Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Asymmetric Orbital Distribution near Mean Motion Resonance




Many multiple-planet systems have been found by the Kepler transit survey and various radial velocity (RV) surveys. Kepler planets show an asymmetric feature, namely, there are small but significant deficits/excesses of planet pairs with orbital period spacing slightly narrow/wide of the exact resonance, particularly near the first order mean motion resonance (MMR), such as 2:1 and 3:2 MMR. Similarly, if not exactly the same, an asymmetric feature (pileup wide of 2:1 MMR) is also seen in RV planets, but only for massive ones. We analytically and numerically study planets' orbital evolutions near and in the MMR. We find that their orbital period ratios could be asymmetrically distributed around the MMR center regardless of dissipation. In the case of no dissipation, Kepler planets' asymmetric orbital distribution could be partly reproduced for 3:2 MMR but not for 2:1 MMR, implying that dissipation might be more important to the latter. The pileup of massive RV planets just wide of 2:1 MMR is found to be consistent with the scenario that planets formed separately then migrated toward the MMR. The location of the pileup infers a K value of 1-100 on the order of magnitude for massive planets, where K is the damping rate ratio between orbital eccentricity and semimajor axis during planet migration.

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