Case Studies of Exocomets in the System of HD 10180 [EPA]

The aim of our study is to investigate the dynamics of possible comets in the HD 10180 system. This investigation is motivated by the discovery of exocomets in various systems, especially $\beta$ Pictoris, as well as in at least ten other systems. Detailed theoretical studies about the formation and evolution of star–planet systems indicate that exocomets should be quite common. Further observational results are expected in the foreseeable future, in part due to the availability of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Nonetheless, the Solar System represents the best studied example for comets, thus serving as a prime motivation for investigating comets in HD 10180 as well. HD 10180 is strikingly similar to the Sun. This system contains six confirmed planets and (at least) two additional planets subject to final verification. In our studies, we consider comets of different inclinations and eccentricities and find an array of different outcomes such as encounters with planets, captures, and escapes. Comets with relatively large eccentricities are able to enter the inner region of the system facing early planetary encounters. Stable comets experience long-term evolution of orbital elements, as expected. We also tried to distinguish cometary families akin to our Solar System but no clear distinction between possible families was found. Generally, theoretical and observational studies of exoplanets have a large range of ramifications, involving the origin, structure and evolution of systems as well as the proliferation of water and prebiotic compounds to terrestrial planets, which will increase their chances of being habitable.

Read this paper on arXiv…

B. Loibnegger, R. Dvorak and M. Cuntz
Fri, 8 Dec 17

Comments: 42 pages, 13 figures, 5 tables; published in The Astronomical Journal