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Astrophysics

Title: High Inclination Planets in Multistellar Systems

Authors: P.E. Verrier (Cambridge), N.W. Evans (Cambridge)
Abstract: The Kozai mechanism often destabilises high inclination orbits. It couples changes in the eccentricity and inclination, and drives high inclination, circular orbits to low inclination, eccentric orbits. In a recent study of the dynamics of planetesimals in the quadruple star system HD98800 (Verrier & Evans 2008), there were significant numbers of stable particles in circumbinary polar orbits about the inner binary pair which are apparently able to evade the Kozai instability. Here, we isolate this feature and investigate the dynamics through numerical and analytical models. The results show that the Kozai mechanism of the outer star is disrupted by a nodal libration induced by the inner binary pair on a shorter timescale. By empirically modelling the period of the libration, a criteria for determining the high inclination stability limits in general triple systems is derived. The nodal libration feature is interesting and, although effecting inclination and node only, shows many parallels to the Kozai mechanism. This raises the possibility that high inclination planets and asteroids may be able to survive in multistellar systems.
Comments: MNRAS, submitted
Subjects: Astrophysics (astro-ph)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14446.x
Cite as: arXiv:0812.4528 [astro-ph]
  (or arXiv:0812.4528v1 [astro-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: N. W. Evans [view email]
[v1] Wed, 24 Dec 2008 12:31:05 GMT (359kb)