Exoplanets & Exomoons

Solar System Moons as Analogs for Compact Exoplanetary Systems

By Keith Cowing
September 9, 2013
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Solar System Moons as Analogs for Compact Exoplanetary Systems

The field of exoplanetary science has experienced a recent surge of new systems that is largely due to the precision photometry provided by the Kepler mission. The latest discoveries have included compact planetary systems in which the orbits of the planets all lie relatively close to the host star, which presents interesting challenges in terms of formation and dynamical evolution.

The compact exoplanetary systems are analogous to the moons orbiting the giant planets in our Solar System, in terms of their relative sizes and semi-major axes. We present a study that quantifies the scaled sizes and separations of the Solar System moons with respect to their hosts. We perform a similar study for a large sample of confirmed Kepler planets in multi-planet systems.

We show that a comparison between the two samples leads to a similar correlation between their scaled sizes and separation distributions. The different gradients of the correlations may be indicative of differences in the formation and/or long-term dynamics of moon and planetary systems.

Stephen R. Kane, Natalie R. Hinkel, Sean N. Raymond (Submitted on 5 Sep 2013)

Comments: 8 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomical Journal

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1309.1467 [astro-ph.EP]

(or arXiv:1309.1467v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version) Submission history From: Stephen Kane [v1] Thu, 5 Sep 2013 20:00:01 GMT (33kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻