The 3D secular dynamics of radial-velocity-detected planetary systems

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Aims. To date, more than 600 multi-planetary systems have been discovered. Due to the limitations of the detection methods, our knowledge of the systems is usually far from complete. In particular, for planetary systems discovered with the radial velocity (RV) technique, the inclinations of the orbital planes, and thus the mutual inclinations and planetary masses, are unknown. Our work aims to constrain the spatial configuration of several RV-detected extrasolar systems that are not in a mean-motion resonance. Methods. Through an analytical study based on a first-order secular Hamiltonian expansion and numerical explorations performed with a chaos detector, we identified ranges of values for the orbital inclinations and the mutual inclinations, which ensure the long-term stability of the system. Our results were validated by comparison with n-body simulations, showing the accuracy of our analytical approach up to high mutual inclinations (∼70 −80 ). Results. We find that, given the current estimations for the parameters of the selected systems, long-term regular evolution of the spatial configurations is observed, for all the systems, (i) at low mutual inclinations (typically less than 35 ) and (ii) at higher mutual inclinations, preferentially if the system is in a Lidov-Kozai resonance. Indeed, a rapid destabilisation of highly mutually inclined orbits is commonly observed, due to the significant chaos that develops around the stability islands of the Lidov-Kozai resonance. The extent of the Lidov-Kozai resonant region is discussed for ten planetary systems (HD 11506, HD 12661, HD 134987, HD 142, HD 154857, HD 164922, HD 169830, HD 207832, HD 4732, and HD 74156).

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA74
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue numberid.A74
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Celestial mechanics
  • Methods: analytical
  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability


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