Vol 19, No 9

Orbital evolution of a planet with tidal dissipation in a restricted three-body system

Wen-Lei Wang, Xue-Qing Xu, Xin-Hao Liao


Abstract The angle between planetary spin and the normal direction of an orbital plane is supposed to reveal a range of information about the associated planetary formation and evolution. Since the orbit’s eccentricity and inclination oscillate periodically in a hierarchical triple body and tidal friction makes the spin parallel to the normal orientation of the orbital plane with a short timescale in an isolated binary system, we focus on the comprehensive effect of third body perturbation and tidal mechanism on the angle. Firstly, we extend the Hut tidal model (1981) to the general spatial case, adopting the equilibrium tide and weak friction hypothesis with constant delay time, which is suitable for arbitrary eccentricity and any angle θ between the planetary spin and normal orientation of the orbital plane. Furthermore, under the constraint of angular momentum conservation, the equations of orbital and ratational motion are given. Secondly, considering the coupled effects of tidal dissipation and third body perturbation, and adopting the quadrupole approximation as the third body perturbation effect, a comprehensive model is established by this work. Finally, we find that the ultimate evolution depends on the timescales of the third body and tidal friction. When the timescale of the third body is much shorter than that of tidal friction, the angle θ will oscillate for a long time, even over the whole evolution; when the timescale of the third body is observably larger than that of the tidal friction, the system may enter stable states, with the angle θ decaying to zero ultimately, and some cases may have a stable inclination beyond the critical value of Lidov-Kozai resonance. In addition, these dynamical evolutions depend on the initial values of the orbital elements and may aid in understanding the characteristics of the orbits of exoplanets.


Keywords astrometry and celestial mechanics: celestial mechanics — planet-star interactions — planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability

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