Volume 530, June 2011
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||19 May 2011|
Secular dynamics of planetesimals in tight binary systems: application to γ-Cephei
Observatorio Astronómico, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Laprida 854, ( X5000BGR ) Córdoba, Argentina
2 Instituto de Astronomía Teórica y Experimental, Laprida 854, ( X5000BGR ) Córdoba, Argentina
Received: 20 December 2010
Accepted: 16 March 2011
Context. The secular dynamics of small planetesimals in tight binary systems play a fundamental role in establishing the possibility of accretional collisions in such extreme cases. The most important secular parameters are the forced eccentricity and secular frequency, which depend on the initial conditions of the particles, as well as on the mass and orbital parameters of the secondary star.
Aims. We construct a second-order theory (with respect to the masses) for the planar secular motion of small planetasimals and deduce new expressions for the forced eccentricity and secular frequency. We also reanalyze the radial velocity data available for γ-Cephei and present a series of orbital solutions leading to residuals compatible with the best fits. Finally, we discuss how different orbital configurations for γ-Cephei may affect the dynamics of small bodies in circumstellar motion.
Methods. The secular theory is constructed using a Lie series perturbation scheme restricted to second order in the small parameter. The orbital fits were analyzed with a minimization code that employs a genetic algorithm for a preliminary solution plus a simulated annealing for the fine tuning.
Results. For γ-Cephei, we find that the classical first-order expressions for the secular frequency and forced eccentricity lead to large inaccuracies ~50% for semimajor axes larger than one tenth the orbital separation between the stellar components. Low eccentricities and/or masses reduce the importance of the second-order terms. The dynamics of small planetesimals only show a weak dependence with the orbital fits of the stellar components, and the same result is found including the effects of a nonlinear gas drag. Thus, the possibility of planetary formation in this binary system largely appears insensitive to the orbital fits adopted for the stellar components, and any future alterations in the system parameters (due to new observations) should not change this picture. Finally, we show that planetesimals migrating because of gas drag may be trapped in mean-motion resonances with the binary, even though the migration is divergent.
Key words: planets and satellites: formation / binaries: close / methods: data analysis / methods: analytical / planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability / stars: individual:γCephei
© ESO, 2011
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