Gregory Luke

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Understanding the habitability of exoplanetary bodies in triple star systems begins by observing the formation timeline of all involved objects and their interactions with one another. If an exoplanet is to flourish in a system with multiple stellar components, it must possess favorable characteristics (i.e. prominent magnetic field) that can withstand the early formation and evolution of those components. Using the parameters of habitability known for Earth, habitable zone models, and a recently constructed Triple System Exoplanet Catalogue (TSEC), we can determine regions where single and combined stellar radiation do not inhibit biological growth. Using a previous definition for a hierarchical system, results show approximately 38% of discovered triple systems are hierarchical in nature. Circumbinary orbits make up approximately 8% of exoplanet orbits, S-type binary orbits account for 21%, and single S-type orbits account for 71%. Furthermore, exoplanets in the habitable zone of a K-type single star or those in a circumbinary orbit around a binary of similar stellar radiation are thought to be the best candidates for habitability. This preliminary research integrates current studies with the TSEC to provide new insights into the overall picture of how habitability establishes itself in the system. It also highlights the need for further research over specific topic areas covered in the paper.

Publication Date






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