Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jumping Jupiter can explain Mercury's orbit

Jumping Jupiter can explain Mercury's orbit


Roig et al


The orbit of Mercury has large values of eccentricity and inclination that cannot be easily explained if this planet formed on a circular and coplanar orbit. Here, we study the evolution of Mercury's orbit during the instability related to the migration of the giant planets in the framework of the jumping Jupiter model. We found that some instability models are able to produce the correct values of Mercury's eccentricity and inclination, provided that relativistic effects are included in the precession of Mercury's perihelion. The orbital excitation is driven by the fast change of the normal oscillation modes of the system corresponding to the perihelion precession of Jupiter (for the eccentricity), and the nodal regression of Uranus (for the inclination).

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