The stability of the terrestrial planets with a more massive 'Earth'

A. Süli, Rudolf Dvorak, Florian Freistetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the long-term numerical integrations of planetary orbits indicate that our planetary system is dynamically stable at least ±4 Gyr, the dynamics of our Solar system includes both chaotic and stable motions: the large planets exhibit remarkable stability on gigayear time-scales, while the subsystem of the terrestrial planets is weakly chaotic with a maximum Lyapunov exponent reaching the value of 1/5 Myr-1. In this paper the dynamics of the Sun-Venus-Earth-Mars-Jupiter-Saturn model is studied, where the mass of Earth was magnified via a mass factor κE. The resulting systems dominated by a massive Earth may serve also as models for exoplanetary systems that are similar to ours. This work is a continuation of our previous study, where the same model was used and the masses of the inner planets were uniformly magnified. That model was found to be substantially stable against the mass growth. Our simulations were undertaken for more than 100 different values of κ E for a time of 20 Myr, and in some cases for 100 Myr. A major result was the appearance of an instability window at κ E ≈ 5, where Mars escaped. This new result has important implications for theories of the planetary system formation process and mechanism. It is shown that with increasing κ E the system splits into two, well-separated subsystems: one consists of the inner planets, and the other consists of the outer planets. According to the results, the model becomes more stable as κ E increases and only when κ E ≥ 540 does Mars escape, on a Myr time-scale. We found an interesting protection mechanism for Venus. These results give insights also into the stability of the habitable zone of exoplanetary systems, which harbour planets with relatively small eccentricities and inclinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-250
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume363
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 11 2005

Fingerprint

terrestrial planets
planets
planet
mars
planetary systems
Venus (planet)
Mars
Venus
planetary orbits
harbors
timescale
Saturn
numerical integration
Jupiter (planet)
eccentricity
solar system
escape
inclination
sun
Jupiter

Keywords

  • Celestial mechanics
  • Solar system: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

The stability of the terrestrial planets with a more massive 'Earth'. / Süli, A.; Dvorak, Rudolf; Freistetter, Florian.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 363, No. 1, 11.10.2005, p. 241-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Süli, A. ; Dvorak, Rudolf ; Freistetter, Florian. / The stability of the terrestrial planets with a more massive 'Earth'. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2005 ; Vol. 363, No. 1. pp. 241-250.
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