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Spin-Orbit Angles Beyond 10 AU: Clues About the Formation of Imaged Planets and Brown Dwarfs

Presentation #202.06 in the session Direct Imaging.

Published onApr 03, 2024
Spin-Orbit Angles Beyond 10 AU: Clues About the Formation of Imaged Planets and Brown Dwarfs

Stellar obliquities (spin-orbit angles) provide unique information about how planets form and dynamically evolve. For directly imaged giant planets and brown dwarfs at wide separations, stellar obliquities can be constrained by comparing the inclination of the host star’s rotational axis and the companion’s orbital plane. I will present the first large-scale analysis of rotation periods, inclinations, and obliquities of cool stars hosting directly imaged planets and brown dwarf companions. This unique dataset is made possible through patient orbit monitoring of companions at tens to hundreds of AU and new precise light curves of their host stars. We reconstruct the underlying stellar obliquity distribution and find evidence for distinct trends in the angular momentum architectures of these two samples for the first time. These results reinforce emerging distinctions between the orbits and demographics of long-period brown dwarfs and giant planets, offering new clues about their dominant formation and migration channels.

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