Anti-correlation between multiplicity and orbital properties in exoplanetary systems as a possible record of their dynamical histories
1 Space Science Data Center (SSDC) – ASI, via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Rome, Italy
2 INAF–OAR, via Frascati n. 33, 00078 Monte Porzio Catone (RM), Italy
3 INAF–IAPS, via del Fosso del Cavaliere n. 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
4 Departamento de Fisica, Universidad de Atacama, 485 Copayapu, Copiapó, Chile
Received: 19 July 2017
Accepted: 26 August 2017
Context. Previous works focused on exoplanets discovered with the radial velocity (RV) method reported an anti-correlation between the orbital eccentricities of the exoplanets and the multiplicity M (i.e., the number of planets) of the systems they inhabit.
Aims. We further investigate this reported anti-correlation here using a dataset comprising exoplanets discovered with both the RV and transit methods, searching for hints of its causes by exploring the connection between the number of planets and the dynamical state of the exosystems.
Methods. In order to examine the correlation between multiplicity and orbital eccentricity, for every multiplicity case considered (2 ≤ M ≤ 6), we computed the weighted average eccentricities instead of the median eccentricities used previously. The average eccentricities were calculated using the inverse of the uncertainty on the eccentricity values as weights. The analysis of the dynamic state of the exosystems was performed by computing their angular momentum deficit (AMD), which is a diagnostic parameter successfully used in the study of the solar system and recently applied to exosystems as well.
Results. Our results confirm the reported multiplicity-eccentricity anti-correlation and show that the use of the uncertainties on the orbital eccentricities in the analysis allows for a better agreement between the data and the fits. Specifically, our best fit reproduces well the behaviour of the average eccentricities for all systems with M> 1, including the additional cases of TRAPPIST-1 (M = 7) and of the solar system (M = 8). The AMD analysis, while not conclusive due to the limited number of exosystems that could be analysed, also suggests the existence of an anti-correlation between the multiplicity and the AMD of exosystems. This second anti-correlation, if confirmed by future studies, raises the possibility that the population of low-multiplicity exosystems is contaminated by former high-multiplicity systems that became dynamically unstable and lost some of their planets.
Key words: methods: statistical / techniques: radial velocities / planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
© ESO, 2017