Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 498, 5166-5182 (2020/November-2)
On the origin of the eccentricity dichotomy displayed by compact super-Earths: dynamical heating by cold giants.
POON S.T.S. and NELSON R.P.
Abstract (from CDS):
Approximately half of the planets discovered by NASA's Kepler mission are in systems where just a single planet transits its host star, and the remaining planets are observed to be in multiplanet systems. Recent analyses have reported a dichotomy in the eccentricity distribution displayed by systems where a single planet transits compared with that displayed by the multiplanet systems. Using N-body simulations, we examine the hypothesis that this dichotomy has arisen because inner systems of super-Earths are frequently accompanied by outer systems of giant planets that can become dynamically unstable and perturb the inner systems. Our initial conditions are constructed using a subset of the known Kepler five-planet systems as templates for the inner systems, and systems of outer giant planets with masses between those of Neptune and Saturn that are centred on orbital radii 2 <= ap <= 10 au. The parameters of the outer systems are chosen so that they are always below an assumed radial velocity detection threshold of 3 m s–1. The results show an inverse relation between the mean eccentricities and the multiplicities of the systems. Performing synthetic transit observation of the final systems reveals dichotomies in both the eccentricity and multiplicity distributions that are close to being in agreement with the Kepler data. Hence, understanding the observed orbital and physical properties of the compact systems of super-Earths discovered by Kepler may require holistic modelling that couples the dynamics of both inner and outer systems of planets during and after the epoch of formation.