Circumstellar habitable zones of binary-star systems in the solar neighbourhood

S. Eggl, E. Pilat-Lohinger, B. Funk, N. Georgakarakos, N. Haghighipour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Binary and multiple systems constitute more than half of the total stellar population in the solar neighbourhood. Their frequent occurrence as well as the fact that more than 70 planets have already been discovered in such configurations - most notably the telluric companion of a Cen B - make them interesting targets in the search for habitable worlds. Recent studies have shown that despite the variations in gravitational and radiative environment, there are indeed circumstellar regions where planets can stay within habitable insolation limits on secular dynamical time-scales. In this paper, we provide habitable zones for 19 near S-type binary systems from the Hipparcos and Washington Double Star catalogue (WDS) catalogues with semimajor axes between 1 and 100 au. Hereby, we accounted for the combined dynamical and radiative influence of the second star on the Earth-like planet. Out of the 19 systems presented, 17 offer dynamically stable habitable zones around at least one component. The 17 potentially habitable systems contain 5 F, 3 G, 7 K and 16 M class stars. As their proximity to the Solar system (d < 31 pc) makes the selected binary stars exquisite targets for observational campaigns, we offer estimates on radial velocity, astrometric and transit signatures produced by habitable Earth-like planets in eccentric circumstellar orbits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3104-3113
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrobiology - binaries
  • General

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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