Alien 'Jupiters' Signal Absence of Earth-like Planets
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May 08, 2012

Alien 'Jupiters' Signal Absence of Earth-like Planets

 

                          Hot_jupiter


In the search for Earth-like planets, it is helpful to look for clues and patterns that can help scientist narrow down the types of systems where potentially habitable planets are likely to be discovered. New research from a team including Carnegie's Alan Boss narrows down the search for Earth-like planets near Jupiter-like planets. Their work indicates that the early post-formation movements of hot-Jupiter planets probably disrupt the formation of Earth-like planets.

The team, led by Jason Steffen of the Fermilab Center for particle Astrophysics, used data from NASA's Kepler mission to look at so-called "hot Jupiter" planets—those roughly Jupiter-sized planets with orbital periods of about three days. If a Jupiter-like planet has been discovered by a slight dimming of brightness in the star it orbits as it passes between the star and Earth, it is then possible—within certain parameters—to determine whether the hot-Jupiter has any companion planets.

Of the 63 candidate hot Jupiter systems identified by Kepler, the research team did not find any evidence for nearby companion planets. There are several possible explanations. One is that there are no companion planets for any of these hot Jupiters. Another is that the companions are too small in either size or mass to be detected using these methods. Lastly it is possible that there are companion planets, but that the configuration of their orbits makes them undetectable using these methods.
However, when expanding the search to include systems with either Neptune-like planets (known as "hot Neptunes"), or "warm Jupiters" (Jupiter-sized planets with slightly larger orbits than hot Jupiters), the team found some potential companions. Of the 222 hot Neptunes, there were two with possible companions, and of the 31 warm Jupiters, there were three with possible companions.

"The implications of these findings are that systems with Earth-like planets formed differently than systems with hot Jupiters," Boss said. "Since we believe that hot Jupiters formed farther out, and then migrated inward toward their stars, the inward migration disrupted the formation of Earth-like planets. If our sun had a hot Jupiter, we would not be here."

The Daily Galaxy via carnegiescience.edu

Image credit: exoplanets.astro.yale.edu

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Comments

Absence my foot...instrument and science are not that good to infer that. The only statistical evidenced there is, is within the solar system. There is no shortage of satellites of the giant planets... they may not be earth-like but neither are they very close to the sun.
Why are big mouths often associated with little brains :-)

i wonder how close to their stars are those hot jupiters. if out jupiter was at the same distance as earth, would it become a hot jupiter? or being hot is releated also to size? a bigger and closer jupiter simply consumes more material from what could be a habitable zone. it would simply "devour" a large ring around the star, where no other independent planet/oid would form, due to lack of material. on the other hand, how much sustainabillity would this hot jupiter offer to one or some of it's satellites?

They should look again! with finer telescopes...

"Alien 'Jupiters' Signal Absence of Earth-like Planets"

Does not compute

They looked at Jupiter-like planets with an orbital period of THREE DAYS? Of course there will be no earth-like planets in systems with Jovian planets forming so close to their parent star. For reference, Jupiter's orbital period is 12 years. Given the semi-major axis of Jupiter (~778e6 km) and our good friend Kepler's Third Law of Planetary motion, a Jupiter-sized planet with a 3 day orbital period would have a semi-major axis of 6.04e6 km. This is inside the orbit of mercury, and only 12 times the diameter of the sun itself. It should be no surprise that there are not an abundance of small, rocky planets in systems with such degenerate orbits.

This is stupid. What about captures? We don't even know how many of the bodies in our solar system actually formed here or were captured from another system.


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