Hiding planets behind a big friend: mutual inclinations of multi-planet systems with external companions.
LAI D. and PU B.
Abstract (from CDS):
The Kepler mission has detected thousands of planetary systems with one to seven transiting planets packed within 0.7 au from their host stars. There is an apparent excess of single-transit planet systems that cannot be explained by transit geometries alone, when a single planetary mutual inclination dispersion is assumed. This suggests that the observed compact planetary systems have at least two different architectures. We present a scenario where the "Kepler dichotomy" may be explained by the action of an external giant planet or stellar companion misaligned with the inner multi-planet system. The external companion excites mutual inclinations of the inner planets, causing such systems to appear as "Kepler singles" in transit surveys. We derive approximate analytic expressions (in various limiting regimes), calibrated with numerical calculations, for the mutual inclination excitations for various planetary systems and perturber properties (mass mp, semimajor axis ap, and inclination θp). In general, the excited mutual inclination increases with mp/ap3 and θp, though secular resonances may lead to large mutual inclinations even for small θp. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding the dynamical history of transiting planet systems with known external perturbers.