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Finding Missing Earths: An Integrated Analysis of Multi-planet Systems and Assessing Likelihood of Potentially Habitable Worlds

Presentation #1136 in the session “Open Engagement Session B”.

Published onMar 17, 2021
Finding Missing Earths: An Integrated Analysis of Multi-planet Systems and Assessing Likelihood of Potentially Habitable Worlds

Our current picture of exoplanetary systems is unfinished, and the search for and characterization of habitable planets in these partially explored systems is still ongoing. To address this, we combined the specific yet incomplete information about any given multi-planet system with population-level statistical knowledge and developed DYNAMITE (DYNAmical Multi-planet Injection TEster) to predict the presence, locations, and sizes of previously unknown planets in these systems. Determining the physical parameters and orbital dynamics of potentially habitable exoplanets will provide a wealth of information that can be used for targeted follow-up observations to assess the likelihood of habitability. Our analysis examines multi-planet systems individually and in ensembles, looking for additional planets and categorizing their potential for habitability. Tests performed on known systems show successful predictions of the approximate period and sizes of these planets, which are sensitive out to rocky planets in the habitable zones of G stars and smaller. We will share the latest DYNAMITE results for currently hidden worlds in the habitable zone around nearby stars and their observational signatures. In the future, we expect to be able to predict which new exoplanet systems are most likely to contain an Earth-like planet as these systems are discovered.


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