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Dynamics and Origins of the Near-resonant Kepler Planets

Presentation #618.02 in the session Disk-Planet Interactions and Migration Theory.

Published onApr 03, 2024
Dynamics and Origins of the Near-resonant Kepler Planets

Short-period super-Earths and mini-Neptunes encircle more than ~50% of Sun-like stars and are relatively amenable to direct observational characterization. Despite this, environments in which these planets accrete are difficult to probe directly. Nevertheless, pairs of planets that are close to orbital resonances provide a unique window into the inner regions of protoplanetary disks, as they preserve the conditions of their formation, as well as the early evolution of their orbital architectures. In this work, we present a novel approach toward quantifying transit timing variations within multiplanetary systems and examine the near-resonant dynamics of over 100 planet pairs detected by Kepler. Using an integrable model for first-order resonances, we find a clear transition from libration to circulation of the resonant angle at a period ratio of ≈0.6% wide of exact resonance. The orbital properties of these systems indicate that they systematically lie far away from the resonant forced equilibrium. Cumulatively, our modeling indicates that while orbital architectures shaped by strong disk damping or tidal dissipation are inconsistent with observations, a scenario where stochastic stirring by turbulent eddies augments the dissipative effects of protoplanetary disks reproduces several features of the data.

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