How planet-planet scattering can create high-inclination as well as long-period orbits

Sourav Chatterjee, Eric B. Ford, Frederic A. Rasio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Recent observations have revealed two new classes of planetary orbits. Rossiter-Mclaughlin (RM) measurements have revealed hot Jupiters in high-obliquity orbits. In addition, direct-imaging has discovered giant planets at large ( 100AU) separations via direct-imaging technique. Simple-minded disk-migration scenarios are inconsistent with the high-inclination (and even retrograde) orbits as seen in recent RM measurements. Furthermore, forming giant planets at large semi-major axis (a) may be challenging in the core-accretion paradigm. We perform many N-body simulations to explore the two above-mentioned orbital architectures. Planet-planet scattering in a multi-planet system can naturally excite orbital inclinations. Planets can also get scattered to large distances. Large-a planetary orbits created from planet-planet scattering are expected to have high eccentricities (e). Theoretical models predict that the observed long-period planets, such as Fomalhaut-b have moderate e 0.3. Interestingly, these are also in systems with disks. We find that if a massive-enough outer disk is present, a scattered planet may be circularized at large a via dynamical friction from the disk and repeated scattering of the disk particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Astrophysics of Planetary Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFormation, Structure, and Dynamical Evolution
EditorsAlessandro Sozzetti, Mario Lattanzi, Alan Boss
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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