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Tau Ceti

Introduction

This simulation shows the system of exoplanets orbiting the star Tau Ceti (HD 10700).

How it was created

It was created by making a new simulation, editing the name, color, radius, luminosity, and mass of the star to have the characteristics of Tau Ceti (HD 10700), and then using the Edit / Add Object... command to add the five planets one at a time. The mass, period, eccentricity, peri longitude, and mean longitude of the each of the five planets were taken from Table 9 of the following document:

http://star-www.herts.ac.uk/~hraj/tauceti/paper.pdf

This simulation was prepared on 20th December 2012.

What you can do with it

If you set the system running, you can watch how it evolves, and see how the orbital elements of the five planets slowly change with the passage of time. The system has been set up on the assumption that the Earth lies in the orbital plane of the planets, so that the minimum possible masses for the planets have been chosen. The actual masses of the planets will be greater than this by a factor that is dependent on the angle between the orbital plane of the planets and a line from Tau Ceti (HD 10700) to the Earth. You can try editing the planets by multiplying each mass by a constant > 1 to see the effect of greater masses. You should find that for larger constants, the masses of the planets become large enough to make the system unstable.

Ideas for further investigation

You can find out more from the following web page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_Ceti


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