VizieR service was published in A&AS 143, 23.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:astrobiology – astronomical databases: miscellaneous – planetary systems – planets and satellites: detection – techniques: photometric – techniques: radial velocities
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180613-102710468
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Michelle L. Hill et al 2018 ApJ 860 67
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87059
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Jun 2018 17:54
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:44

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