The search for other earths: limits on the giant planet orbits that allow habitable terrestrial planets to form.
Abstract (from CDS):
Gas giant planets are far easier than terrestrial planets to detect around other stars, and they are thought to form much more quickly than terrestrial planets. Thus, in systems with giant planets, the late stages of terrestrial planet formation are strongly affected by the giant planets' dynamical presence. Observations of giant planet orbits may therefore constrain the systems that can harbor potentially habitable, Earth-like planets. We present results of 460 N-body simulations of terrestrial accretion from a disk of Moon- to Mars-sized planetary embryos. We systematically vary the orbital semimajor axis of a Jupiter-mass giant planet between 1.6 and 6 AU, and eccentricity between 0 and 0.4. We find that for Sun-like stars, giant planets inside roughly 2.5 AU inhibit the growth of 0.3 Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone. If planets accrete water from volatile-rich embryos past 2-2.5 AU, then water-rich habitable planets can only form in systems with giant planets beyond 3.5 AU. Giant planets with significant orbital eccentricities inhibit both accretion and water delivery. The majority of the current sample of extrasolar giant planets appears unlikely to form habitable planets.