Dynamics and Habitability in Binary Star Systems

Siegfried Eggl, Nikolaos Georgakarakos, Elke Pilat-Lohinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Determining planetary habitability is a complex matter, as the interplay between a planet's physical and atmospheric properties with stellar insolation has to be studied in a self consistent manner. Standardized atmospheric models for Earth-like planets exist and are commonly accepted as a reference for estimates of Habitable Zones. In order to define Habitable Zone boundaries, circular orbital configurations around main sequence stars are generally assumed. In gravitationally interacting multibody systems, such as double stars, however, planetary orbits are forcibly becoming non circular with time. Especially in binary star systems even relatively small changes in a planet's orbit can have a large impact on habitability. Hence, we argue that a minimum model for calculating Habitable Zones in binary star systems has to include dynamical interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • celestial mechanics
  • habitability
  • stars: binaries
  • stars: planetary systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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