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The Role of Orbital Dynamics In Planetary Habitability

Presentation #1021 in the session “Open Engagement Session A”.

Published onMar 17, 2021
The Role of Orbital Dynamics In Planetary Habitability

A key component of characterizing multi-planet exosystems is testing the orbital stability based on the observed properties. Orbital dynamics is also a critically important component of testing habitability scenarios for terrestrial planets within the system, and can play a major role in driving the evolution of terrestrial planet climates. In this talk I will describe recent work regarding the effects of orbital dynamics on planetary habitability, including the effect of giant planets on terrestrial planet orbital stability, the maximum number of terrestrial planets dynamically allowed in the Habitable Zone, and global circulation models that demonstrate the climate impacts and water loss rates for eccentric orbits. I will discuss examples of orbital dynaimcal effects on habitability, including the HR 5183, Beta CVn, and Kepler-1649 systems. This work emphasizes the need for refining Keplerian orbits as a crucial input for climate studies and the potential impact of eccentricity on terrestrial planet surface conditions.

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