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Orbital alignment between Wide Binary Stars and Exoplanets

Presentation #614.05 in the session Planets in and around Binary Stars.

Published onApr 03, 2024
Orbital alignment between Wide Binary Stars and Exoplanets

Studying the relative orientations of the orbits of exoplanets and wide-orbiting binary star companions can shed light on how planets form and evolve in binary systems. Using data from Gaia DR3 and TESS, we find that the orbits of small planets (R < 6) are well-aligned with the orbits of the binary systems they reside in for binary semimajor axes less than 700 AU. We find no evidence for alignment above 700 AU regardless of planet size. We also find no evidence for alignment in our sample of large, closely-orbiting planets (mostly hot Jupiters) at any separation. We will discuss the implications of these findings on the evolution of planets in binary systems, and propose a disk torque mechanism that can explain the alignment we see. Finally, we discuss current progress to constrain the orbits of all ~1 million binary systems discovered in Gaia DR3 using invertible neural networks. This will enable even broader population studies of the architectures of wide binary systems with exoplanets, as well as a wide variety of other astrophysical processes.

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