Author(s): Franco Busetti2, Herv̩ Beust1, Charis Harley2
Institution(s): 1. Universit̩ Grenoble Alpes, 2. University of the Witwatersrand
Triple stellar systems comprising a central binary orbited by a third star at a larger distance are fairly common. However, there have been very few studies on the stability of planetary orbits in such systems. There has been almost no work on generalised systems, little on retrograde planetary orbits and none on retrograde stellar orbits, with nearly all being for coplanar orbits and for a limited number of orbital parameters. We provide a generalised numerical mapping of the regions of planetary stability in triples, using the symplectic N-body code HJS (Beust 2003) designed for the dynamics of multiple hierarchical systems. We investigate all these orbit types and extend the parameters used to all relevant orbital elements of the triple۪s stars, also expanding these elements and mass ratios to wider ranges.
This establishes the regions of secular stability and results in empirical models describing the stability bounds for planets in each type of triple configuration, as functions of the various system parameters. These results are compared to the corresponding results for binaries in the limit of a vanishing mass of the third star. A general feature is that retrograde planetary orbits appear more stable than prograde ones, and that stable regions also tend to be wider when the third star's motion is retrograde. Conversely, we point out the destabilizing role of Kozai-Lidov resonance in non-coplanar systems, which shrinks the stability regions as a result of large induced eccentricity variations. Nonetheless, large enough stability regions for planets do exist in triples, and this should motivate future observational campaigns.
Refs : Beust, 2003, A&A 400, 1129
Busetti, Beust, Harley, 2018, to be submitted to A&A