Document Detail

A primordial origin for misalignments between stellar spin axes and planetary orbits.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23151584     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
The existence of gaseous giant planets whose orbits lie close to their host stars ('hot Jupiters') can largely be accounted for by planetary migration associated with viscous evolution of proto-planetary nebulae. Recently, observations of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect during planetary transits have revealed that a considerable fraction of hot Jupiters are on orbits that are misaligned with respect to the spin axes of their host stars. This observation has cast doubt on the importance of disk-driven migration as a mechanism for producing hot Jupiters. Here I show that misaligned orbits can be a natural consequence of disk migration in binary systems whose orbital plane is uncorrelated with the spin axes of the individual stars. The gravitational torques arising from the dynamical evolution of idealized proto-planetary disks under perturbations from massive distant bodies act to misalign the orbital planes of the disks relative to the spin poles of their host stars. As a result, I suggest that in the absence of strong coupling between the angular momentum of the disk and that of the host star, or of sufficient dissipation that acts to realign the stellar spin axis and the planetary orbits, the fraction of planetary systems (including systems of 'hot Neptunes' and 'super-Earths') whose angular momentum vectors are misaligned with respect to their host stars will be commensurate with the rate of primordial stellar multiplicity.
Konstantin Batygin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  491     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  418-20     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.
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