Designed by
Richard Schwarz

Project ID: P23810 Sponsored by: FWF

Dynamics and observational prospects of co-orbital planets in double stars

Many extrasolar planets were discovered orbiting around single stars, details are shown in the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia . Nevertheless, in the solar neighbourhood 70 percent of the main sequence stars are members of double stars and multiple systems. Therefore, we expect that many more planets may exist in binary systems. There are several detection methods for extrasolar planets, the two most common ones are the radial velocity method and the transit method. Some of the planets were found with the space missions, CoRoT (launched 2006) and Kepler (launched 2009). In the quest for new exoplanets close, eclipsing binaries are promising candidates because many lie in the CoRoT and Kepler discovery space (Binary catalogue of Exoplanets). In general we distinguish three dynamical types of motion for extrasolar planets in binary star systems :

(i) S-Type: A planet orbits one of the two stars.
(ii) P-Type: A planet stays in an orbit around both stars.
(iii) T-Type: A planet may orbit close to one of the equilibrium points L4 and L5.

This project is dedicated to the dynamics and the theory of observations of planets in S- and T-Type configurations in binary star systems. We will do these investigations with the aid of extensive numerical integrations. With the help of stability studies, we want to understand the role of mean motion resonances and secondary resonances in transit timing of eclipsing binaries. In addition, we want to identify regions in the orbital parameter space where extrasolar planets can have stable orbits.
In a further step, we will concentrate on the discovery of planets in S- and P-Type motion. This will be realized via investigations of eclipse timing variations (ETV). With the ETVs we will show whether it is possible to detect planet induced perturbations in the transit signal of the secondary star. The results of this project can serve as a guideline for actual and future observations - especially satellite missions and will improve our understanding of the architecture of extrasolar planets in binary systems.