Orbital Architectures of Nearby Planetary Systems

Author: Jeremy Dietrich, PhD student at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory

Background: Exoplanet systems display a large variety in their architectures, from single planets to tightly packed compact multiple systems, from sub-Earth-sized planets to planets larger than Jupiter. Our knowledge of how to form these variations in planetary frameworks is still improving, but we are able to now infer general properties at a population level.

Objective: Here, we will review the orbital architectures of the planetary systems within 15 parsecs. Methods: We will provide statistical interpretations of their parameters and discuss the most likely and most unlikely system characteristics. We can then perform an analysis of the system to predict the likelihood of additional “hidden” planets in these systems

Results:  We will further fill out our interpretation of exoplanet systems in the solar neighborhood, narrowing down orbital configurations and planet parameters.

Conclusions: In the future, this could enable us to determine the most likely system to contain an Earth-like planet when the known architecture seems to be incomplete. Our knowledge of orbital architectures can help provide targets for interstellar probe missions and potential human interstellar travel.