On the formation of hot jupiters in stellar binaries

Smadar Naoz*, Will M. Farr, Frederic A. Rasio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

146 Scopus citations


We study the production of hot Jupiters (HJs) in stellar binaries. We show that the "eccentric Kozai-Lidov" (EKL) mechanism can play a key role in the dynamical evolution of a star-planet-star triple system. We run a large set of Monte Carlo simulations including the secular evolution of the orbits, general relativistic precession, and tides, and we determine the semimajor axis, eccentricity, inclination, and spin-orbit angle distributions of the HJs that are produced. We explore the effect of different tidal friction parameters on the results. We find that the efficiency of forming HJs when taking the EKL mechanism into account is higher then previously estimated. Accounting for the frequency of stellar binaries, we find that this production mechanism can account for about ∼ 30% of the observed HJ population. Current observations of spin-orbit angles are consistent with this mechanism producing 30% of all HJs, and up to 100% of the misaligned systems. Based on the properties of binaries without an HJ in our simulations, we predict the existence of many Jupiter-like planets with moderately eccentric and inclined orbits and semimajor axes of several AU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL36
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • binaries: general
  • planetary systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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