Equilibria in the secular, non-coplanar two-planet problem

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics

Scientific paper

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18 pages, 17 figures, accepted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Scientific paper

10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14552.x

We investigate the secular dynamics of a planetary system composed of the parent star and two massive planets in mutually inclined orbits. The dynamics are investigated in wide ranges of semi-major axes ratios (0.1-0.667), and planetary masses ratios (0.25-2) as well as in the whole permitted ranges of the energy and total angular momentum. The secular model is constructed by semi-analytic averaging of the three-body system. We focus on equilibria of the secular Hamiltonian (periodic solutions of the full system), and we analyze their stability. We attempt to classify families of these solutions in terms of the angular momentum integral. We identified new equilibria, yet unknown in the literature. Our results are general and may be applied to a wide class of three-body systems, including configurations with a star and brown dwarfs and sub-stellar objects. We also describe some technical aspects of the semi-numerical averaging. The HD 12661 planetary system is investigated as an example configuration.

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