Status Report

Dynamical Constraints on Outer Planets in Super-Earth Systems

By SpaceRef Editor
January 26, 2016
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Matthew J. Read, Mark C. Wyatt
(Submitted on 17 Dec 2015)

This paper considers secular interactions within multi-planet systems. In particular we consider dynamical evolution of known planetary systems resulting from an additional hypothetical planet on an eccentric orbit. We start with an analytical study of a general two-planet system, showing that a planet on an elliptical orbit transfers all of its eccentricity to an initially circular planet if the two planets have comparable orbital angular momenta. Application to the single Super-Earth system HD38858 shows that an additional hypothetical planet below current radial velocity (RV) constraints with {\textit{Msini}}=3-10M⊕, semi-major axis 1-10au and eccentricity 0.2-0.8 is unlikely to be present from the eccentricity that would be excited in the known planet (albeit cyclically). However, additional planets in proximity to the known planet could stabilise the system against secular perturbations from outer planets. Moreover these additional planets can have an {\textit{Msini}} below RV sensitivity and still affect their neighbours. For example, application to the two Super-Earth system 61Vir shows that an additional hypothetical planet cannot excite high eccentricities in the known planets, unless its mass and orbit lie in a restricted area of parameter space. Inner planets in HD38858 below RV sensitivity would also modify conclusions above about excluded parameter space. This suggests that it may be possible to infer the presence of additional stabilising planets in systems with an eccentric outer planet and an inner planet on an otherwise suspiciously circular orbit. This reinforces the point that the full complement of planets in a system is needed to assess its dynamical state.

Comments: 15 pages, 9 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1512.05710 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1512.05710v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Matthew Read
[v1] Thu, 17 Dec 2015 18:31:10 GMT (3261kb,D)

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