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Title: Dynamical aspects of exoplanetary systems
Author: Campanella, Giammarco
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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The detection of more than 130 multiple planet systems makes it necessary to interpret a broader range of properties than are shown by our Solar system. This thesis covers aspects linked to the proliferation in recent years of multiple extrasolar planet systems. A narrow observational window, only partially covering the longest orbital period, can lead to solutions representing unrealistic scenarios. The best-fit solution for the three-planet extrasolar system of HD 181433 describes a highly unstable configuration. Taking into account the dynamical stability as an additional observable while interpreting the RV data, I have analysed the phase space in the neighbourhood of the statistical best-fit. The two giant companions are found to be locked in the 5:2 MMR in the stable best-fit model. I have analysed the dynamics of the system HD 181433 by assessing different scenarios that may explain the origin of these eccentric orbits, with particular focus on the innermost body. A scenario is considered in which the system previously contained an additional giant planet that was ejected during a period of dynamical instability among the planets. Also considered is a scenario in which the spin-down of the central star causes the system to pass through secular resonance. In its simplest form this latter scenario fails to produce the system observed. If additional short-period low mass planets are present in the system, I find that mutual scattering can release planet b from the secular resonance, leading to a system with orbital parameters similar to those observed today. Finally, I have studied the evolution of low mass planets interacting with a gas-giant planet embedded in a gaseous disc. The transit timing method allows the detection of non-transiting planets through their gravitational perturbations. I have investigated the detectability of low mass planets neighbouring short-period giants after protoplanetary disc dispersal.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Astronomy ; Planets