Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 573A, 87-87 (2015/1-1)
Insights on the dynamical history of the Fomalhaut system. Investigating the Fom c hypothesis.
FARAMAZ V., BEUST H., AUGEREAU J.-C., KALAS P. and GRAHAM J.R.
Abstract (from CDS):
The eccentric shape of the debris disk observed around the star Fomalhaut was first attributed to Fomb, a companion detected near the belt inner edge, but new constraints on its orbit revealed that it is belt-crossing, highly eccentric (e ∼0.6-0.9), and can hardly account for the shape of the belt. The best scenario to explain this paradox is that there is another massive body in this system, Fomc, which drives the debris disk shape. The resulting planetary system is highly unstable, which hints at a dynamical scenario involving a recent scattering of Fomb on its current orbit, potentially with the putative Fomc. Our goal is to give insights on the probability for Fomb to have been set on its highly eccentric orbit by a close encounter with the putative Fomc. We aim to study in particular the part played by mean-motion resonances with Fomc, which could have brought Fomb sufficiently close to Fomc for it to be scattered on its current orbit, but also delay this scattering event. We assumed that Fomc is much more massive than Fomb, that is, Fomb behaves as a massless test particle compared to Fomc. This allowed us to use N-body numerical simulations and to study the influence of a fixed orbit Fomc on a population of massless test particles, that is, to study the generation of Fomb-like orbits by direct scattering events or via mean-motion resonance processes. We assumed that Fomb originated from an orbit inner to that of the putative Fomc. We found that the generation of orbits similar to that of Fomb, either in terms of dimensions or orientation, is a robust process involving a scattering event and a further secular evolution of inner material with an eccentric massive body such as the putative Fomc. We found in particular that mean-motion resonances can delay scattering events, and thus the production of Fomb-like orbits, on timescales comparable to the age of the system, thus explaining the witnessing of an unstable configuration. We conclude that Fomb probably originated from an inner resonance with a Neptune-Saturn mass Fomc, and was set on its current orbit by a scattering event with Fomc. Since Fomb could not have formed from material in resonance, our scenario also hints at former migration processes in this planetary system.
stars: individual: Fomalhaut - planetary systems - circumstellar matter - methods: numerical - celestial mechanics
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