Detection of Laplace-resonant three-planet systems from transit timing variations

A.-S. Libert, S. Renner

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Transit timing variations (TTVs) are useful to constrain the existence of perturbing planets, especially in resonant systems where the variations are strongly enhanced. Here we focus on Laplace-resonant three-planet systems, and assume that the inner planet transits the star. A dynamical study is performed for different masses of the three bodies, with special attention to terrestrial planets. We consider a maximal time-span of ~100 yr and discuss the shape of the inner planet TTVs curve. Using frequency analysis, we highlight the three periods related to the evolution of the system: two periods associated with the Laplace-resonant angle and the third one with the precession of the pericentres. These three periods are clearly detected in the TTVs of an inner giant planet perturbed by two terrestrial companions. Only two periods are detected for a Jupiter-Jupiter-Earth configuration (the ones associated with the giant interactions) or for three terrestrial planets (the Laplace periods). However, the latter system can be constrained from the inner planet TTVs. We finally remark that the TTVs of resonant three or two Jupiter systems mix up, when the period of the Laplace-resonant angle matches the pericentre precession of the two-body configuration. This study highlights the importance of TTVs long-term observational programmes for the detection of multiple-planet resonant systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1369-1375
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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