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Mildly-Hierarchical triple dynamics and applications to the outer solar system

Presentation #304.06 in the session “Beyond the Classical Kuiper Belt”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Mildly-Hierarchical triple dynamics and applications to the outer solar system

Three-body interactions are ubiquitous in astrophysics. For instance, Kozai-Lidov oscillations in hierarchical triple systems have been studied extensively and applied to a wide range of astrophysical systems. However, mildly-hierarchical triples also play an important role, but they are less explored. In this work we consider the secular dynamics of a test particle in a mildly-hierarchical configuration. We find the limit within which the secular approximation is reliable, present resonances and chaotic regions using surface of sections, and characterize regions of phase space that allow large eccentricity and inclination variations. Finally, we apply the secular results to the outer solar system. We focus on the distribution of extreme trans-neptunian objects (eTNOs) under the perturbation of a possible outer planet (Planet-9), and find that in addition to a low inclination Planet-9, a polar or a counter-orbiting one could also produce pericenter clustering of eTNOs, while the polar one leads to a wider spread of eTNO inclinations.


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