Status Report

Fly-by encounters between two planetary systems II: Exploring the interactions of diverse planetary system architectures

By SpaceRef Editor
February 24, 2020
Filed under ,

Daohai Li, Alexander J. Mustill, Melvyn B. Davies

(Submitted on 21 Feb 2020)

Planetary systems formed in clusters may be subject to stellar encounter flybys. Here we create a diverse range of representative planetary systems with different orbital scales and planets’ masses and examine encounters between them in a typical open cluster. We first explore the close-in multi-super earth systems ≲0.1 au. They are resistant to flybys in that only ones inside a few au can destabilise a planet or break the resonance between such planets. But these systems may capture giant planets onto wide orbits from the intruding star during distant flybys. If so, the original close-in small planets’ orbits may be tilted together through Kozai–Lidov mechanism, forming a “cold” system that is significantly inclined against the equator of the central host. Moving to the intermediately-placed planets around solar-like stars, we find that the planets’ mass gradient governs the systems’ long-term evolution post-encounter: more massive planets have better chances to survive. Also, a system’s angular momentum deficit, a quantity describing how eccentric/inclined the orbits are, measured immediately after the encounter, closely relates to the longevity of the systems — whether or not and when the systems turn unstable in the ensuing evolution millions of years post-encounter. We compare the orbits of the surviving planets in the unstable systems through (1) the immediate consequence of the stellar fly or (2) internal interplanetary scattering long post-encounter and find that those for the former are systematically colder. Finally, we show that massive wide-orbit multi-planet systems like that of HR 8799 can be easily disrupted and encounters at a few hundreds of au suffice.

Comments: submitted to MNRAS, revised as per referee comments

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Cite as: arXiv:2002.09271 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2002.09271v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Daohai Li 

[v1] Fri, 21 Feb 2020 13:29:13 UTC (544 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.