Instabilities in multiplanet circumbinary systems

Adam P. Sutherland, Kaitlin M. Kratter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The majority of the discovered transiting circumbinary planets are located very near the innermost stable orbits permitted, raising questions about the origins of planets in such perturbed environments. Most favoured formation scenarios invoke formation at larger distances and subsequent migration to their current locations. Disc-driven planet migration in multiplanet systems is likely to trap planets in mean motion resonances and drive planets inwards into regions of larger dynamical perturbations from the binary. We demonstrate how planet-planet resonances can interact with the binary through secular forcing and mean-motion resonances, driving chaos in the system. We show how this chaos will shape the architecture of circumbinary systems, with specific applications to Kepler 47 and the Pluto-Charon system, limiting maximum possible stable eccentricities and indicating what resonances are likely to exist. We are also able to constrain the minimum migration rates of resonant circumbinary planets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3288-3304
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 11 2019


  • planetary systems
  • planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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