Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 493, 427-436 (2020/March-3)
Secular evolution of close-in planets: the effects of general relativity.
MARZARI F. and NAGASAWA M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Pairs of planets in a system may end up close to their host star on eccentric orbits as a consequence of planet-planet scattering, Kozai, or secular migration. In this scenario, general relativity and secular perturbations have comparable time-scales and may interfere with each other with relevant effects on the eccentricity and pericenter evolution of the two planets. We explore, both analytically and via numerical integration, how the secular evolution is changed by general relativity for a wide range of different initial conditions. We find that when the faster secular frequency approaches the general relativity precession rate, which typically occurs when the outer planet moves away from the inner one, it relaxes to it and a significant damping of the proper eccentricity of the inner planet occurs. The proper eccentricity of the outer planet is reduced as well due to the changes in the secular interaction of the bodies. The lowering of the peak eccentricities of the two planets during their secular evolution has important implications on their stability. A significant number of two-planet systems, otherwise chaotic because of the mutual secular perturbations, are found stable when general relativity is included.