Orbital dynamics of two circumbinary planets around misaligned eccentric binaries

29 Nov 2021  ·  Cheng Chen, Stephen H. Lubow, Rebecca G. Martin ·

We investigate the orbital dynamics of circumbinary planetary systems with two planets around a circular or eccentric orbit binary. The orbits of the two planet are initially circular and coplanar to each other, but misaligned with respect to the binary orbital plane. The binary-planet and planet-planet interactions result in complex planet tilt oscillations. We use analytic models and numerical simulations to explore the effects of various values of the planet semi-major axes, binary eccentricity, and initial inclination. Around a circular orbit binary, secular tilt oscillations are driven by planet-planet interactions and are periodic. In that case, planets undergo mutual libration if close together and circulation if far apart with an abrupt transition at a critical separation. Around an eccentric orbit binary, secular tilt oscillations are driven by both planet-planet interactions and binary-planet interactions. These oscillations generally display more than one frequency and are generally not periodic. The transition from mutual planet libration to circulation is not sharp and there is a range of separations for which the planets are on orbits that are sometimes mutually librating and sometimes circulating. In addition, at certain separations, there are resonances for which tilt oscillations are complicated but periodic. For planets that are highly misaligned with respect to an eccentric orbit binary, there are stationary (non-oscillating) tilt configurations that are generalisations of polar configurations for the single planet case. Tilt oscillations of highly inclined planets occur for initial tilts that depart from the stationary configuration.

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics