Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Misaligned Hot Jupiters not Caused by Multi Stellar System Companions

Friends of Hot Jupiters II: No Correspondence Between Hot-Jupiter Spin-Orbit Misalignment and the Incidence of Directly Imaged Stellar Companions


Ngo et al


Multi-star systems are common, yet little is known about a stellar companion's influence on the formation and evolution of planetary systems. For instance, stellar companions may have facilitated the inward migration of hot Jupiters towards to their present day positions. Many observed short period gas giant planets also have orbits that are misaligned with respect to their star's spin axis, which has also been attributed to the presence of a massive outer companion on a non-coplanar orbit. We present the results of a multi-band direct imaging survey using Keck NIRC2 to measure the fraction of short period gas giant planets found in multi-star systems. Over three years, we completed a survey of 50 targets ("Friends of Hot Jupiters") with 27 targets showing some signature of multi-body interaction (misaligned or eccentric orbits) and 23 targets in a control sample (well-aligned and circular orbits). We report the masses, projected separations, and confirmed common proper motion for the 19 stellar companions found around 17 stars. Correcting for survey incompleteness, we report companion fractions of 48%±9%, 47%±12%, and 51%±13% in our total, misaligned/eccentric, and control samples, respectively. This total stellar companion fraction is 2.8σ larger than the fraction of field stars with companions approximately 50−2000AU. We observe no correlation between misaligned/eccentric hot Jupiter systems and the incidence of stellar companions. Combining this result with our previous radial velocity survey, we determine that 72%±16% of hot Jupiters are part of multi-planet and/or multi-star systems.

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