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Astron. Astrophys. 326, L21-L24


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Letter to the Editor

Eccentric giant planets in open star clusters

C. de la Fuente Marcos and R. de la Fuente Marcos

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, Spain (nbplanet@eucmos.sim.ucm.es)

Received 6 June 1997 / Accepted 17 July 1997

Abstract

The discovery of Jupiter-like planets with high eccentricities raises the question of how these eccentricities are produced. We propose that eccentric giant planets (EGPs) could be formed in open star clusters as a result of purely dynamical processes. It is found that at least 3% of the giant planets around stars in open clusters can develop high eccentricities due to multi-body gravitational interactions; this percentage increases to 20% if considering only G-dwarf stars. The formation mechanism implies complex dynamical interactions inside retrograde hierarchical configurations within the cluster core. The percentage of planetary systems leaving open star clusters without changes in their original dynamical properties can be very large, almost 90%.

Key words: celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics - planets and satellites: general - planetary systems - open clusters and associations: general

Send offprint requests to: C. de la Fuente Marcos


© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 1, 1997
Last change: April 8, 1998
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