Volume 628, August 2019
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||20 August 2019|
Planet formation and stability in polar circumbinary discs
Instituto de Astrofísica, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile,
2 Núcleo Milenio de Formación Planetaria (NPF), Santiago, Chile
3 Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Observatorio Astronómico – IATE, Laprida 854, X5000BGR Córdoba, Argentina
Accepted: 25 June 2019
Context. Dynamical studies suggest that most circumbinary discs (CBDs) should be coplanar (i.e. the rotation vectors of the binary and the disc should be aligned). However, some theoretical works show that under certain conditions a CBD can become polar, which means that its rotation vector is orthogonal with respect to the binary orbital plane. Interestingly, very recent observations show that polar CBDs exist in nature (e.g. HD 98800).
Aims. We test the predictions of CBD alignment around eccentric binaries based on linear theory. In particular, we compare prograde and retrograde CBD configurations. Then, assuming planets form in these systems, we thoroughly characterise the orbital behaviour and stability of misaligned (P-type) particles. This is done for massless and massive particles.
Methods. The evolution of the CBD alignment for various configurations was modelled through three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. For the orbital characterisation and the analysis stability, we relied on long-term N-body integrations and structure and chaos indicators, such as Δe and MEGNO.
Results. We confirm previous analytical predictions on CBD alignment, but find an unexpected symmetry breaking between prograde and retrograde configurations. More specifically, we observe polar alignment for a retrograde misaligned CBD that was expected to become coplanar with respect to the binary disc plane. Therefore, the likelihood of becoming polar for a highly misaligned CBD is higher than previously thought. Regarding the stability of circumbinary P-type planets (also know as Tatooines), polar orbits are stable over a wide range of binary parameters. In particular, for binary eccentricities below 0.4 the orbits are stable for any value of the binary mass ratio. In the absence of gas, planets with masses below 10−5 M⊙ have negligible effects on the binary orbit. Finally, we suggest that mildly eccentric equal-mass binaries should be searched for polar Tatooines.
Key words: planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability / protoplanetary disks / binaries: general / hydrodynamics / methods: numerical
© ESO 2019
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