Journal Article

The dynamics and stability of circumbinary orbits

Samuel Doolin and Katherine M. Blundell

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 418, issue 4, pages 2656-2668
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19657.x
The dynamics and stability of circumbinary orbits

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We numerically investigate the dynamics of orbits in 3D circumbinary phase space as a function of binary eccentricity and mass fraction. We find that inclined circumbinary orbits in the elliptically restricted three-body problem display a nodal libration mechanism in the longitude of the ascending node and in the inclination to the plane of the binary. We (i) analyse and quantify the behaviour of these orbits with reference to analytical work performed by Farago & Laskar and (ii) investigate the stability of these orbits over time. This work is the first dynamically aware analysis of the stability of circumbinary orbits across both binary mass fraction and binary eccentricity. This work also has implications for exoplanetary astronomy in the existence and determination of stable orbits around binary systems.

Keywords: celestial mechanics; planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability; binaries: general; stars: kinematics and dynamics

Journal Article.  5947 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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