Orbital motion of HR 8799 b, c, d using Hubble Space Telescope data from 1998 : constraints on inclination, eccentricity and stability

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/741/1/55
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TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
ISSN0004-637X
Volume741
Issue1
Pages55-155-16; # of pages: 16
Subjectplanetary systems; stars: individual (HR 8799); techniques: image processing
AbstractHR 8799 is currently the only multiple-planet system that has been detected with direct imaging, with four giant planets of masses 7-10 M Jup orbiting at large separations (15-68 AU) from this young late A star. Orbital motion provides insight into the stability and possible formation mechanisms of this planetary system. Dynamical studies can also provide constraints on the planets' masses, which help calibrate evolutionary models, yet measuring the orbital motion is a very difficult task because the long-period orbits (50-500 yr) require long time baselines and high-precision astrometry. This paper studies the three planets HR 8799b, c, and d in the archival data set of HR 8799 obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) NICMOS coronagraph in 1998. The detection of all three planets is made possible by a careful optimization of the Locally Optimized Combination of Images algorithm, and we used a statistical analysis of a large number of reduced images. This work confirms previous astrometry for planet b and presents new detections and astrometry for planets c and d. These HST images provide a ten-year baseline with the discovery images from 2008, and therefore offer a unique opportunity to constrain their orbital motion now. Recent dynamical studies of this system show the existence of a few possible stable solutions involving mean motion resonances (MMRs), where the interaction between c and d plays a major role. We study the compatibility of a few of these stable scenarios (1d:1c, 1d:2c, or 1d:2c:4d) with the new astrometric data from HST. In the hypothesis of a 1d:2c:4b MMR our best orbit fit is close to the stable solution previously identified for a three-planet system and involves low eccentricity for planet d (ed = 0.10) and moderate inclination of the system (i = 28.0 deg), assuming a coplanar system, circular orbits for b and c, and exact resonance with integer period ratios. Under these assumptions, we can place strong constraints on the inclination of the system (27.3-31.4 deg) and on the eccentricity for d ed and 0.46. Our results are robust to small departures from exact integer period ratios and consistent with previously published results based on dynamical studies for a three-planet system prior to the discovery of the fourth planet.
Publication date
PublisherAmerican Astronomical Society
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19689654
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Record identifier3c5a1178-d1e4-48ff-9245-68fe193d46fe
Record created2012-03-20
Record modified2016-11-14
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