Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Lack of Kozai-Lidov Cycles for Most Circumbinary Exoplanets

Kozai-Lidov cycles towards the limit of circumbinary planets


Martin et al


In this paper we answer a simple question: can a misaligned circumbinary planet induce Kozai-Lidov cycles on an inner stellar binary? We use known analytic equations to analyse the behaviour of the Kozai-Lidov effect as the outer mass is made small. We demonstrate a significant departure from the traditional symmetry, critical angles and amplitude of the effect. Aside from massive planets on near-polar orbits, circumbinary planetary systems are devoid of Kozai-Lidov cycles. This has positive implications for the existence of highly misaligned circumbinary planets: an observationally unexplored and theoretically important parameter space.

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