Journal Article

Exchange orbits: a possible application to extrasolar planetary systems?

B. Funk, R. Schwarz, R. Dvorak and M. Roth

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 410, issue 1, pages 455-460
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17453.x
Exchange orbits: a possible application to extrasolar planetary systems?

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Among the 48 known multiplanetary systems, some are in mean-motion resonances (in most cases in the 2:1 mean-motion resonance). Although until now no extrasolar planetary systems have been found in a 1:1 mean-motion resonance, many studies are dealing with this configuration. Besides the well-known motion of the Trojan asteroids, further possibilities exist for stable configurations of planets or satellites in a 1:1 resonance. For one thing, we can find so-called exchange orbits in our Solar system (Janus and Epimetheus), where both Saturnian moons exchange the values of their semi-major axes (exchange-a configuration) when approaching each other. In addition, we can also find similar behaviour for two planets on orbits with the same semi-major axis, but with different eccentricities; here an exchange of eccentricities takes place (exchange-e configuration). In this work we focused on the second possibility and performed a parameter study by varying the initial conditions (mass and eccentricity) of two planets on exchange-e orbits. By means of an extensive numerical study, we can find a wide variety of initial conditions leading to long-term stable orbits.

Keywords: methods: numerical; celestial mechanics; planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability

Journal Article.  3453 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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