Institute of Astronomy

Dynamical Effects of Wide Binaries on Kepler Planets

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Alex Mustill26 July 2016Binary Stars Talks


Circumprimary planetary systems can be dynamically affected by a wide binary companion, for example through the Kozai effect or other secular perturbations. These dynamical effects range from excitation of mutual inclinations in multi-planet systems to destabilisation and loss of planets. I discuss how these affect the observed multiplicities of close-in planets observed with Kepler, both directly (binaries’ effects on the Kepler planets themselves) and indirectly (binaries’ effects on undetected planets on orbits wider than the Kepler planets, which in turn can affect the observed inner systems). An N-body population synthesis shows that up to 25% of multiple Kepler systems may be destabilised by wide binaries to the point of losing a planet, although in stable systems, mutual inclinations are only weakly excited, causing only a small effect on observed multiplicities.


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