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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Trojan planets
Trojan planets
FaceDeerDate: Wednesday, 24.06.2015, 05:07 | Message # 1
Space Pilot
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At some point Space Engine will be adding Trojan asteroids, I'm sure - the engine actually already supports them for the most part, they just need to be given exactly the right orbital parameters to make them cluster in the Trojan points. But I just came across a pretty neat article that addresses the subject of Trojan planets. Here it is:

The Mystery of the Missing Planets

Basically, it argues that there's no reason why Earth-sized planets couldn't form and remain stable in the Trojan points of Jupiter-sized gas giants. Simulations of planet formation suggest that sort of thing can be expected to happen once out of every three or four simulation runs, in fact. But when we look at exoplanetary systems we haven't been able to spot any such Trojan planets, even though we should be able to detect them and we have an ample sample size to find them in. The author suggests that Trojan planets are usually destroyed or scattered out of their orbits late in planet formation when the solar accretion disk disperses and a period of final planetary migrations occurs.

On the plus side, the author says the simulations of that suggest Trojan planets may still rarely survive that process. So maybe they'd make a neat one-in-a-thousand sort of rare thing to find. Always nice having more rare oddities scattered around the cosmos, to make such discoveries feel more unique. A holy grail might be to find an Earthlike planet in such a situation - though in all honesty, the night sky of such a planet would be boringly similar to a non-Trojan planet. The "anchor" gas giant would be far enough away that it would be star-like in appearance.

One thing where the sky would be kind of unique would be a planet that was in a Trojan point of a binary star. Assuming it's tide-locked, there'd be two suns that remained motionless in the sky instead of just one as there is in most tide-locked planet skies. I don't know of any articles about that arrangement or how common it might be though.
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