A dynamical mechanism for establishing apsidal resonance

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48 Scopus citations


We show that in a system of two planets initially in nearly circular orbits, an impulse perturbation that imparts a finite eccentricity to one planet's orbit causes the other planet's orbit to become eccentric as well and also naturally results in a libration of their relative apsidal longitudes for a wide range of initial conditions. We suggest that such a mechanism may explain orbital eccentricities and apsidal resonance in some exoplanetary systems. The eccentricity impulse could be caused by the ejection of a planet from these systems or by torques from a primordial gas disk. The amplitude of secular variations provides an observational constraint on the dynamical history of such systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L33-L36
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Aug 10 2002


  • Celestial mechanics
  • Instabilities
  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: individual (ν Andromedae, HD 83443)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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