Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chaotic Dynamics of Stellar Spin Driven by Planets Undergoing Lidov-Kozai Oscillations

Chaotic Dynamics of Stellar Spin Driven by Planets Undergoing Lidov-Kozai Oscillations: Resonances and Origin of Chaos


Storch et al


Many exoplanetary systems containing hot Jupiters are found to possess significant misalignment between the spin axis of the host star and the planet's orbital angular momentum axis. A possible channel for producing such misaligned hot Jupiters involves Lidov-Kozai oscillations of the planet's orbital eccentricity and inclination driven by a distant binary companion. In a recent work (Storch, Anderson & Lai 2014), we have shown that a proto-hot Jupiter undergoing Lidov-Kozai oscillations can induce complex, and often chaotic, evolution of the spin axis of its host star. Here we explore the origin of the chaotic spin behavior and its various features in an idealized non-dissipative system where the secular oscillations of the planet's orbit are strictly periodic. Using Hamiltonian perturbation theory, we identify a set of secular spin-orbit resonances in the system, and show that overlaps of these resonances are responsible for the onset of wide-spread chaos in the evolution of stellar spin axis. The degree of chaos in the system depends on the adiabaticity parameter ϵ, proportional to the ratio of the Lidov-Kozai nodal precession rate and the stellar spin precession rate, and thus depends on the planet mass, semi-major axis and the stellar rotation rate. For systems with zero initial spin-orbit misalignment, our theory explains the occurrence (as a function of ϵ) of "periodic islands" in the middle of a "chaotic ocean" of spin evolution, and the occurrence of restricted chaos in middle of regular/periodic spin evolution. Finally, we discuss a novel "adiabatic resonance advection" phenomenon, in which the spin-orbit misalignment, trapped in a resonance, gradually evolves as the adiabaticity parameter slowly changes. This phenomenon can occur for certain parameter regimes when tidal decay of the planetary orbit is included.

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