Journal Article

Aligned major axes in a planetary system without tidal evolution: the 61 Virginis example

Richard Greenberg and Christa Van Laerhoven

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 419, issue 1, pages 429-435
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19707.x
Aligned major axes in a planetary system without tidal evolution: the 61 Virginis example

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Tidal damping of one of the orbits in a planetary system can lead to aligned major axes (the so-called ‘fixed-point’ condition), but currently aligned major axes do not necessarily imply such a history. An example is the nominal orbital solution for the 61 Virginis system where two orbits librate about alignment, but evaluation of the eigenmodes of the secular theory shows it could not be the result of tidal damping but rather of initial conditions. The amplitudes of the eigenmodes suggest that, at most, this system may have undergone some modest degree of tidal damping.

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

Journal Article.  5117 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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