An Integrated Analysis with Predictions on the Architecture of the τ Ceti Planetary System, including a Habitable Zone Planet

Jeremy Dietrich, Dániel Apai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

τ Ceti is the closest single Sun-like star to the solar system and hosts a multiplanet system with four confirmed planets. The possible presence of additional planets, especially potentially habitable worlds, remains of great interest. We analyze the structure of the τ Ceti planetary system via the DYNAMITE algorithm, combining information from exoplanet population statistics and orbital dynamics with measurements of this specific system. We also expand DYNAMITE to incorporate radial velocity information. Our analysis suggests the presence of four additional planets, three of which match closely with the periods of three tentative planet candidates reported previously. We also predict at least one more planet candidate with an orbital period between ∼270 and 470 days, in the habitable zone for τ Ceti. Based on the measured values of the confirmed planets, we also assess the possible masses and nature of the detected and undetected planets. The least massive planets and candidates are likely to be rocky, while the other planets and candidates could either be rocky or contain a significant gaseous envelope. The radial velocity observable signature from the predicted habitable zone planet candidate would likely be at or just above the noise level in current data, but should be detectable in future extremely high-precision radial velocity and direct-imaging studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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