Journal Article

Eccentricity pumping of a planet on an inclined orbit by a disc

Caroline Terquem and Aikel Ajmia

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 404, issue 1, pages 409-414
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Eccentricity pumping of a planet on an inclined orbit by a disc

Show Summary Details


In this paper, we show that the eccentricity of a planet on an inclined orbit with respect to a disc can be pumped up to high values by the gravitational potential of the disc, even when the orbit of the planet crosses the disc plane. This process is an extension of the Kozai effect. If the orbit of the planet is well inside the disc inner cavity, the process is formally identical to the classical Kozai effect. If the planet's orbit crosses the disc but most of the disc mass is beyond the orbit, the eccentricity of the planet grows when the initial angle between the orbit and the disc is larger than some critical value which may be significantly smaller than the classical value of 39°. Both the eccentricity and the inclination angle then vary periodically with time. When the period of the oscillations of the eccentricity is smaller than the disc lifetime, the planet may be left on an eccentric orbit as the disc dissipates.

Keywords: celestial mechanics; planets and satellites: general; planetary systems; planetary systems: formation; planetary systems: protoplanetary discs

Journal Article.  3293 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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