Planetary systems in binaries. I. Dynamical classification

Genya Takeda*, Ryosuke Kita, Frederic A. Rasio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Many recent observational studies have concluded that planetary systems commonly exist in multiple-star systems. At least ∼20% of the known extrasolar planetary systems are associated with one or more stellar companions. The orbits of stellar binaries hosting planetary systems are typically wider than 100 AU and are often highly inclined with respect to the planetary orbits. The effect of secular perturbations from such an inclined binary orbit on a coupled system of planets, however, is little understood theoretically. In this paper we investigate various dynamical classes of double-planet systems in binaries through numerical integrations and provide an analytic framework based on secular perturbation theories. Differential nodal precession of the planets is the key .property that separates two distinct dynamical classes of multiple planets in binaries: (1) dynamically rigid systems, in which the orbital planes of planets precess in concert as if they were embedded in a rigid disk, and (2) weakly coupled systems, in which the mutual inclination angle between initially coplanar planets grows to large values on secular timescales. In the latter case, the quadrupole perturbation from the outer planet induces additional Kozai cycles and causes the orbital eccentricity of the inner planet to oscillate with large amplitudes. The cyclic angular momentum transfer from a stellar companion. propagating inward through planets can significantly alter the orbital properties of the inner planet on shorter timescales. This perturbation propagation mechanism may offer important constraints on the presence of additional planets in known single-planet systems in binaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1075
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2008


  • Binaries: general
  • Celestial mechanics
  • Planetary systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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