Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-54366

Elser, S; Moore, B; Stadel, J; Morishima, R (2011). How common are Earth-Moon planetary systems? Icarus, 214(2):357-365.

Accepted Version
View at publisher


The Earth’s comparatively massive moon, formed via a giant impact on the proto-Earth, has played an important role in the development of life on our planet, both in the history and strength of the ocean tides and in stabilizing the chaotic spin of our planet. Here we show that massive moons orbiting terrestrial planets are not rare. A large set of simulations by Morishima et al. (Morishima, R., Stadel, J., Moore, B. [2010]. Icarus. 207, 517–535), where Earth-like planets in the habitable zone form, provides the raw simulation data for our study. We use limits on the collision parameters that may guarantee the formation of a circumplanetary disk after a protoplanet collision that could form a satellite and study the collision history and the long term evolution of the satellites qualitatively. In addition, we estimate and quantify the uncertainties in each step of our study. We find that giant impacts with the required energy and orbital parameters for producing a binary planetary system do occur with more than 1 in 12 terrestrial planets hosting a massive moon, with a low-end estimate of 1 in 45 and a high-end estimate of 1 in 4.


12 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™



50 downloads since deposited on 19 Feb 2012
22 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Date:August 2011
Deposited On:19 Feb 2012 13:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:20
ISSN:0019-1035 (P) 1090-2643 (E)
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.05.025
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.4616

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page