Extrasolar Planets in Mean‐Motion Resonance: Apses Alignment and Asymmetric Stationary Solutions
In recent years several pairs of extrasolar planets have been discovered in the vicinity of mean-motion commensurabilities. In some cases, such as the Gliese 876 system, the planets seem to be trapped in a stationary solution, the system exhibiting a simultaneous libration of the resonant angle theta_1 = 2 lambda_2 - lambda_1 - varpi_1 and of the relative position of the pericenters. In this paper we analyze the existence and location of these stable solutions, for the 2/1 and 3/1 resonances,
... function of the masses and orbital elements of both planets. This is undertaken via an analytical model for the resonant Hamiltonian function. The results are compared with those of numerical simulations of the exact equations. In the 2/1 commensurability, we show the existence of three principal families of stationary solutions: (i) aligned orbits, in which theta_1 and varpi_1 - varpi_2 both librate around zero, (ii) anti-aligned orbits, in which theta_1=0 and the difference in pericenter is 180 degrees, and (iii) asymmetric stationary solutions, where both the resonant angle and varpi_1 - varpi_2 are constants with values different of 0 or 180 degrees. Each family exists in a different domain of values of the mass ratio and eccentricities of both planets. Similar results are also found in the 3/1 resonance. We discuss the application of these results to the extrasolar planetary systems and develop a chart of possible planetary orbits with apsidal corotation. We estimate, also, the maximum planetary masses in order that the stationary solutions are dynamically stable.