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Pumping the Eccentricity of Exoplanets by Tidal Effect

A. C. M. Correia, G. Boué, J. Laskar

Planets close to their host stars are believed to undergo significant tidal interactions, leading to a progressive damping of the orbital eccentricity. Here we show that when the orbit of the planet is excited by an outer companion, tidal effects combined with gravitational interactions may give rise to a secular increasing drift on the eccentricity. As long as this secular drift counterbalances the damping effect, the eccentricity can increase to high values. This mechanism may explain why some of the moderate close-in exoplanets are observed with substantial eccentricity values.

celestial mechanics – planetary systems – planets and satellites: general

The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 744, Number 2, Page L23_1
2012 January

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia