Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries

Diego J. Muñoz*, Dong Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Keplermission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 d, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov-Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. Here we explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planetsmay survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9264-9269
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number30
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Celestial dynamics
  • Close binaries
  • Extrasolar planets
  • N-body problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this