Stellar Scattering and the Formation of Hot-Jupiters in Binary Systems [EPA]

Hot Jupiters (HJs) are usually defined as giant Jovian-size planets with orbital periods $P \le 10$ days. Although they lie close to the star, several have finite eccentricities and significant misalignment angle with respect to the stellar equator.
Two mechanisms have been proposed to explain the excited and misaligned sub-population of HJs: Lidov-Kozai migration and planet-planet scattering. Although both are based on completely different dynamical phenomena, they appear to be equally effective in generating hot planets. Nevertheless, there has been no detailed analysis comparing the predictions of both mechanisms.
In this paper we present numerical simulations of Lidov-Kozai trapping of single planets in compact binary systems. Both the planet and the binary are initially placed in coplanar orbits, although the inclination of the impactor is assumed random. After the passage of the third star, we follow the orbital and spin evolution of the planet using analytical models based on the octupole expansion of the secular Hamiltonian.
The present work aims at the comparison of the two mechanisms, as an explanation for the excited and inclined HJs in binary systems. We compare the results obtained through this paper with results in Beaug\’e & Nesvorn\’y 2012, where the authors analyze how the planet-planet scattering mechanisms works.
Several of the orbital characteristics of the simulated HJs are caused by tidal trapping from quasi-parabolic orbits, independent of the driving mechanism. These include both the 3-day pile-up and the distribution in the eccentricity vs semimajor axis plane. However, the distribution of the inclinations shows significant differences. While Lidov-Kozai trapping favors a more random distribution, planet-planet scattering shows a large portion of bodies nearly aligned with the equator of the central star.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Marti and C. Beauge
Thu, 13 Mar 14